- 7 years ago
- Wedding: July 2010
Hi bees… I need some moral advice for the situation I find myself in.
We’re getting married on July 10, at my parent’s lake place in a small town in Northern Idaho. Not a very sophisticated place, but we aren’t sophisticated people, and we’re really excited for a very pared down wedding in a place that means a lot to us.
My original choice for a reception venue was the marina in town. Great space, seats 250, right on the water, everyone could fit inside if it rains. big dance floor, etc. I called in October, and due to the economy they were uncertain if they’d be open in 2010, and the owner didn’t feel comfortable committing to me. I was bummed, but appreciated his honesty.
We switched gears, and made arrangements to use a restaurant in town. Much smaller space, but great deck overlooking the lake. It had it’s drawbacks; primarily that if it rains our 150 anticipated guests will be crammed in. And that the owner went MIA from November through April (they close in the winter, and the shut off their phone without giving me a second contact!). When we made these arrangements in October, I asked all of the mandatory questions: contract? (they didn’t need one) Deposit ?(didn’t need one). Site fee? (nope, we’re just glad for your business!) okay, so for no site fee, no deposit and no contract, we had a reception venue space. I was uneasy, but it was the only way to make a lakeside wedding work, so we went with it.
Fast forward to yesterday. The owner, who has been difficult to work with is finally emailing me the per plate price for the menu, as well as their alcohol list so we can choose what beer and wine to host. And she adds, at the bottom of the email, this:
“By the way, we will also charge a $3,000 fee to pay for wait staff, bartenders, and setup and clean up efforts.”
I lost my shit at that point.
This fee was totally out of the blue. She didn’t mention it during any number of phone calls or the on-site visit we did two weeks ago. I specifically asked about it in October, and she said no.
To add to the drama, the marina is open. We walked in over Memorial Day, and I was bummed that we weren’t using it. Like in tears. After yesterday’s email, I called the marina’s owner to see if it would be possible to switch at the last minute. He’s working on seeing if they can do it for within our budget.
So, bees, what do I do? What are my moral obligations at this point? Can I leave the restaurant high and dry due to this suprise additional charge (which is over half of our entire reception budget and would totally blow our budget). Do I owe them money for the effort they (kind of) put in to making this happen?
Or, can I use this suprise charge as the door to using the venue I wanted in the first place? The venue that better meets our needs in terms of space for 150 guests, dancing, etc.?
It’s a small town. I don’t want to be the asshole who caused drama. Buuutttt… I can get what I originally wanted, and at a cheaper price….