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The insider track on how to negotiate with a venue and save pounds

Despite the current economic climate, couples haven’t been put off wanting to celebrate their weddings in style even though they are under increasing pressure to get more for less.

In times when sticking to the budget is a must, there has never been a better time to negotiate with your wedding venue, but knowing how to go about it is often tricky to get right.

That’s why for this month’s guest blog we get insider tips from Sarah Sowerby, Regional Business Development Manager at Lime Venue Portfolio (the UK’s biggest collection of historic, unique and sporting venues) on how to get the best value out of a venue.

Her top tips are:

1. Underestimate

Always reduce guest numbers by 10% – otherwise you’ll be contracted to the maximum number, whether they attend or not. You can always add a few more names closer to the date. Also allow for a 25-30% drop out from your “ideal” list – holidays, illness etc

2. Last minute

Be aware that when you confirm your booking – the shorter the time to the big day the more you can negotiate as the venue will find it harder to sell the space before the date. But don’t leave it too late though or you will be on the back foot. 3 months is a good benchmark if you can hold your nerve.

3. Put it in writing

If you really have your heart set on a venue but others are holding the same date simply offer the venue an ultimatum offer to sign the contract and pay the deposit there and then. Most venues will still out of courtesy want to contact the other couple, but at least you have made it clear that you are serious.

4. Take advantage

Make full use of the venues staff and their expertise, as well as their preferred suppliers – the relationships between venue and supplier coupled with the venues buying power could save you money.

5. New kid on the block

Opt for a well established venue, in the current economic climate the newest venue in town might not stand the test of time and you will be liable to lose your deposit if a venue goes into administration.

6. Don’t skimp on your venue

The venue you pick will play a central role in your wedding day. From the general ambience and photograph opportunities it provides, to the quality of service you received, your venue choice is essential. Make sure you carefully consider the costs versus the benefits.

7. Consider the Food

Whether you opt for a catering package or bespoke menu, the food you receive will live long in the memory of you and your guests. Whilst it is important to make sure you are getting value for money, make sure that quality of the food and drink isn’t compromised.

8. Think small

Smaller venues are often more exclusive and more intimate. They can also be cheaper making it easier for you to reduce down your guest list and a good way of ensuring you have your most important family and friends around you.

Sarah Sowerby, Lime Venue Portfolio.

www.limevenueportfolio.com

We hope you found the this blog entry useful, we look forward to receiving your comments and remember for all your wedding planning needs at home and abroad head to www.pierrecarr.com.

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