New Jersey

Negotiating advice

Alright so I fell in love with a venue but we want to see if we can get a better deal.We went to look at it last week and contacted the gentleman within the week. We are getting married December 17, 2011. He said we needed to guarntee a 140 people at 135. We are probably going to have a maximum 125. Plus he showed us a different room and qouted us 95. BUT he said that if no one books the ballroom we could be moved to that room on that day. He also said he doubts anyone will book that night because it is too close to Christmas for both a corporate event and a wedding.

 How long should I wait before I call him to see if he is willing to work with us? Who should make the call? Me? My fiance? or his father? Should we go in person?

Re: Negotiating advice

  • edited December 2011
    Typically venues will not alter their pricing because you have less people. Their minimums are to guarantee they take in a certain dollar amount. You could book it and when you only end up with 125 or so work on upgrading part of your package such as add in the cake, or get extra appetizers, etc.

    I never heard of booking only 4 months out so I don't know if that short time frame can help you with something.
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  • edited December 2011
    If you want the place go for it. Call and just tell him you really would love to book with him and will sign a contract but you want the other room and can guarantee 100. Just be firm, the worse that can happen is he say no he couldn't do it, but you will be surprised.
    We did most of our negotiating on the phone with some of the vendors which I thought made it tough because they would have to call the owner and then call us back, where I feel if you are in person and just flat out say this is what I want and want to book your place they might give it to you right there.

    Good luck I hope that helps and you get the venue you want!
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I would say something like, "We can guarantee X people, and we can afford to pay $X per person. Is there anything you can do for us under those conditions?"

    Some places may give you fewer cocktail hour stations, or do a single entree for everyone rather than give them a choice. Other places will not budge, because while they're willing to give you more food or amenities they're not willing to knock back the price. If you're flexible on the date, ask if there's a slower date than 12/17 that he could give you (because they're more willing to work with you if it's a slow date that they might not book).

    If he won't negotiate, you could try saying something like, "At four months out, if you haven't booked that date by now then you probably won't book it at all. Isn't it better to get our business at a small discount, than be empty for the day?" Worth a shot.

    As for who should negotiate, that's your call. I was better at researching venues and what we could get for our money, but MH was better at verbally negotiating so I let him take the lead in our meetings. If your FFIL is better at that, then by all means ask him for help. (I might just be careful with that, though, because if you and your FI meet with them without your FFIL, they might be more pushy if they know that FFIL is the only one who can negotiate, know what I mean?).
  • edited December 2011
    Most places have been bending over backwards to get us to book with them. I hope this place does too! I was just worried that we would appear pushy. The over all message is...give it a try. Thanks.

    When should we call? Should we wait a little longer? I doubt anyone will book that room at this point. Or should we call on Monday.
  • edited December 2011
    I would call tomorrow, get the venue figured out as soon as possible to move on with the rest of your planning. Since you're on a time crunch you don't want to wait too long to book the rest of the vendors.

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  • edited December 2011

    I think that you should just call because the worse they can say is not but at 4 months away I would think that would want to work with you especially if they are saying they may not have anyone book that night. In my mind I would think they would rather make money than be empty that night and not make any money. I was able to negotiate a great deal on my venue by being firm and letting them know exactly what we were looking for.

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  • edited December 2011
    I negotiated right then and there.  My parents and my fiance's parents were impressed, lol... If it is what you want, don't wait.  Let them know how serious you are.  Tell them you will sign a contract tonight and bring a deposit if they can get you where you want to be or as close as possible.
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  • Susiesm7Susiesm7 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I received a quote for my flowers that I think is pretty high...ive been trying to get other quotes in the mean time to either support or refute her quote. How honest should I be with the first florist that I'm getting competing bids bc how high her price came in? Is this a good negotiating tool?
  • edited December 2011
    Let me ask you this- do you want her to do your wedding? If not Id move onto the next florist, but if its someone who you'd really like to get, then just be open..... a twist! Id tell her how much you love her work, how the choice is killing you, but that she's simply priced considerably higher then anyone else. Never show your hand- never pull out other vendors contracts bc they try to poke holes in them saying things like, "well they arent including this or that and I am" etc. Id break it down- look im getting xyz with every other florist and here's their price range. Im looking for you to beat that. Plain and simple. Give it a shot :) just be firm!
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