How to say ‘no’ to a wedding venue politely

How to politely decline a wedding venue

Unfortunately, you can only have one wedding venue, so no matter how much you love the other venues on your reception centre shortlist, you’re going to have to decline a venue or two and, frankly, it can be a daunting task.

After all, you’ve probably visited a number of venues and, presumably, been shown around them by their enthusiastic wedding co-ordinators with whom you’ve probably struck up a bit of rapport.

But, once you’ve settled on your final choice, you’re going to have to let those venues that didn’t make the cut know that you won’t be going with them. Or do you

Here are answers to some of your burning questions on declining wedding venues in the most polite and diplomatic manner possible:

Question: Do I need to let venues I’ve visited know that I won’t be using them

Answer: While it’s not obligatory to tell potential wedding venues that you aren’t going to use them for your wedding, it’s only polite to do so if they have invested time and effort in introducing you to their premises.

If a venue has merely sent you a brochure, you don’t need to contact them to let them know, but if a venue’s wedding co-ordinator has given you a guided tour and spent an hour chatting to you over coffee and cakes, however, you should extend them the courtesy of telling them of your decision as kindly as possible.

It’s not all bad news for the venue though. Letting them know you have decided against going with them gives them the chance to ask for your feedback and your reasons for going elsewhere and that will allow them to, perhaps, rectify any issues for future clients – or, even, rectify them in time for you to change your mind!

How to say no to a wedding-venue politelyQuestion: How do I turn down a wedding venue

Answer: The easiest and most tactful way to let a venue know you won’t be using them is to send a card or email thanking them for meeting with you. Just say that, regretfully, you have decided not to hire their venue for your big day or that you have made the difficult decision to use another venue.

You don’t have to offer a reason declining, but if you are happy to share them, include your reasons in the message or offer a phone number where you can be contacted if they’d like any feedback.

Some wedding venues have pre-prepared feedback questionnaires and will send you one in the post once they know you aren’t planning on using them for your wedding. If you have the time and don’t mind answering their questions, it may help them if you fill it in.
If you visit a wedding venue and you immediately realise that you won’t be going with it because, perhaps, it doesn’t fit one of your essential criteria, let the person escorting you know as soon as possible. That way you won’t waste any of their precious time – or yours!

Here’s some sample wording that you may want to use:

Dear [contact name],

Thank you so much for taking the time to show us around [insert venue name]. We really appreciate it, however, we’ve decided to go with another venue as we feel it better suits our wedding.
Thank you,
Your name and your fiance’s name

How to decline a wedding venue politely
Question: Do I need to apologise for turning down a venue

Answer: You can apologise if you wish to, but there’s no need to do so as you haven’t done anything wrong by choosing to go with another wedding venue.

A simple and polite message declining their service will suffice.

Remember, wedding suppliers are professionals and they will (usually) understand that you need to – or want to – go with another vendor. It’s all part of the business, but there’s never a need to be rude or mean about it and, where avoidable, don’t leave them hanging for an answer or give them the impression that you’ll likely go with them if you have no intention of doing so.

Question: Should I be honest about why I didn’t choose them

Answer: If you are offering feedback to one of the venues you have visited but will be declining, be honest, useful and constructive without being nasty.

That way, the venue can at least use it to improve their own marketing and services for future couples.

And don’t be embarrassed to let the venue know if cost was the main reason for your choice. You can only afford what you can afford and there’s no need to be shy about that!

Question: Should I tell them which wedding venue we have decided to go with

Answer: Again, you don’t have to share this information if you don’t wish to but it can be very useful for a wedding venue to know who its main competitors are and what they are doing to make themselves more attractive to engaged couples.

Of course, a venue may be unhappy if you have gone with a bitter rival but they are unlikely to get upset with you about it. Frankly, it’s absolutely your decision which venue you decide to go with on your wedding day!

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