Post # 1
I can’t talk to any of my friends about this because many of them are still students/unemployed/work non-profit, low income jobs. This is a “learn from my mistake” post I guess.
We fell in love with a venue, the price wasn’t cheap but it wasn’t outrageous since it’s a National Park. We knew that they allowed only 7 catering companies in, but figured we could definitely find one out of those 7 to do our catering for us within our budget so we signed the contract, picked our date. Venue is set.
The catering companies are all the best in the area which means.. highest price. I have 3 bids, only one of which is within our budget – before taxes and with us providing alcohol, drinks and the cake.
My parents fell in love with one of the catering companies, they’ve agreed to cover the catering – but that company is $3,000 over budget and it’s just unbearable for me to agree to allow ANYONE to spend that sort of money on ONE DAY. They seem fine with it, they think “oh it’s just money” (my parents are financially well off) but to me it’s MONEY.
So. Before you settle into a contract, make sure you understand the impact your decision may have on ALL aspects of the wedding.
Oh dear lord just punch me in the face. No suggestions needed, just needed a place to vent.
Post # 3
Ugh I’m sorry about that. I hope that you can figure it out. Is there something else that you can cut back on to make up the difference? Since you are in a park, do you need a ton of flowers? Or cut back on favors/OOT stuff?
Post # 4
You are not alone.
I’m using Glen Echo too. Also having sticker shock with the rentals and catering budget. I thought I was finding a way to have a more “budget” wedding in DC since the site rental is less than most. Like you, my parents are ok with paying more. But I’m having a hard time with this, because I’m really frugal and work in nonprofit myself.
Having dreams of seeking out cheap unmatched vintage dishes at salvation army or the like to reduce that cost… but maybe that would end up more expensive, I don’t know. Anyway, maybe we can brainstorm some ways to share/split some of the decorations if we have similar ideas in mind?
Post # 5
If its called a wedding the prices are 100% more!
Just got a quote from my venue for cheese & crackers for 60 people…… $300!
The thing I love about this (well really hate) when i originaly requested info from them i got an auto PDF from the website. The cordinator didnt know it did that, the prices are from 2007 and the prices for EVERYTHING have been doubled or more then double.
I work in the food industry in the same area and did the invintory & ordering when I worked there FT I still check in our vendors and see how much stuff cost and i KNOW prices for food didnt go up that much!
Post # 6
Yeah I am actually pretty pissed off with my caterer. We sat to pick out the menu and when we were done I asked her how much it would be. She said she had to run the numbers, but probably $20 a head for dinner/apps. Awesome! I signed the contract to use her the next day since she was my mom’s favorite.
Then, two weeks ago, I get the quote and it is $47 dollars a head! WHAT?! She said that prices had gone up and that she didn’t include the service fee in the originial quote (18%, for a BUFFET!). My mom doesn’t care because her and the caterer are friends, but I am PISSED and now have to cut a bunch of food out to wrangle it back down to $20 a head. It looks like we will have two meats (chicken and steak), two sides, a salad, and “chips and dips” appetizers.
When she quoted us we had three meats, four sides, two salads, and shrimp cocktail apps. AND she said she provided dishes, but apparently they decided it cost them too much money so now I have to go rent dishes.
Post # 7
It’s worth asking the caterers what they can do with your budget—we had a set list as well, and I got quotes from all of them when we first booked our venue, and they were all through the roof. So then I spent two months looking for a new venue, and couldn’t find one that met all of our needs….back to the caterers, this time with budget in hand. And you know what? They worked with it. I just had to ask. Only one said no thanks, but the others all gave me new proposals. We’re not getting that much less than the first quotes gave us, and for far less money….so try pushing and see what happens.
And, FWIW, I LOVE Glen Echo (my mom is from Maryland and we spent many childhood summers in the DC area, and it remains one of my favorite places ever) so I absolutely think the venue’s worth it there! 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 8
Well, $20 a head is $10 a head less than my base price, and I still had to pay 20% service fee and tax on top of that. I did get more food – another salad and 3 bulter passed apps, though. Buffets are cheaper than plated dinners, but remember that there is a lot of setup and labor involved in transporting and making the food look pretty. I’m not saying they aren’t charging a ton…but just because it is buffet doesn’t mean labor is free. It’s a very standard charge. What I think IS really wrong is them giving you a quote, you signing a contract, and them not honoring the quote. Doesn’t it specify the cost of things and what is included in your contract? You should double check. If it doesn’t, well…I would make sure it does if you ever throw another big event. Your agreement and price is only as good as the paper it is written on.