Sure, you basically determine the ballpark cost of your wedding at the moment you pick the venue. But there are a few seemingly small things you can do to help lower the price, big time. Here, our four tips for how you can negotiate the rates on the exact, amazing wedding at the dream resort of your choice — for less money:
Ask about cancellations.
If a resort has a cancellation of another wedding or even a different kind of event that they were holding space for, and the date is looming, they may be willing to negotiate a lower rate based on the short lead time. (After all, you don't really need a year to plan your event.) This may be a good choice, especially for couples having a small wedding or those whose guests aren't too far away from the destination of choice.
Request a list of what they can give you — for free.
This is an interesting idea. Some resorts, particularly those that do a lot of major corporate event business, may have some things just sitting around that they wouldn't have thought to offer you as an add-on. These include stuff like chocolate fondue fountains, or even white fairy lights that could even be in storage from the holidays. We've even heard of hotels moving an ice sculpture they made for the property's weekly Sunday brunch up to a couple's Sunday night affair, at no extra cost.
Let the resort know you're open to hard-to-book dates.
Some holidays are hard for properties to book for big events — such as the weekend after Thanksgiving, or Mother's Day. Ask your particular hotel what holidays are their Achilles heal, and what kind of deal they can give you if you book then.
Inquire about what else is going on the week of your event.
If you find out that your resort has, say, a corporate meeting the day before yours, your follow questions should be about their menus, linens, and other amenities. If you like — or can live with! — the dishes that the other event is serving or the linens that they are ordering, the resort may be willing to negotiate as much as a 20 percent discount on your event since it makes their business so much easier.