You’ve been dreaming about the big day: the fun you’ll have, the smiles and laughter, surrounded by love from your friends and family. The only issue is that you have to put your plan into action, and a major part of that plan is finding the perfect venue for your wedding.
First, it’s okay to feel intimidated. The venue is one of the most important parts of a wedding. Without one, where will you even hold the event? Like Goldilocks and her porridge, you want it to be just right for your needs.
Don’t feel scared, whether of the sticker shock of the initial deposit or booking stresses. It’s more than possible to negotiate a wedding venue at a lower price. Keep reading below to find out!
What is the Process of Negotiating a Venue?
Negotiating a wedding venue: out of the frying pan and into the fire, right? Not necessarily. While discussing contracts and costs isn’t everyone’s idea of fun (though for some it is, and that someone might be you!), it’s worth it in the long run. You never know what you can receive simply by asking.
Before you do any asking, it’s important to do your research first. By being familiar with your venue market, you’ll have an understanding of the general costs of things. Learning what’s expensive, inexpensive, and any price in-between will give you an understanding of how much to budget for your big day.
Many components go into the cost of a venue. Here are five to consider.
Photo by Gillian Harrison on Pexels
Top 5 Items that Affect the Pricing at a Venue
Another reason why doing the research before is so important: location is key! Typically the prices of venues will be reflected in the location. If you find that a certain area is generally more than you want to spend, then consider branching out elsewhere.
The popularity of a venue will affect the price. Venues that are the apple of every bride-to-be’s eye do not need to budge on their prices since they’re so high-demand.
Seasonality plays a major part in cost as well. It’s no secret that some times of the year are more popular to get married in––there wouldn’t be a “wedding season” otherwise! If you want to save money, then consider booking your venue during the “off-season.” Talk to the venue to learn what that is for them!
Look at the day of the week, too. Weekends will always be in more demand than weekdays, for instance.
4. What’s Included in the Venue
No venues are alike in this area. Some venue contractions will only include the actual location, meaning you’ll have to find an outside caterer, DJ, and other wedding services. Others are more comprehensive, including all these things and more.
The package you receive from a venue will affect the overall cost. Consider prioritizing what’s most important to you in terms of the included services before making your decision.
A bigger wedding means bigger bucks you’ll be spending. The more guests you have means more necessary amenities than if your wedding is smaller. As such, large venues designed for large guest accommodations will cost more than smaller ones with a lower guest cap.Photo by Visually Us on Pexels
How to Maximize Your Negotiation Power as an Event Planner
When negotiating a wedding venue contract, be sure to go through the fine print. Paying attention to the details of a venue and what it includes can prepare you for when you reach out to the venue. This includes combing through for hidden fees.
An example of this is the additions that are often tacked on with a venue. These are the extra amenities mentioned earlier in the article. For example, removing items from a catering menu is a way to save money.
There’s no harm in asking for a quote from your venue, either. They will give you a comprehensive list of what they will provide for you and what you would need to pay extra for. By seeing everything written out, you can decide what you may not need (such as valet parking or a coat check). Asking for this can save you money in the long run before you put down that first deposit!Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels
The Best Tips and Tricks for Successfully Negotiating with a Venue
Before you make your deposit, be upfront about your budget. If you have fallen in love with a venue that is more than you originally anticipated spending, don’t be afraid, to be honest about how much you're willing to invest. Venues will often be accommodating, and are willing to work with different prices.
Businesses want to do business with those who want their business, and politeness goes a long way as well. It’s better to at least ask than never at all––you never know what you might miss out on otherwise!Photo by Cottonbro on Pexels
Never be afraid to negotiate with a venue. The worst they can say is no, and you’ll never know unless you try. You may be surprised––after all, the wedding venue of your dreams could be the wedding venue of your reality!