Post # 1
I’m very close to signing a contract with our reception venue. I was offered a 5% discount by paying the guaranteed headcount upfront, which amounts to roughly $1,200 — nice chunk of change that I can definitely put to good use elsewhere.
Question for the bees — is paying upfront to get a discount a good or bad idea? Am I not protecting myself from the worst case scenario (venue burns down, goes broke, etc)? Or am I being overly paranoid about the whole thing and I should just take the $1,200 and run?
Sidenote: the venue is popular and reputable and I don’t believe it will go out of business.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@urbanriceball: Your wedidng is over a year away and you don’t know your exact guest count. I would wait. 5% isn’t much savings.
Post # 4
- Wedding: December 2014 - Catal Restaurant
@urbanriceball: I wouldnt do it unless you have an “A & B guestlist”. Meaning if there are people on the first guest list that can not make it you have other people on a second list to invite.
Post # 5
I would lowball the guaranteed headcount. For example, we expect 150 guests, I would only guarantee 120 guests. I will be able to pay for the additional guests over 120 at the full price, but at least the get 5% discount on the majority of my guestlist.
Post # 6
BTW, thank you for the responses! — it’s my first post and I wasn’t sure if anyone would actually respond
Post # 7
@urbanriceball: If you are sure this is the right venue and sure of your guest count, I would do it but low-ball more. We invited 240 and had 161 RSVP yes and had 153 actually show up. That’s 64%. So I’d hedge even more at about 50%. So I’d give a guaranteed headcount of 75.
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island
Definitely wait!! They’re trying to trick you into paying more money, reputable or not. You pay a deposit now, and then a per person when you give the final head count. The contract may state that they can up the per person if your estimated number changes by more than 10%. But we saved money when 50% of people we invited declined. If we had taken a deal like that, we’d have spent thousands more than we had to. I wouldn’t do it.
Post # 9
@Christy42213: I pretty much agree.
There’s more than likely something in the contract that’ll screw you if things don’t go perfectly as planned….which, they won’t.
Post # 10
Well, my venue had a similar deal and we paid up front. Wtih little than two weeks to go we were right on with the headcount and saved enough money to splurge on other items like the centerpieces I really wanted. I would say go for it, but that is just becuase I’ve had such a good experience.
Post # 11
5% off is only about $60. How much is it per head? How many no-shows would you need to have to make it not worth that savings? How much is flexibility worth to you?
Post # 12
Will they pay you back the difference if there’s a lower headcount? Don’t do it unless they will do that.
ETA: Low ball it for sure! That way you save some money but don’t lose anything.
I’m in a simlar situation with a DJ. I can save $200 (off $1450) if I book in the next month for next year. Also reputable. Hmmmm.
Post # 13
@JenGirl: Good point. We estimate 220 invites, so 150 would put us at 68%. 120 is even more conservative at 55%. I will comb through our guest list and make note of who I definitely expect to show and who I think is iffy.
@Christy42213: Ooh, I didn’t think about that. I know our contract states that people above the 120 guarantee will be charged at $XXX pp, but I didn’t notice a clause that says they reserve the right to increase the per person price. I’ll definitley have to check for that.
@love108: I doubt they will pay me back the difference, but I do think the excess money can be applied to other costs. For example, we are doing an open bar for the first 4 hours (incl in the per person price), but then a consumption bar for the 5th hour. I’m going to make sure that any excess upfront payment can be applied to the addtional costs we will (undoubtedly) have at the end of the night. My main concern with paying upfront is that I will have no recourse if for some reason the vendor cannot perform (1+ years is a long time and anything can happen…)
@crayfish: $1,200 is the total 5% discount for 120 guests. Price per head is $200, sounds like a lot but it includes food, prem open bar, DJ, service charges and gratuity.
Post # 14
@urbanriceball: I looked at your numbers wrong! 55% is probably a good estimate to low ball, so 120 should work. Plus I know our guest list grew a bit from a year out, so 120 may turn out to be a little bit lower of a percentage.
Post # 15
@urbanriceball: How long have they been in business?