The wedding venue expense is indeed a sizeable chunk of your wedding budget. And it is also true that negotiating a better deal with the banquet hall is key to staying within budget. However, couples are often reluctant or ignorant of how to successfully negotiate with a venue. Worry not! By following our below tips will you will be ready to negotiate like a pro and get a better value for money for the banquet halls in Hyderabad.
When it comes to weddings, you will have a long list of things to take care of. However, some of them require early attention. So start by gathering some basic information that is vital for your banquet hall search and subsequent negotiations. This includes your wedding budget, event date, guest count and requirements for the banquet hall like being location specific etc. With the help of this information, you can shortlist a few venues that befit the criteria. Being ready gives an impression of genuine interest. In return, the banquet hall will also be keen to follow up and close the deal, rather than keeping you in their list of enquires.
The ideal time to approach a banquet hall is 6-8 months before the wedding. Most bookings usually start four-five months in advance. Early booking will ensure you get the desired venue on the desired date even during the peak season. Also, it gives room for negotiation.
Play With The Supply Vs. Demand Equation
In a real world, supply and demand determine the price of a product or service in the market. In this situation, on the supply side, we have all types of wedding venues available in the market. When the demand for a venue(s) is high (for whatever reason), they are less likely to negotiate. It is like a “take it” or “leave it” situation. Hence, you may want to work around the demand-supply gap to be on the winning side. Some of the ways of doing it are:
Avoid Peak Demand Times
Some banquet halls may simply have a higher demand than the others because of various reasons like location, food and service quality etc. Similarly, on muhurtham/auspicious wedding dates, the demand for banquet halls will be high. Likewise, certain times of the year like vacation periods (April-May), months with pleasant climate (September-November) are popular for scheduling weddings in India. Also, weekends are usually more busy for banquet halls as it is preferred over weekdays. Usually, the venues will charge a premium for a high-demand period and will not be very open to negotiations.
Discuss with the venue and see if you can get better rates by working around their peak demand seasons and times. If the wedding is scheduled during the off-peak season of July-August, you can easily expect to get at least a 20% cut on the price. Similarly, if you are getting married on a high-demand date, you can consider holding the reception a day or two after on a date when the banquet hall does not have bookings. Idea is to be flexible if that means saving a few thousand.
Have 2-3 Date Options
The banquet hall will definitely want to fill-up for as many dates as possible. Check for a few dates around your desired date to see if they are getting blocked for that period of time. If they are not, they will be open for negotiation. By being flexible about the date, there are chances you will get a discount for the dates the venue wants to fill.
Book The Banquet Hall For Multiple Events
This means you have to prove your value to the venue. Wedding means you have several pre and post wedding functions. Identify a banquet hall that is suitable for different functions like engagement, wedding ceremony and reception. For example, a banquet hall which has a compact space for hosting an intimate engagement as well as a ballroom for a grand reception. By booking the venue for multiple upcoming events, you are providing them with more revenue. Hence, they will be willing to work out a favourable agreement for you if you are successful in proving your value to them. So be upfront and inquire what perks you can get for multiple bookings.
Get Quotes From Other Banquet Halls
Even if you have made up your mind about the venue, get quotes from other banquet halls in Hyderabad who are at par with the one you like. This way you can compare costs and the offerings. Being aware of the market trends and prices puts you in a better position while striking the deal with your preferred venue.
Leverage Upon Guest Room Bookings
Did you know that room bookings are the most profitable revenue source for hotels? Research suggests that for an average hotel, approximately 60% of revenue comes from room bookings. If you are planning to book guest rooms, try doing it in the same hotel (provided it is not too pricey). If you can assure them hotel a decent number of room bookings, they will probably not mind working on the banquet price for you.
Rely On More Than One Source For The Quote
If you like a particular banquet hall, spread a word in your family or friend circle. Try to leverage upon a reference or a contact within the venue. You will at least know if there is a scope for a discount.
Book Through An Expert
With over 4 years of wedding planning experience, BigFday has helped over 2000 couples to find their perfect wedding venue. We work with over 500 venues, so you will definitely find a match with us. By booking through us you can expect up to 45% discount on the price. As we do regular business these banquet halls, we are able to demand a better price. You can either visit our website to sift through the different properties, prices, menu etc or enquire with us HERE. Additionally, if you are looking for other vendors like photographers, decorators etc, we can help you find the one according to your requirements. Hence, from choosing the right venue to picking your makeup artist, you can plan everything under one roof. You save money and get to enjoy hassle-free planning. And we don’t charge you a dime for availing our planning services!
Be Realistic About Your Guest Count
Guaranteeing a minimum headcount means locking yourself to pay for that number irrespective for that number. For example, if the hotel charges Rs. 1000/per person and you assure 200 guests, you have to pay Rs. 2,00,000 irrespective of the turnout. So if only 180 guests turn up for your wedding, you will still have to pay the extra Rs. 20,000 for those 20 absent guests. Unfair? But that’s the industry norm. Hence, do not estimate high when it comes to your guest count. Do a maximum and minimum headcount and arrive at a number in-between. Simply put give a slightly lower number than you actually expect to avoid to be penalized if you don’t meet your minimum count.
Be Realistic About Your “Ask Price”
Make sure that your price proposal is reasonable and based on market research. If you set realistic goals, there is a good chance that the venue considers your proposal. Enquire about the prices from different sources and also for other banquet halls in Hyderabad. Based on this data, ask for a discount that is within the market range. Set a price range (example Rs. 800-Rs.1000) according to your budget. While negotiating even if you start with a lower price, be open to settling in-between. Showing genuine interest in the property and giving your best quote may make them more keen to work with you even if that means lowering their price a bit.
Beware Of The Hidden Costs
Some properties may be available at a great base price. But before you jump to book it, consider other tangible and intangible costs. For example, some banquet halls in Hyderabad do not allow vendors of your choice. You have to choose from their list of approved vendors. And usually, the in-house vendor prices are comparatively higher than the market rates. Similarly, a good price but not easily accessible banquet hall is not necessarily a good deal. Hence, it is important to weigh all the cost factors for hiring a particular venue.
Look Beyond The Nett Price
If the banquet hall price is non-negotiable, negotiate the price of add-ons instead. Even if you are able to convince them to use your vendors, you can save some money. Or the venue could rather negotiate with their approved vendor to lower the price. Similarly, you can negotiate to add more items to the menu for the same price.
Time Your Booking Strategically
Banquet managers too have their sales targets and they may be more vulnerable on certain times of the month/quarter. For example, towards the end of the month/quarter, they may be more keen to close the deal and meet their target and hence, more open to offering a discount.
Banquet hall prices are usually set high based on the assumption that clients will negotiate. If you don’t ask for a discount, you don’t get one. So the worst that can happen is that they will decline your proposal! Instead of just revolving your interactions with the banquet hall manager around the price, build a rapport that will want them to offer their best to work with you.
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Also published on Medium.