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NJ Bride Needs Help w Venue

Hi Girls, I've been lurking the boards & have made only a few posts. All of your advice and responses have been really helpful-so thanks in advance. FI & I are planning a destination wedding in FL. We're coming down weekend of 10/15 to check out a few places- the Marriott Harbor Beach and W in Fort Lauderdale. I;m not sure what to expect or ask- i'm thinking of getting right to the point about my budget and wants b/c i cant come back very easily. But then again, i don't want to come off too aggressive like a beast! LOL Is this the time to negotiate bottom line? I've researched both places to the point that i feel like we'll book either of them. But i'm not sure-to tell you the truth- i just want to book the venue -period. End the search. Please let me know what to expect and if now is the time to ask specifics. Any hidden costs or impt questions that you think i should ask would be helpful too. Or any other venues on the beach similar to those would be great too. We're inviting 225 ppl and hoping 150 show. TIA  I'm excited to get down there and see the palm trees. Weather up here stinks!
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Re: NJ Bride Needs Help w Venue

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    edited December 2011
    I am sorry I can't help you with the venues because I don't know them or even looked at them but I wanted to give you some advice. First of all the venue, you will know automatically when you walk through the doors if thats your place. One thing is seeing it online, but in person it is a completely different experience. Also I get the sense like you are rushing it, if you don't feel the magic with these then don't think that these are your only options. But given your circumstance I REALLY hope one of these is IT! Good Luck =)
    Stephany Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    edited December 2011
    How about you go see both places, maybe set a couple of more appts and negociate over the phone or emails. I actually negociated and booked my venue without even going to see it because now I live in a different state and it worked out perfect. So take your time and tell them YOUR bottom line and what you want and you will get back to them. Make sure that you ask to see ALL the fees, taxes, admin fees and gratuity on the contract. Usually they give you the price that doesn't include those and trust me it can make the price per person as high as 32% more. Make sure they show you everything that the price includes and what DOESN'T include. You can negociate everything! If they can't lower the price per person then negociate a upgraded cake, linens, chairs....things like that....If your date is not booked yet and it is in the summer then even better, usually that time of the year is supposed to be less. Have your list of things you want like you said, that's a plus =)

    Good Luck!!!!
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    edited December 2011

    I am a living in NYC with a Miami wedding bride--my biggest lesson learned/hurdle/HEADACHE with picking venue: when we we went down there we saw 3 venues thinking that we wouldn't worry about the price (as long as it within within a reasonable range) and then we would negotiate later via email/phone. It didn't necessarily work out this way. It was way harder to get them to come down (trust me, we tried!) and we just sat here frustrated wishing we had visited more options.
    So my advice is:
    Visit the venue that is perfect and the ones you LOVE and
    visit the ones you LIKE and can live with, if negotiations don't go as planned and you need a plan b.
    Hope this helps!

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    Linz10882Linz10882 member
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    edited December 2011
    You should definitely try and hammer out some negotiations during your visit.  It's a lot easier if you tell them your bottom line in person.  You can even go in saying "We can afford $XYZ per person....what kind of package can you come up with for that price?" (This worked very well for us!).  Mind you, they probably can't whip up a contract/package right in front of you, but they can work on something and send it to you via e-mail.  Also, make sure that you tell them the $XYZ price should INCLUDE all taxes, fees, service charges, etc. etc.  As another person mentioned, most hotels end up tacking on at least 30% or so in fees, which is a huge amount to take into consideration.  Best of luck!! :)
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