Post # 1
Please tell me what you would do!
My wedding in May 2009 and we have chosen a restaurant that we really want to have the reception at. We met with the owner twice now and it all sounds great. After our last meeting we approved the quote by email and asked "How do we proceed?" I then received an email from him with a Deposit Invoice saying this will lock in the space and the date and then we can work out the details and write up the contract. We have already verbally determined the basics, when, where, how, whats included, and have a menu and price quote for our menu and guest list.
Am I thinking too much into this and its just how it goes? Or is it weird that he is asking for the non-refundable deposit before we’ve signed a contract? Also what amounts have you paid in deposits? I.E. 50% of estimate, set amount…
Post # 3
We had to put a non-refundable deposit of $650 to reserve the date before any details were worked out. Compared to what I know other places charged, this is a very small deposit. Leaving a non-refundable deposit seems to be the norm. I left a 25% deposit for the photographer and 50% for my DJ.
Post # 4
We are April 2009 and were required to leave a $1500 deposit for reserving the date. I did refuse to give the deposit until I saw a write up of the contract and the necessary revisions were made.
If they are unwilling to hold the date on good faith knowing you are working out the contract details with them, ask them to agree to take the deposit as a refundable item, contingent upon a mutually agreeable contract. Tell them that once you agree to the contract you understand that the deposit is no longer refundable.
The contract part for the venue was possibly one of the most stressful things I’ve encountered with wedding planning.
Be prepared to look at the contract with a business mindset. It’s not easy to do because the occasion itself is riddled with emotion. But the contract is meant to protect you and your FH as much as it is to cover the venue. The person you initially meet with could leave the job in 6 months and all you had was their word, which no longer counts… get everything in writing, and don’t be afraid to ask for changes or deletions!! It may feel the other way, but they are the ones trying to get your business.
Post # 5
We have a non-refundable deposit of $500 for our venue. Generally I believe that the deposit reserves the venue – even without the contract. I suppose the advantage to that depends on the uncertainty on your part – for instance, in our contract was included a commitment to total food and beverage purchases, which determines whether you get the whole facility for your private use, or whether portions of the facility remain open for other parties. We were pretty sure about the size of our guest list though, and some quick math told me that we wouldn’t have any trouble eating and drinking that much, and signing the contract also locked in the menu prices, so we went ahead and signed. That deposit is probably on the low end – our facility (a country club) is kind of unique in that, since we are members, there is no facility fee – just the food and beverage commitment. Our deposit works out to less than 10% of what we will actually pay them
In contrast, our deposit reserve our photographer was also $500. Our "contract" with them is pretty simple – states price for services, deposit paid, date of services, and details the service provided and number of hours in less than a page (contrast with the venue contract, which goes on and on).
We haven’t actually written a deposit check for the band yet – they didn’t want it until after the end of the first quarter of the year (assuming that has something to do with taxes). Our "contract" with the band is just a detailed receipt, stating when the deposit is to be paid (they get shorter and shorter). Our deposit for them is also $500. (I guess I should call them this weekend and see about writing them a check.)
Post # 6
We actually had to pay the full cost of renting the reception site in order to book our date (and signed a contract), which I thought was insane. Then I asked around to my other friends who have recently been married and they said they had to do the same thing. I guess some of it depends on where you live and possibly how much the venue costs.
Post # 7
June 2009….paid $1500 to hold in August 2007 and locked in the rates for that year. See if they will do that for you It’s saved us a lot of $ through various vendors.I think it’s pretty standard to put down a non-refundable deposit, especially if you are booking your reception at a popular place.
Post # 8
I had to put a non-refundable $1000 deposit to hold the venue for my date. I did receive and sign a 1 page contract that basically states that the venue will hold my date and room. They later followed up with a more detailed contract.
Post # 9
I would not pay any money before I had a contract. Get it in writing!
Post # 10
We sent our contract to the restaurant along with a deposit equal to 50% of the estimated total. I think you should insist on getting everything in in writing (i.e. cancellation terms, when balances are due, food/drink cost, chair or A/V rentals, linens, date/times, buyout fee, etc.) before you send in your deposit.
Post # 11
It depends on the venuw, I know of people who put down a deposit and then the venue changed the prices and conditions on them. I wouldn’t do it unless the venue has a spotless reputation for weddings…. The contract doesn’t need to have all the details, but clear enough to know what you’re expecting….
Post # 12
I would definetly have the contract to read over and sign before giving a deposit. You have no idea what sort of fees they could add in to the contract, and you would be stuck paying for them because you already put down the deposit. They shouldn’t have a problem giving you an initial contract, and then working out everything else (menu, how many servers, etc. later) Good Luck!!