How to Negotiate for Wedding Banquet (Hotel)

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I have been searching high and low for months regarding wedding venue and bridal packages offered by hotel and restaurants. Thought I'd like to share with you my experience and knowledge as I didn't want my months of research to go to waste. More importantly, this is to give us brides the CONSUMER POWER as the unjustifiable escalating cost of wedding dinner is going up astronomically every year. So let's band together, share ideas and nego nego nego for lower rates and more perks! Feel free to add in your comments so that all brides will know our rights. Cheers girls!

Restaurant vs Hotel

Basically, restaurants will have less chargeable items compared to hotels. Eg: free corkage, free emcee, free use of lcd, projector, wedding cards, refund for unopened tables or they allow you to return for the meals. So if you have can find a good restaurant and have enough tables to occupy the whole place, you might want to consider doing it in restaurants as there is less cost issues. Hotels have many range, and depending on your budget, some may throw in alot of freebies but you've already "paid" for it in the high cost per table. Generally, alot of things are chargeable for hotels.

Dealing with Sales Person

I have met many types of sales person via phone calls and face-to-face. It's true that you pay peanuts you get monkey's work. Some mid to lower range hotels I have contacted have really bad PR and some of them show us the black face when we try to nego for more items. Truly unprofessional.

When you deal with the sales person, try to see if they are warm, pleasant and accomodating. If they are cool or rude to begin with, either change sales person or you can be sure to have some stress esp when it comes to negotiating and other follow-ups. The trick is to show that you are interested but NOT DESPERATE. Do your homework and let them know if they do not provide you with those perks and benefits, others will and you will not hesitate to take the business elsewhere. Quote a few hotel's rate and what they are willing to offer. The truth is, those sales person can loosen up and throw you some discounts and perks but the matter is whether ARE YOU THE ONE they are giving it to? The policy with them is Don't Ask, Don't Get. Never ever sign the deal on first negotiation and meeting. Go for round 2, round 3 negotiation and don't be surprised that they can offer you more perks. So go in with a clear rational mind, and don't get caught up by emotions coz they are trained to capitalise on people's feelings and emotions. Always up your bargaining power because as we all know, there are lots of other things that cost $$$ for the wedding.

What to Negotiate & Check

Depending on your repo with the sales person, you may get some good perks and extra freebies here and there. Some may not cost much, but if it makes you happy, why not?

- Corkage Fee - This is usually a big cost for weddings if you don't nego. Hotels generally offer corkage waiver of 1 bottle of wine or hard liquor per table only but this is not enough. Try to negotiate for free waiver for unlimited bottles of wine or liquor (best deal - and some hotels do offer this, so ASK!). Else, try to nego for buying beer from them and waive all corkage charge. Or go beer free and pay an upfront sum (set a rate) for unlimited corkage for wine and liquor. Beer is always chargeable, so for this, there's no escape except to nego for lower rates. Again, check the market rate so you can quote and nego. During the dinner, remember to ask the hotel staff to serve alcohol upon request or during toasting. Besides the corkage charge reason, you won't want your guests to be drunk so fast. Assign someone from your side to keep tabs of the number of bottles open and used to avoid dispute later.

-Pre-cocktail - Nego for this and ask for sandiwches, cookies, etc to be served. Some hotels give on complimentary.

- Ballroom Charges - If you have less than a number of tables, they may charge you a certain usage fee. Ask for waiver or change location. Some ballroom charges also apply for usage after 11pm or midnight. Be sure to nego to lower the rates just incase, or ask for waiver/ leniency/ flexibility in applying this terms. If your extra timing is reasonable, they will usually allow it coz they don't want to appear too calculative too.

- Free usage of Projector, Screen, PA System, Mic (at least 2), Rostrum

- Free wedding cards

- Free guest book

- Free ice sculpture

- Free smoke machine (if you like it)

- Free wedding favors (some give chopsticks, etc)

- Free bridal room for stay & special room set-up (fresh flowers, fruit basket, chocolate pralines, sparkling juice) with breakfast the next morning

- Free day use of room for changing & make-up etc (better yet, nego for free room overnight)

- Free room/ area for tea ceremony (for guests who missed your tea ceremony)

- Free anniversary stay for wedding couple

- Free anniversary meal for wedding couple (try to nego for this, if they don't give free anniversary stay)

- Free food tasting for 10 pax (remember to give feedback, or change the fish, etc, if you don't like it)

- Free flow of soft drinks, chinese tea

- Check on banquet layout (table setting arrangement)

- Check on stage size & deco

- Check on backdrop, fairy lights, scallop ceilings, names of bride & groom

- Check on bridal arch, flower stands, and if any fresh flowers is provided for reception table, main table, all guest tables

- Check for chair covers with ribbons & their colour theme

- Check on red carpet for march in, L shape or straight

- Check how many waiters per table

- Check sound system and lighting controls (for march-in & band too)

- Check how many tiers of glass for toasting, how many tiers for wedding cake, they usually give free sparkling juice for toasting

- Check on bridal car parking & ask for 2 more parking space for groom & bride's parents

- Check on flat rate parking validation for guests

- Check on first course food presentation

- Check on special rates for room booking for outstation guests

- Check who will be incharged on that day

- Check on payment terms (usually full payment before the dinner)

- Check on deposit (check if refundable or transferable)

- Check for any miscelleanous or hidden cost (always read the fine print besides asking further)

Lastly, please make sure all of this is stated black & white in your contract before you sign and pay the deposit. This is to ensure that they honour their words and if the sales person changes, you will still be entitled to the same privilege as discussed. Hope this helps all bride-to-be and let us unite to help one another. Cheers to all brides and happy planning!

I have also written another write-up on Bridal Studios to help us brides: http://www.malaysiab...bridal-package/

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Posted · Report post

I wish our Malaysia Wedding & Brides Forum have the "Like" button like Facebook so that I can just press the button for this post.

Very informative as that was the same question I asked and was struggling to think of the questions to ask during my food tasting section.

TQ!!!

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Posted · Report post

I wish our Malaysia Wedding & Brides Forum have the "Like" button like Facebook so that I can just press the button for this post.

Very informative as that was the same question I asked and was struggling to think of the questions to ask during my food tasting section.

TQ!!!

Indeed!

Facebook like button +1.

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Posted · Report post

That's very informative, i even copy down to take note on what should i ask for my wedding venue hunting :rolleyes:

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I have been searching high and low for months regarding wedding venue and bridal packages offered by hotel and restaurants. Thought I'd like to share with you my experience and knowledge as I didn't want my months of research to go to waste. More importantly, this is to give us brides the CONSUMER POWER as the unjustifiable escalating cost of wedding dinner is going up astronomically every year. So let's band together, share ideas and nego nego nego for lower rates and more perks! Feel free to add in your comments so that all brides will know our rights. Cheers girls!

Restaurant vs Hotel

Basically, restaurants will have less chargeable items compared to hotels. Eg: free corkage, free emcee, free use of lcd, projector, wedding cards, refund for unopened tables or they allow you to return for the meals. So if you have can find a good restaurant and have enough tables to occupy the whole place, you might want to consider doing it in restaurants as there is less cost issues. Hotels have many range, and depending on your budget, some may throw in alot of freebies but you've already "paid" for it in the high cost per table. Generally, alot of things are chargeable for hotels.

Dealing with Sales Person

I have met many types of sales person via phone calls and face-to-face. It's true that you pay peanuts you get monkey's work. Some mid to lower range hotels I have contacted have really bad PR and some of them show us the black face when we try to nego for more items. Truly unprofessional.

When you deal with the sales person, try to see if they are warm, pleasant and accomodating. If they are cool or rude to begin with, either change sales person or you can be sure to have some stress esp when it comes to negotiating and other follow-ups. The trick is to show that you are interested but NOT DESPERATE. Do your homework and let them know if they do not provide you with those perks and benefits, others will and you will not hesitate to take the business elsewhere. Quote a few hotel's rate and what they are willing to offer. The truth is, those sales person can loosen up and throw you some discounts and perks but the matter is whether ARE YOU THE ONE they are giving it to? The policy with them is Don't Ask, Don't Get. Never ever sign the deal on first negotiation and meeting. Go for round 2, round 3 negotiation and don't be surprised that they can offer you more perks. So go in with a clear rational mind, and don't get caught up by emotions coz they are trained to capitalise on people's feelings and emotions. Always up your bargaining power because as we all know, there are lots of other things that cost $$$ for the wedding.

What to Negotiate & Check

Depending on your repo with the sales person, you may get some good perks and extra freebies here and there. Some may not cost much, but if it makes you happy, why not?

- Corkage Fee - This is usually a big cost for weddings if you don't nego. Hotels generally offer corkage waiver of 1 bottle of wine or hard liquor per table only but this is not enough. Try to negotiate for free waiver for unlimited bottles of wine or liquor (best deal - and some hotels do offer this, so ASK!). Else, try to nego for buying beer from them and waive all corkage charge. Or go beer free and pay an upfront sum (set a rate) for unlimited corkage for wine and liquor. Beer is always chargeable, so for this, there's no escape except to nego for lower rates. Again, check the market rate so you can quote and nego. During the dinner, remember to ask the hotel staff to serve alcohol upon request or during toasting. Besides the corkage charge reason, you won't want your guests to be drunk so fast. Assign someone from your side to keep tabs of the number of bottles open and used to avoid dispute later.

-Pre-cocktail - Nego for this and ask for sandiwches, cookies, etc to be served. Some hotels give on complimentary.

- Ballroom Charges - If you have less than a number of tables, they may charge you a certain usage fee. Ask for waiver or change location. Some ballroom charges also apply for usage after 11pm or midnight. Be sure to nego to lower the rates just incase, or ask for waiver/ leniency/ flexibility in applying this terms. If your extra timing is reasonable, they will usually allow it coz they don't want to appear too calculative too.

- Free usage of Projector, Screen, PA System, Mic (at least 2), Rostrum

- Free wedding cards

- Free guest book

- Free ice sculpture

- Free smoke machine (if you like it)

- Free wedding favors (some give chopsticks, etc)

- Free bridal room for stay & special room set-up (fresh flowers, fruit basket, chocolate pralines, sparkling juice) with breakfast the next morning

- Free day use of room for changing & make-up etc (better yet, nego for free room overnight)

- Free room/ area for tea ceremony (for guests who missed your tea ceremony)

- Free anniversary stay for wedding couple

- Free anniversary meal for wedding couple (try to nego for this, if they don't give free anniversary stay)

- Free food tasting for 10 pax (remember to give feedback, or change the fish, etc, if you don't like it)

- Free flow of soft drinks, chinese tea

- Check on banquet layout (table setting arrangement)

- Check on stage size & deco

- Check on backdrop, fairy lights, scallop ceilings, names of bride & groom

- Check on bridal arch, flower stands, and if any fresh flowers is provided for reception table, main table, all guest tables

- Check for chair covers with ribbons & their colour theme

- Check on red carpet for march in, L shape or straight

- Check how many waiters per table

- Check sound system and lighting controls (for march-in & band too)

- Check how many tiers of glass for toasting, how many tiers for wedding cake, they usually give free sparkling juice for toasting

- Check on bridal car parking & ask for 2 more parking space for groom & bride's parents

- Check on flat rate parking validation for guests

- Check on first course food presentation

- Check on special rates for room booking for outstation guests

- Check who will be incharged on that day

- Check on payment terms (usually full payment before the dinner)

- Check on deposit (check if refundable or transferable)

- Check for any miscelleanous or hidden cost (always read the fine print besides asking further)

Lastly, please make sure all of this is stated black & white in your contract before you sign and pay the deposit. This is to ensure that they honour their words and if the sales person changes, you will still be entitled to the same privilege as discussed. Hope this helps all bride-to-be and let us unite to help one another. Cheers to all brides and happy planning! :wub:

thanks for the head ups, really helpfull!

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Posted · Report post

Thanks very informative...thanks..i guess i will just refer to this notes..:) hehe

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Posted · Report post

thanks for the guide sassy!! u r the best :lol::wub: :wub: :wub:

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You're most welcome. I will write another one with regards to Bridal Studio soon as I feel that this industry is kind of money-ripping in some ways. :p

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You're most welcome. I will write another one with regards to Bridal Studio soon as I feel that this industry is kind of money-ripping in some ways. :p

Sad to say that the market is still governed by demand and supplier. To most of the ppl, wedding is only once in a life time so they don't mind spending such "one time cost". Having said that, I still believe if we do proper research and talk to more ppl, we should be able to get deals that worth the money.

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Posted · Report post

Sassy...amazing write up! What are you, a professional Writer? :thumbsu:

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Hi Sassy,

i love your post so much. It is truly useful for us. I will print out this copy when i meet up with them for discussing/negotiating.

I'm waiting for your Bridal Studio post, please let me know once you uploaded so that i can have a look on it.

Btw, anyone host their wedding at Renaissance Hotel in recent year? How was the food and service, and mind to share who is the PIC? Besides, can we negotiate for better rate if we doesn't want the benefits of one night stay, High speed internet, preferred rate for friends and family and etc...

Thanks in advance!

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You're most welcome. I will write another one with regards to Bridal Studio soon as I feel that this industry is kind of money-ripping in some ways. :p

Yes, many of these places hire rude judgemental staff. You see dollar sign in their eyes.

Thanks so much for the time and effort to share valuable tips with us. I don't know why I cannot click on the green Like This button....not working ka?

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You're most welcome. I will write another one with regards to Bridal Studio soon as I feel that this industry is kind of money-ripping in some ways. :p

Yes, many of these places hire rude judgemental staff. You see dollar sign in their eyes.

Thanks so much for the time and effort to share valuable tips with us. I don't know why I cannot click on the green Like This button....not working ka?

Not only dollar sign...some show black face if you try to get a valuable deal. Btw, I have just finished writing on my experiences with regards to Bridal Studio selection here: http://www.malaysiab...ge/#entry397284 . Just hope it can help all other bride-to-be and make things easier. :)

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very good informative, anyway i will test that method in hotel surf costa rica, but will that methods effective in hotel five star? how to get valuable deal. well, i hope it will effective more that i imagine !

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Very informative.

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