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A bit bummed out

I had my first venue visit tonight. 

It was at the Palace. The place is gorgeous and my FI and I loved it.
But then reality set it when they told us the price. I was basing my budget on the price per head and completely ignoring tax and gratuity. As if it's some little bit of chump change. 

After Tax and Grat they Palace comes to approx $197 pp. <insert vomit here />  This is for a Jan 2011 weddng. We didn't try to negoiate yet.

with 240 guests (inviting 280) that's almost $50k for just the reception.. my budget is $55-$60k. (We are footing the bill for our day)

My hopes and dreams have been crushed.  I would definately say the Palace is the fanciest of the places I am looking at. 
Any encouragement would help... anyone negotiate the price/package with their vendor?  Or did you accept what they put on the table? 

It's suffice to say I can't sleep now :(

Re: A bit bummed out

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    Ellie*xoEllie*xo member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    i def. know how you feel.  i've walked from places that were out of my budget never to look back again.  lol it's a horrible feeling but in the end, we didn't want to get in over our heads.

     try to negotiate.  i don't know how they work, but see if you can take XYZ out from the menu or package, or instead of "this" put "that" in.  i dunno.   there was a bride here also that (not too long ago) had her venue CANCEL HER out because they got a better deal on another event, so make sure you read the fine print on the contract!  i'm sure in the end your place will be beautiful and just what you're looking for.  good luck.

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    edited December 2011
    Yes you can definitely negotiate.  However, unless you are really good you'll most likely get $5-10 off and/or get extra's thrown in. 

    Some advice:
    Do not go to any venue that does not meet  or is relatively close to your budget because as you found out you will only be set up for dissapointment.    Your venue should be a maximum of 50% of your overall budget.  That means you are looking at about $30k max which equals nothing over $125 including tax and gratuity.   There are a lot of very nice venues out there, especially for winter, that fit your budget and minimum.

    Other good ways to save on the venue:
    a - Lower the amount of people you are inviiting.  I figured the above per person price on the 240 but what if you have 270 show up.  That's and extra $3750.  And yes, while that probably won't happen what if it does?

    b - If you stay with your minimum find out what the venues minimum is before negotiating.  If it is 175 ask them what they will take off if you guarantee 200 or 225. Then keep trying to negotiate or have them throw more things in.

    c - Have it on a Friday night, a Saturday day, or a Sunday anytime instead of Saturday night.  Prices will be cheaper and then you can still negotiate from that.
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    edited December 2011

    The Palace is expensive, you can try to negotiate, I did not, but I got a really good deal because of when I booked (place wasn't complete)

    Is this for a Saturday? If so would you be willing to see what a Friday or Sunday would be?

    When we were looking, we refused to go see a place unless they gave us the approx dollar amount over the phone, sometimes they give you an issue, but the moment I said to a few places "okay nevermind then" they gave me the range.  I couldn't bring myself to see a place fall in love and then not be able to afford it.

    You must figure out how much you want to spend on everything with your budget, then use that figure for the reception, its a pain, but there will be less disappointment in the end.

    The girls also might be able to help you find something similar to the palace to help out.

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    Danes983Danes983 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    That is CRAZY for January in my opinion.  I bet if you went by there this January you would have hardly any wedding.  Those are NNJ prices.  I bet you could get a better price at a great place.
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    kewltifkewltif member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    There are TONS of venues.  In January, you should be able to get a nice place in your price range, especially in this economy.

    The Palace is not even close to your price range.  You're like $75 p/p over.  I would find it highly doubtful that you could even come close to getting them to lower their price by that much.  Is that Saturday night pricing? You could switch the day of the week or do something like the day after Christmas or another off date that most people don't want.

    One piece of advice- go find another venue.  You're sounding devestated right now and I don't think it's in your best interest to "Try to make this work."  I know the feeling.  "I can cut back on flowers, photography, DJ, etc."  It just doesn't work that way.  All of those other things really do add up to another 50% of your budget.  You will be really strapped for cash and stressed out if you book this place.
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    Lola MinnieLola Minnie member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Sorry to hear that. My friend got married at the Palace and as far as I know they do not negoatiate - unless that has changed the past year or so.
    As others suggested, if that is definitely the place, have it on Friday or Sunday.
    If you still can't swing it, then you either should move the wedding another year to save $ or give up the Palace and look at other venues. No need to drive yourself crazy.
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    FutureMrsF111FutureMrsF111 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I looked at a lot of places before I knew my exact budget. There were many that got knocked out when we did sit down and figure out how much everything should cost.
    I wound up booking a sunday evening and saved almost $100pp at my venue. I also saved on my band because of this.  I am getting married in October so I had way less room for negotiation so I had to compromise somewhere.
    i didnt look at the Palace so I do not know what look/feel you are going for but Frungillio caterers were very negotiable for off season weddings. I also think the manor is in your price range.
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    edited December 2011
    i knew my budget before looking at places and wouldnt even go near a place that we could not afford....try and negotiate but if that doesnt work dont try and push it - you will have a very stressful engagement if you push it - and start worrying early about prices...remember you still have video, photog, favors, DJ/Band,dresses, attire, limos, bp gifts, and everything else in between..

    like Tif's post - you can get another very nice venue well under that price for a january wedding....

    are the prices they are giving you 2010 prices? can you get 2009 prices if there is a difference?
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    edited December 2011
    There are so many beautiful places, just because you fell in love with this one doesn't mean you won't fall in love with another. And a big room, without decorations/flowers and all the little touches that you might need to cut down on is not going to be as pretty as a room in another venue with all the trimmings.
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    edited December 2011

    Thank you for the advice and tips! I definitely appreciate them.  Never knew that the reception should ONLY 50% of total budget..  I was thinking more like 70%...  but the numbers make sense.

    Maybe I can ask my boss for a raise - jk

    Merry Christmas Eve (to those who celebrate)!

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    jchristeljchristel member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I agree with PPs.  I had it in my head that I wanted to get married at Skylands Manor in Ringwood after I saw it on "Masters of Reception".  I did a drive by and loved it even more than I did when I saw it on TV.  After I called and found out it would cost more than $200/person (way over my budget) I got bummed for a minute, but started looking at alternatives immediately.  There are so many beautiful places out there I'm sure you'll find something you absolutely love.  It will work out and you'll get married where you were meant to :)
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    edited December 2011
    Hi All,

    A little fyi for the Castle in Ringwood. My cousin just went up there and they are running great deals right now. She got 15% off of her per person price and for her jan wedding it was $139.00 per person!

    Hope that helps!


    Kiss
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