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so i'm trying to figure out what to negotiate on. it all sounds so.... expensive! And to top it off, I don't know what I should do.... do I try to low-ball them from the start, do I um and err about it, try for an overall discount of x%, or ask for £x off? what?!


we've picked a venue (which we can't lose, it really is perfect) and pencilled in a provisional date with them. so they know we're serious. but now everyone is giving me conflicting advice over what it is we should be negotiating on (including the fiancee)...



so here's the info guys, you can help me out if you'd like!


70 day guests (5 children)

110 night guests (10 children)

kids eat and drink at 1/2 price according to the brochure...

and the £250 venue hire is non negotiable apparently


£15 a head for the reception drinks (= 67.5*15 = £1,012.50)

£35 a head for the wedding breakfast (=67.5*35 = £2,362.50)

£15 a head for the night buffet (=105*15 = £1,575)


= total



There's the option to cater for only 75% of your evening guests but that's only a very small saving and I don't want to run out of food at the evening do. Besides, buffets always have like 3 or 4 things everyone wants, so the more of them the better. could always negotiate what they put out, but how are you supposed to know what 100+ people want! In all honesty I wanted to keep the overall costs at around £4,000. Does that sound possible?


I mean all it would take is for £10 a head or something to be taken off in total and I'm not too bothered where it's from. £3 here, £2 there, it'll all add up - but I'm unsure as to whether they'd want to negotiate on so many areas....


If I aimed for something like:


£12 / £32 / £12


£15 / £35 / £15

(£9 for full guests, £3 for night guests)


that changes the full £4,950 total to £4,230


Presently £65 a head just seems like way too much, especially when we have so many people who are going to be there.... and that's without the bar bill *slaps head*



Do I say this is what I want.... x y z - let them cost it up, and then say "I want x amount taken off it and you've got a deal" ? Really really don't know what I'm doing - I don't want to mess them around or suddenly find myself venue-less because I've blown it, you know?



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Don't feel bad about asking for certain specials or discounts. Always try to negotiate good deals. The wedding I was planning was going to end up costing us around $4000 which isn't bad at all considering all I was doing. I chose to do alot myself (Decorations, etc) and that was going to save me alot of money.


When negotiating the deals just say to them "What is the best deal you can give me" if they give you a price and you want to try and go lower you can try and talk them down. If they don't budge with their deals then it is what it is but alot of people are great about working with you on pricing.

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Has this budget included cake, flowers, etc?


You're doing both a wedding breakfast and a wedding buffet for an evening reception?


Why not cut out the wedding breakfast; just have the ceremony in the afternoon, and the reception in the evening?


have the ceremony earlier, and the reception in the afternoon (lunch is less costly).


In any case, you will definitely need to be careful with budgeting the bar.


The bar can be a cash bar OR an open bar.

If you're going to go an open bar, it can get quite expensive.

Cash bars seem a bit gauche, but less so if the bar's already there permanently in the reception venue,

and is available as an option, in conjunction with other things having been provided by the wedding party.


So, for example, serve only wine, and/or one type of special drink.

Make sure you have plenty of whatever you are serving.

If anyone cares to imbibe something that is not on your menu during the party, then they can make that choice.

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To be honest, a lot of places charge £65 per head without the evening buffet.


At my wedding, £55 per head included an arrival drink and the wedding breakfast, I think £35 per head is pretty good.


I catered for 75% of people in the evening, and still had loads left over, think about it, the day guests will only pick as they'll already have had a 3 course meal.


There's also no need to pick up the whole bar tab, maybe 1 complimentary evening drink per person.


And £15 per head for welcome drinks is a lot, how many drinks does each person get for that?

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i would maybe cut out the breakfast buffet. or make it simpler, by only offering coffee and bagels or muffins. don't spend more than you can afford, you don't want to start out your married life being in debt. i think just tell them that you are a young couple and want to cut some costs here and there and see what they suggest.

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i would maybe cut out the breakfast buffet. or make it simpler, by only offering coffee and bagels or muffins. don't spend more than you can afford, you don't want to start out your married life being in debt. i think just tell them that you are a young couple and want to cut some costs here and there and see what they suggest.


He he not sure a wedding breakfast is the same thing in the UK and the US. Here in the UK a wedding breakfast is a sit down 3 course meal after the ceremony, normally in the afternoon.


I never got why they called it a wedding BREAKFAST lol.

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Yeah, the guests that are invited to the wedding ceremony come to the wedding 'breakfast' afterwards, and then later on more guests arrive for the evening party, there is usually a disco with a bar and a buffet. So the food through the day is a 3 course meal for closer friends and family in the afternoon, and then a buffet as a form of dinner for everyone in the evening.

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i would definitely inquire into cheaper options for the 3 course breakfast menu. that sounds very expensive to me. ask what dishes they will serve and see if they can offer some cheaper (but still yummy options). ie, maybe a pasta dish instead of lobster, or whatever you were planning on having.


regarding the dinner, i think most catering places have had enough experience to know how much food to put out for a dinner. I think you should just tell them that you want to spend 4000, and ask where some corners can be cut. Like instead of one big wedding cake, have a small wedding cake for the wedding party, and then for everyone else, they can get some kind of dessert (which is usually yummier than cake anyways!)

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thanks for the ideas guys


i did suggest to the fiancee that we could get married in the afternoon and then just put on a hot buffet or something for everyone in the evening do. But apparently she really wants a sit down 3 course meal (wedding breakfast in the uk).


I'm ok with that, because it does sound nice and semiformal. But the cost is getting me a bit.


I think I will go in and say "we want to spend £4k, how can we accommodate the guests" and see what they say. If it gets to be a bit more than that I can take it from there, but at the end of the day they need to remember that we're giving them some really decent business and the fiancee needs to rmeember we're not made of money. They're a golf club / country mansion place - so on a normal day they wouldn't have all 32 of their rooms hired either which they will do with us (as my guests are travelling 100s/1000s of miles). So maybe that's something else I could negotiate on behalf of my guests?



The price includes btw:

3 course meal (chicken roast, soup and desert), 2 glasses of wine, 1 champagne for toast (juice/pop for kids), and a finger buffet for night (suasage rolls, sandwiches, crisps, pies, etc).


It seems epensive to me but then when you factor in the little things like service charges for their waiters etc, i guess it's not that bad a deal.



i'll let you know how it goes tomoro (i'll check again later if anyone has some bright ideas!) -- thanks all

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just an update....

I'm getting married September 4th 2010!


thanks for the advice all. i went in strong and before we even started talking about prices i told her that this is what i want XYZ and this is the price i'm looking for... £4,000 - and that we can work around that figure.


She costed everything up and it came to £5,400 (including room hires, DJ, civil ceremony, etc).


I said that was way too much and we needed to get it down to my region. We changed the drink packages and went for sparkling wine instead of champagne (she let us test some and it was actually nicer), negotiated with her manager + chef about what was possible food side and slightly changed the night buffet also slightly.


She got the total down to £4,480 and asked if I was happy with that.


I was gagging to say yes, but I ummed and erred a bit and reminded her about how we were taking all 32 rooms and that I know they'd never get that much business on a normal day - which she had admitted to us - I told her if she could get it down to £4,000 I'd give her a 10% deposit today and we'll go for it.


She had to go to her manager again and discuss, but in the end they agreed to it.



70 people, 3 course meal, 1 bucks fizz, 2 glasses of wine, 1 sparkling wine

and 110 night guests for a hot buffet - including exclusive use of the whole complex, DJ for the night and complimentary full english breakfast for the 32 room owners (instead of the continental rubbish) ... for £4,000.


I feel really comfortable with that!


So now I just have to start saving! haha

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