Post # 1
Hi I need advice. I booked my venue on pure emotion after falling in love with the grounds. Long story short I never read the fine print and now I feel like I’m being taken for a ride. The venue booking was $3500 which only includes the space. Can anyone tell me if this price breakdown looks crazy? I mean they can’t even throw in the water for the guest pre ceremony? or the chairs? Is this normal? My planner is not at all willing to work on the pricing!? Please review and post advice.
OPEN BAR SERVICE
To Include Ice, Coke, Diet Coke, Ginger Ale, Sprite, Perrier, Tonic Water And Club Soda and Juice
Client To Provide Alcohol
$106.75 Per Person (Beef or Chicken)
$102.75 Per Vegetarian Meal (Stuffed Mushroom)
$53.35 per Children’s meal (chicken fingers)
$12.00 per Professional Meal, band,staff,photograhers
Price Includes Menu As Described, China, Silverware, Glassware, Standard Linens, Serving equipment, Waitstaff, Bartenders, Chefs
Extra Charges not included in the per person
Second Bar/Open for Dinner $250.00
(4) Cocktail Tables $10 each
(1) Summer Fireplace $35 each
Library Votive Package $35
Dee Jay Table $10
White Wood Ceremony Chairs (125)$3.00 each
added hour $375.00
bottled water and soda for guest before ceremony $125
gratuity and taxes 18% minimum
Post # 3
That sounds crazy!
I guess it depends on your budget. Reception total, including food and drink, should = about 50% of budget.
We are also having 125 guests. Seving a 4 course, sit down dinner with chicken for $17pp. This includes all place settings etc.
Hope this is helpful!
Post # 4
I think it all depends on what you’re getting for the money. If the food if excellent, then I don’t think $100 per plate is too much. If the venue is gorgeous and in high demand, I can see why it would cost $3500.
I’m not sure how much bargaining you can do since you’ve already booked the venue, but you could get quotes from other venues and use that as a bargaining tool.
Post # 5
It also depends on where you live/are located. It sounds about right for this area (Philadelphia), and I’d love it if we had as many inclusions as you do. Our venue is $5000. and only includes the space, tables and chairs. We have to rent/buy everything else (china,flatware,glassware,serving pieces,catering supplies,linens,centerpieces) and the caterer is doing the food,providing waitstaff & bartenders.
Post # 6
Unfortunately I don’t think there is a lot you can do if you already signed the contract (unless you decide to back out of the contract and look elsewhere). The prices really depends on a number of factors – the region, the popularity of that particular venue, the quality of food/service, etc.
Although it’s too late for this vendor, I would highly recommend that you read the whole contract and if there is information missing (ex. it doesn’t talk about the price of dinner or something about the DJ/band etc.) you have that provided in writing before signing the contract.
Post # 7
That does look really expensive! But, if you sent the deposit, you’re locked in. The only thing I would try to do now, is lessen the number of guest being invited. If that’s possible. I’m sure it will be amazing regardless, its just the price that might hurt a bit!
Post # 8
That sounds relatively reasonable to me, then again it does depend on exactly where your venue is and the quality of food you are talking about. I guess $106 for beef or chicken is a little steep, but if it’s an awesome well known restaurant/caterer it may be worth it.
It’s a huge deal that you are able to bring in your own alcohol. A lot of places do not allow that, and that will help you save some money.
The venue price sounds ballpark from other places I’ve seen in Philadelphia. I chose a place that did not have a venue price though. To give you an idea of what I’m paying, we are being charged $125 a person, which includes a 3 course meal, open bar, hors doeuvres and a cake. However, this price includes the taxes and gratuity, which can definitely add up.
So I do think your venue prices are on the higher end of reception prices in Philadelphia, so it’s really hard to say if it’s unreasonable without having a better idea of where/what you are talking about. If you are really concerned I would look at other places that are similar and see what they are charging, and if there is a huge difference, try to talk it over with your venue. You really should have known about all these prices before you booked with them. Did they explain it all to you?
Post # 9
I think your pricing sounds only a little above average, honestly-especially if its a downtown location or a popular garden/nonprofit site. The little extras like water, chairs, candles, etc… usually are an additional charge-at least with the venues/caterers I looked at.
It wouldn’t hurt to try & bargain, but unfortunately, the venue has the upper hand now since you already signed the contract.
Post # 10
honestly, depending on where you’re at, how beautiful, how good the food, popularity of the venue, it sounds about right!
our venue wasn’t as expensive… but there were def others in the area that were comparable to your venue.
our venue didn’t charge a rental fee, but had a required minimum of $16,500 spent on food/alcohol… although with 200+ guests, that wasn’t going to be hard for us to meet.
we’re trying to cater our menu (also served by our venue) to be around $60/pp so that we don’t go way over the minimum spend amount. it includes all upgraded linens, premium bar for 5 hours, valet parking, champagne toast for all guests, and a free doc.
Post # 11
- Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden
That seems pretty on par for Philly, maybe a bit on the expensive side, but not too much.
For reference, for our Philly wedding, we are paying the following:
$3000 for reception site (includes nothing but the site itself)
$80pp for catering which includes:
- all food (including cocktail hour but not including dessert)
- tables and chairs (including moving the chairs from the ceremony area to the reception)
- linens, dinnerware, flatware, glassware
- non-alcoholic beverages
- all staff
Our food is going to be buffet stations, and vendor meals are included for free. We have to provide alcohol ourselves
So with the venue fee included, it’s about $115 per person.
Post # 12
Honestly for Philadelphia, it seems that if you want a formal sit down dinner, your looking anywhere from $130-$150 pp including space rental. Our space rental that we are hoping to get is $6800 for the space alone and everything is a la carte. I guess you have to really look at your budget and see what you can squeeze in. Our ceremony chairs will be additional as well so since your already locked in, it sounds like you might have to make it work. Sending good wishes your way that it works out….
Post # 13
@danadelphia….. who is your caterer?? That is really good pricing….
Post # 14
I forgot to mention that the price I listed is for a Friday evening wedding. If we had done a Saturday wedding, it would have been significantly more expensive. If what you listed is for a Saturday wedding then I think those are pretty common prices for a wedding in the city.
Post # 15
We are having a Saturday wedding at an expensive hotel, so our pricing doesn’t include any kind of fee for the ballroom or linen rental or anything, it’s just mad expensive per person and no inexpensive menu options. So at the end of the day after tax, service, etc. it’s going to be close to $400/person. This is also including the next day brunch.
Post # 16
Thank you for all the response! It’s so helpful!