Wedding planning with venues don’t start until 2-3 months before your wedding date
On average, every wedding venue would get 100-120 weddings a year (super popular ones can do up to 150 per year). That makes it 8-10 weddings a month on average. If your wedding is 1 year away, there is a very high chance that your coordinator will not pay you any attention because if they do that, they will have to entertain 120 couples for the entire year and that is very very exhausting. The industry standard is typically 2-3 mths where your wedding day is close enough for them to give you the 100% attention you need to plan the wedding. You don’t need 12 months for the food tasting, choosing of wedding favors, wedding decor themes, and table cloth colors. Focus on things that you need to do for example, your rings (if customised), your gown and suit (6 months), your facial (6 months), any DIY projects, pre-wedding shoot (4-6 mths), getting all your vendors (8-12 months).
Asking for discounts will rarely get you a discount
Remember when your parents tried to haggle at Sim Lim Square to get a good price for your new laptop or phone and you just wanted to die of embarrassment and walk away? Yes, that’s how they usually feel too. Asking for discounts straight up like “Can give cheaper?” makes the wedding coordinator feel awkward and pressured because most of the time, they are not the one who can make the final decision. It also makes for a pretty bad impression and you’ll likely not be able to get any future fun perks that you might have gotten if you hadn’t asked for a discount in the first place.
Pro-tip! You might get a better chance at securing a better deal at wedding fairs because the intention of giving discounts and perks is already there. This is the time where you can showcase your negotiation skills.
Don’t come too early
If you booked the place for 7pm-11pm and your coordinator tells you that you can enter 1 hour early, please do not be there before the timing that they gave you. It’s not because they don’t want to see your face. But most of the time, they are very very busy with doing the turnover and making sure the place is ready for your guests in time. Coming too early disrupts their flow and 99% of the time they will be pulled aside to do things like “can give me water?”, “can help me with this”. This makes them unable to fulfill their duties in time and is highly disruptive.
Your coordinator might change but that’s ok
The wedding industry is not an easy one to be in. We’re talking long hours, no weekends, and having to deal with bridezillas and groomzilla (sometimes the parents too). It’s a very high stress and sometimes emotionally draining job with extremely high turnover rates. On average, every venue will have to go through 4-5 cycles of employee turnover a year with the remaining survivors usually having to tank all the weddings that the last one left behind. So if you got your wedding coordinator changed before your wedding, don’t sweat. It’s very common and as long as the handover was done well, there’s nothing to worry about. Make sure you do your part as well and have all your discussions in black and white so that you can run it through with the new coordinator.
Apple to apple, orange to orange
Omitting your wedding favors and wedding invitation cards doesn’t mean you can change it to a free room stay. The value needs to be the same to do a 1-to-1 exchange. Wedding favors generally only cost the hotel $1.00/pc so if you have 200 guests, it’s only $200. For most hotels wedding invitation cards are not even provided. You actually need to pay for print and only things like the envelopes and paper are FOC. This makes it almost $0 in value, maybe $10 tops. Similarly for menu change, you cannot change chicken for scallops and you cannot change veggies to chicken. Everything has to be on the same level in terms of their value. For example, if you don’t like broccoli, you can consider requesting cauliflower or kailan. Or if you don’t like sea bass, you could try asking for grouper. As long as the value is the same, there will be a good chance they will be ok with the changes and customisations.