Post # 1
I need bee opinions and experience! I am working over a contract with the venue I am going to be using, and they are insisting on some things which will make it hard to stick to our budget. For instance, the venue has a kitchen and a chef, and therefore they only allow a "single wedding cake" as the ONLY outside food that can be brought in. My FH and I were going to do a pie bar or maybe cupcakes, and the planner at the venue said that "only one pie or cupcake" could come in, everyting else would have to come from their kitchen (which is kinda expensive, compared to the pies Future Mother-In-Law was going to make!)
My FH and I picked this place because it presented as the most relaxed, unrestrictive venue we could find, and we are feeling like the fine print is going to really mess us up (budgetary and otherwise). So I am curious, did you have any funky or restrictive things put in your contract with your venue? Did you get the venue to back down on anything and how did you get them to?
Post # 3
Sounds like BS to me. Tell them you are bringing in 1 cake, then bring in your assembled cupcake stand. Telling you that you can only bring 1 CUPCAKE is not in the spirit of the contract. If the dessert is cupcakes, they should allow that. I say call them out on that.
I can’t see why they would care about cupcakes- it’s less work for them since it doesn’t have to be cut and served.
A friend of mine got married 2 weeks ago and right before his wedding (2 weeks) the venue was nickel and dime-ing him A LOT. Charging extra for Kosher wine (which isn’t actually more expensive) and charging $10 per person to serve cake.
He looked at another venue and found it was available. So he went back to the first venue and told them that if they didn’t stick to the contract and stop adding on charges that he was going to walk and they could have his small deposit.
Facing the prospect of him taking his business elsewhere, the venu backed down and honored the pricing in the contract. They did go with cupcakes to avoid the serving fee.
Post # 4
if they allow you to bring in a cake, then really they should allow you to bring in a different version of a cake, ie, cupcakes. Our venue provided the cake for us, so I don’t really know how it works….but I think most places won’t allow you to bring in an array of items, especially if you want to do a dessert table – regardless of how expensive the venue is, its their business and how they make (lots of) money. If its in their contract, and you sign it, then you are supposed to abide by that. However, I think you can totally discuss this with them and work with them on what you want. These days, traditional cakes are less and less popular, so they should be willing to work with that.
Post # 5
ONE cupcake? Are they on crack? My venue did not have any weird restrictions like this. I have to use their kitchen but they are affordable and having the catering in-house is why I picked them (less stress & fuss). There are some weird-seeming decoration restrictions at my venue (no flower petals on the tables, some sort of fire hazard) but nothing I can’t live with. Importantly, there’s no restrictions that are going to cost me a lot of money.
Like rosychicklet said, the spirit of the contract is that you can bring in dessert for your guests. Whether or not that dessert is pre-cut into serving sizes (as in cupcakes) should be irrelevant. Similarly, a display of pies would be akin to your bringing in the wedding cake and then separating the tiers onto different stands. Would they be against that too? Talk to the person in charge at the venue in person to iron this out before you sign anything. Their willingness to work with you and be reasonable will say a lot about them. Question—does this venue have a cake-cutting fee? That might be the reason for essentially not allowing cupcakes or pies—they would miss out on their cake cutting fee if the dessert were already in smaller portions.
Also ask for names of other brides who have had receptions there and ask about their experiences. I guess in the worst case scenario you could just reconcile yourself to having a wedding cake :).
Post # 6
Ummmm – be really, really careful about going ahead and signing the contract and then deciding that you will just do whatever you want. You really need to get their agreement that your plans are okay before you sign. You really don’t want things getting ugly at a crucial moment – for instance, when they decide to remove your cupcakes or pie and not allow them to be served, and you end up with no dessert, or when they add hundreds of dollars to your bill because you breached the contract. You can try to negotiate – but frankly, I would guess that if these are their terms then the actually have no problem filling the venue under those terms. If you can’t work with their terms, the best solution is to find another venue.
And chelseamorning – generally the venue charges the "cake cutting fee" even for cupcakes or pie. The fee is not only for cutting the cake (or pie), but also for using their plates and flatware (which they have to put out, pick up, and wash).
And actually, it’s not that odd. My sister’s venue did not allow any food to be brought in other than the wedding cake, although they did allow multiple cakes – after all, not all wedding cakes are "assembled" into a single cake. Some venues also require you to get the cake made through them.
Post # 7
If they are being sticklers about this, then that may be a sign that they may not be so relaxed and unrestrictive. Maybe they’re just odd about the food? Try being upfront with them and saying that instead of a traditional cake, you were thinking of a selection of pies, made by your Future Mother-In-Law, who is famous for her pies (or some such thing) and see if you can get an exception that would be in the spirit of allowing a wedding cake, just in pie form. If they are unwilling to budge and that’s going to blow your budget, then another venue may be your best bet.
Post # 8
Agree with suzanno- it’s not an unusual stipulation, and if you decide to sign the contract, make sure the wording says exactly what you agree to. The ‘spirit of a contract’ doesn’t mean anything, after all, if a disagreement does arise.
I’d talk to them about it, and if they still stick to it, not much you can do besides abide by their rules, or take your business elsewhere.
Post # 9
Also, many venues won’t let you bring in food that you prepared yourself (you mentioned fmil making pies) bc it’s a huge liability issue.
Post # 10
Liability issue? Give me a break, you can agree to sign off of the liability thus making it your exposure. I think this is preposterous. Let me tell you I have only just finished the 3rd contract of our wedding and it is an uphill battle, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE VENDORS? The terms are outrageous, frankly I would balk if you didnt sign already and if you did–try to get around them somehow. Two things I thought of were a) a contract from a vendor with a bill for ONE DESSERT SERVING even if it is a combination of various things b) consider having your family bring these things in as GIFTS! There is no rule that says you cant open and try on your gifts (or eat them) I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I would be seriously concerned about them on many other levels!
Post # 11
It’s difficult to waive liability for food. Say everyone gets food poisoning…you’d say it was the venue food and not your pies, then the venue would say it was your pies, which you signed a waiver for. From the venue’s standpoint, it’s obviously easier not to allow outside food at all.
That being said, our venue does allow us to bring in outside desserts with written permission, but they do insist that we get at least one dessert option through their catering, whether it’s the cake or an assortment of pastries.