Post # 1
When we booked our venue I knew they had an exclusive list of caterers due to their almost non-existent kichen amenities, but it was fine because they all seemed very reasonable in price (according to their website prices). However, I did not realize how many extra fees and hidden costs there were until after booking the venue. I’m 5 months away and have no caterer and I have no idea what to do! All of the caterers are at least twice as much as we budgeted for food… I asked if there was any way to get a discount (i.e. for paying in full, it’s on a Thursday night, the one guy was a friend of a friend, etc) and they all said they really couldn’t do anything about price except for deduct the bar prices for every child that we had. Other than getting rid of all alcohol from the wedding, I’m not sure what to do to cut the costs down! I wish I would’ve realized all the extra costs before hand, but I honestly thought I had done good enough research.
Has anyone encountered this? What did you do?
Post # 3
Wow, I’m sorry to hear about this. Hmmm, is it possible for you to cut the menu itself down such as take out the cocktail or hor d’ouerves? Or opt to get more inexpensive items, such as chicken over steak or a cheaper fish? Have you checked to see if they may cut you a better deal if you pay all cash? This trick seems to be helping me with some vendors. Usually they knock off tax or throw in some freebies such as waive delivery fees. I would definitely speak to the wedding venue manager and see what he or she may do for you. Good luck!
Post # 4
Sounds like you’re going to have to cut other places in your budget, like flowers, decor, rentals, your dress, attendant gifts, hair and makeup, etc. If you chip away a little at each of those areas, you shouldn’t have a problem!
Post # 5
Or how about doing a buffet instead of sit-down? Or heavy apps instead of a sitdown or buffet? Is there a child menu that is 1/2 price?
Post # 6
What are the hidden fees and costs etc. that are making this much of a difference? I’m not sure how you can cut food but maybe some Bees can help you deal with whatever the hidden costs were for!
Post # 7
I think the heavy apps idea is a good one- for the bar can you limit choices to save money? Like only have a signature cocktail and basic choices like wine and beer? Can you ask for the food to be dropped off and then have guests help themselves buffet style with disposables to save costs on setup & labor?
Post # 8
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Can you BYOB, or do a limited bar? Will the venue allow a non-preferred caterer for a fee? Ours has a $500 charge for non-preferred vendors, plus $200 charge if they want 3 hours to prep instead of 2.
There may be other ways to cut costs, like others mentioned- simple DIY flowers (we’re doing calla lillies & Asiatic lillies) and DIY centerpieces (cheap votives on mirrors- done!) can give you a lot towards your catering costs.
Post # 9
That’s crazy that they can’t/won’t work with you. Skip the alcohol. Skip the appetizer hour. Cut out any extra desserts beyond your basic wedding cake. Go down the list of what they offer/provide and have them deduct what you don’t want/need that is out of your budget. If they still refuse to budge, put your foot down with the venue manager and let them know what is going on.
Post # 10
What hidden fees are there that seemingly made the food go completely over budget??
Post # 11
Unfortunately, I cannot cut anything else from the budget, as this was the last thing we had left to pay for … I mean, we can afford a little bit more than we budgeted, but not twice as much.
I guess hidden fees was the wrong choice of words… The main issue is actually that their prices on their website’s menu are a lot cheaper than the quote they gave us (which they used a brochure for that and I used the online for my research). I mentioned that it was cheaper online and they said that was because the website is outdated and needs to be updated to reflect this years prices. I asked if we were able to get the old prices and they said no because their food costs had gone up since last year.
I offered to pay in full and they said they couldn’t take anything off because they bill us afterwards for any additional guests that show up unaccounted for and it would just throw off the price (i.e. we would still be charged, it would just be later than sooner).
I DID get a discount for all the children we will have, which brought it down from 3 times our budget to only twice our budget…
I wanted to do a cash bar and they do not offer it (I thought they did), so our price that was quoted does include alcohol, so I’m sure it’ll be lower without it (it just stinks that we have to have a dry wedding when we really didn’t want to – not that there is anything wrong with a dry wedding, just not our style is all).
They still will charge us a cake cutting fee even though we have cupcakes.
I’m sure there’s others that I’m forgetting, it’s been a really long day at work. In all honesty, the guy gave me a FH a really bad vibe… like that “I’m gonna take your money and split” vibe, so I think we’re going to go with one of the other vendors, even though they are all over our budget. We’ll just have to do heavy apps and no alcohol instead. I’m attempting to cut the guest list now as well.
Post # 12
This is very deceptive of them, which sends all kinds of red flags. If this is how they are during the planning, don’t expect anything to improve come your wedding day. If the website is truly outdated, it is their responsibility to update it, not rip you off as they are doing. Get on the phone with the venue manager first thing Monday morning and get this straightened out through them since the catering company refuses to budge, as they need to know the catering company is shady and hopefully your experience will be enough to make them reconsider recommending them to others.
Post # 13
I don’t have any suggestions other than what’s already been said, but I wanted to say that’s a horrible way to do business!! I’d definitely use one of the other preferred caterers if they won’t honor anything they have published online. That’s one of their responsibilities as a company! I’m sorry this is happening to you so close to the wedding! 🙁
Post # 14
UGH! Sounds AWFUL! I’d consider changing venues at this point?!
Post # 15
Can you change venues????? this sounds fishy….and if it’s REALLY not what you want you should consider this if it’s an option….
They make you pay cake cutting fees even if you have cupcakes? my venue actually told us that they prefer NOT charging cake cutting fees, and will cut a couple pieces of cake and plate them then put the cake on a dessert table with a knife for guests to help themselves…..this saves us almost $4 a person, and the VENUE suggested it!!!!
I was very careful picking our venue, if anything sounded off or was not upfront with costs in initial emails we didn’t even go see them…our venue emailed us and was 100% upfront with costs, as was the contract we signed with them…..and the fact that they already tried to save us some money with cake cutting, and with decor ideas that are low budget, i knew we made the right choice…..
Good luck! I hope youfind something that you like and works for you….
Post # 16
How can they legally charge for the cake cutting??? I would be alllll over their asses!!! Not your fault the website is outdated… can you print it and make a case??