If you’re wondering if you can negotiate with wedding venues, the simple answer is: Yes. There are lots of factors to consider and some creative ways you can negotiate so that everybody wins!
Do your research
Put yourself in a strong position before you negotiate with wedding venues by doing your research first.
Here are some items you will want to consider:
What you are hoping to pay
Know exactly what you are asking for (more on this below)
Find out what their competitor is willing to charge
The skill with negotiating lies in being confident, but also in asking for something that is reasonable. Don’t go straight in by asking for the impossible! You can’t expect a bargain with a hugely popular, in-demand wedding venue during peak wedding season. We certainly don’t recommend finding your dream wedding venue, then realising your budget isn’t compatible, and then trying to negotiate. You won’t have much luck.
Be willing to make sacrifices
Here are some sacrifices you may be willing to make that could result in a cheaper quote:
Could some items be removed from the quote (such as chair covers)?
Are you prepared to get married on an offpeak wedding day, such as a weekday or winter date?
Could you lose one of the courses from your menu? For example, skip dessert and just serve your wedding cake.
If you are prepared to gather all food orders from guests ahead of time, would that save on catering costs? You’d have less food waste and less time with servers taking orders from guests to the kitchen.
Would the food be cheaper if you opt for seasonal vegetables instead of sourcing your favourite vegetables from elsewhere?
Ask for extras instead
Negotiating to add extras to your quote may be more realistic and effective than asking a venue to charge less for their standard package. Think of this as a “best value for money” situation as opposed to the “cheapest possible”!
Examples of extras include things like a free champagne toast if you meet the food and drink minimum. These extras can really add up and increase the value of your wedding venue package if you get creative!
Other options to negotiate
Ask if you could take down the price per head if you have more guests (this will only work if you can actually bring in the amount of guests agreed).
See if you can pay for room hire and bring in an outside caterer.
Find out if you can bring in your own wine and just pay for corkage.
How to negotiate with wedding venues
Let’s say you’ve found your dream wedding venue and they are ever so slightly outside of your budget. Here’s what you should do to negotiate:
Know what you can afford.
Come with a figure of what you are hoping to pay.
Bring a quote from a competitor to show what you could pay elsewhere.
Know what you are asking for (a discount, removal of items, adding extras).
Be confident, but flexible and willing to work with the venue.
Once you’ve successfully negotiated, confirm your new agreement in writing.