Post # 1
At our wedding, my fiance and I are each have cousins who are under 21. There are going to be about 15 guests who are under 21. Our venue charges a set prices for 12 and under and adults. Do you think it is unreasonable for us to ask them to charge us a different rate for those who are under 21? At my sister’s wedding last summer her caterer gave them a seperate price for guests under 21? We are paying $85 for guests including 5 hours of top shelf open bar.
What do you think? Has anyone else had caterers who were flexible with guests under 21?
Post # 3
I WOULD! You would save money!
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
My caterer makes a distinction for those under 21, so it’s not unreasonable! Definitely ask!
Post # 5
My caterer is flexible! Yours should be too. It’s not fair to make you pay for alcohol that won’t get drunk. Definitely ask. Guests between 12 and 21 should be charged for adult food but no alcohol. Maybe there’s a charge for Coke and iced tea or something, but that will be less than 5 hour top shelf!
Post # 6
Definitely ask. If it’s something they don’t want to consider, then I wouldn’t push it, but just let them know why you’re asking. Paying for an open bar that won’t be used (at least by them) doesn’t make any sense.
Post # 7
I don’t understand why you would pay less for someone who is under 21. A teenager eats the same if not more than an adult. Unless the prices include alcohol, I don’t understand why it would be different. I don’t know about your venue but I had a certain amount of money in the bar. If you know that some guests can’t drink, don’t include them in the estimates for alcohol. If there are small children though, I understand them having a different meal.
Post # 8
If the price includes alcohol, you could ask if they would reduce the cost for those under 21 so that it doesn’t include the cost of alcohol. It really comes down to what your contract says however. I visited several reception places prior to deciding which one to use. I also have a significant number of teenage guests, so I inquired at each place to find out their cost policies.
Several places indicated that guests over the “kids meal” age range (ten or twelve and under) would be charged the full prices, including the price of alcohol. Their logic was that some people won’t drink at all (those under 21, pregnant, aversion to alcohol, etc) but there would probably be a lot of people who would drink quite a bit and “make up” for the fact that others weren’t drinking (basically it would “even out”).
The place I booked separates the charges for those guests 13-21 and 21+. I will only be paying for alcohol for the guests who are legally able to drink. Having said that, the contract clearly stated this was their policies.
Edit: I am guessing that you are paying on a “per person” basis rather than putting a dollar limit at the bar. If you put a max dollar amount on the bar (if you have that option), you wouldn’t pay for the people who won’t be drinking, however, you may run out of money at the bar if you don’t plan carefully. If so, you would either have to 1. increase the bar amount or 2. close the bar.
Post # 9
Since the per person price include open bar, I would ask to see if they can give you a different price assuming that your guests who are under 21 won’t be having any alcoholic beverages. It never hurts to ask!
Post # 10
Thanks for all of your responses. I sent an email asking if they could provide me with a price for those who are under 21. I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask! I will let you know what they say.
Post # 11
It’s definitely not unreasonable. This was a big factor in where FH and I picked to hold our reception, TBH.
Post # 12
It doesnt hurt to ask but as catering manager, generally we wouldnt lower the price for those under 21 unless they were kids under 12. The kids arent going to be drinking alcohol but they might drink a lot of soda, bottled water or juice and they will eat just as much as someone over 21. Plus you have adults that will drink a ton and adults that will stick with one glass of wine or something so its really all equals out anyways.
Plus Im not saying YOU would lie, but there are people that may have 15 or so guests that are under 21 but say there are 30 just to save money. The caterer is not going to stand at the door and ID every person that walks in, they would just have to take your word on it.