- 7 years ago
- Wedding: February 2011
So I have a tricky situation with my venue stemming from the fact that they are an all-in-one and do not do an automatic gratuity. I’ll try to be as concise as possible with the situation.
When I first looked at the venue, I gave them my budget and asked if they could work with us, they said yes. I then told them what we wanted and what we could pay, and the owner said that was no problem. I asked to get an estimate of the costs of EVERYTHING we would have to pay to make sure it was in budget, and made him write it out on our initial contract with prices for everything. Usually the way they do it is to just sign a contract for the space, and then you don’t get an estimate until you pick your food closer to the time of the wedding. We were never given a pricing guide for any of their food or services, just told they could work with us, and then we have the handwritten quote for all of the different components of the day on our initial contract.
At the time of the signing of the contract when I made the owner write everything out, he gave me prices for all the components, and also mentioned gratuity, saying that they did not add it in automatically. So I asked him to figure that in as well, and he wrote on the sheet an amount equal to 15% of the food and beverage costs. So this is the number I budgeted for.
Fast forward to now, we have a proposal/quote given to us by our venue. Basically they just went ahead and did it the official way in their system because all we had was the handwritten notes of the owner on our contract. The quote includes everything from ceremony fee, staffing fee, facility rental fee, rentals of linens, china, and glassware, to food, etc. They used all of the “standard” pricing for everything, then at the end just deducted a lump sum amount to match the price given to us by the owner and labeled it an offseason discount.
Then at the bottom they have a line about how they believe in leaving the gratuity up to the client, and for my convenience they have figured out what 15, 18, and 20% of the bill would be.
The problem is that these figures are based #1 on the pre-discounted amount and #2 on the total of EVERYTHING at the venue, not just the food/bev.
So my question is… I don’t want to be cheap and I understand that servers work for their tips… but why should I pay a tip on things like linen rental and ceremony fee and facility fee, and also why should I pay a tip on the full-price amounts which we were NEVER shown. I feel like we basically agreed with the owner to do 15% of the discounted food/bev total… and now I’m being made to feel cheap because they’re suggesting so much more. FYI, the total amount we planned to tip (based on the food/bev pre-discount) is about 10% if you figure it their way.
What would you do?