Unusual venue negociation
Hello brides and brides-to-be,
I'm hoping for a bit of advice and wondering if anyone has encountered a similar situation to me....
We have just got engaged and are planning on getting married in July/August 2014. My other half and I want a very relaxed country garden type wedding and have been looking at private residence rentals where you can exclusively hire a cottage or farmhouse for a whole weekend to do with as you please.
I have fallen absolutely head over heels for one in Surrey but they have two very different hire fees - the 'weekend hire rate' which is £3,500...and the 'wedding weekend hire rate' which is £10,500! The 'wedding' price is far too much for us when essentially you still have to do everything else yourself (catering, booze, ceremony, decoration, etc) as it's more or less a blank canvas. The only difference they seem to offer with the wedding package is one extra night (3 instead of 2), covering over the pool so you can use that room as a reception room, tables and chairs, uplighting the grounds, someone to staff a bar and porta-loos. I am struggling to see how these few things (which I either don't need or could bring in myself) can equate to £7,000 more!
I am hoping that some of you might be able to offer some advice on how best to approach negociations with this venue. We are hoping to visit the venue this week and would like to have my haggling tactics planned out before then so I'm ready to make decisions on the spot (I have already seen venues I liked that are booked for next year so I'm keen to move fast). As it's not a regular wedding venue and more of a holiday rental, I'm not sure whether to approach them as a bride straight off the bat? Should I find out why the wedding price is so much more before I go to visit? Or should I see it first and then find out if there is room for negotiation?
Thank you in advance for any help and advice you can offer. I really want to be able to play this right! I'd be gutted to miss out on it.
PS. I haven't yet heard back from the venue yet to find out if it is available, so there is a chance she comes back tomorrow with a 'sorry, fully booked'