Wedding venue trying to increase costs, are they allowed?

posted 4 months ago in Venue
Post # 16
6839 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

Even if it does specify price but does not specify the food, they can downgrade the food accordingly without violating the contract. It did not specify who would prepare the food, so they could use anyone. They warned that you might have to pay for the tent, and then tried to imply you might not have to. It really sounds like there are holes all over the “contract”. I guess I am not sure the contract is iron-clad on ANYTHING, but then again I don’t have it in front of me. 

The venue and you both were fools to think nothing would change in three years. Costs inevitably increase. I’m shocked they (or you) would sign anything that far in advance without stipulations all over about changes or costs.

Ultimately, I think you will pay one way or another, whether it is for the venue or for a lawyer. And then you have an unhappy venue forced to provide a service they don’t want to, when you have already paid the equivalent for the attorney what you would have paid in increased costs for the venue. They don’t have to refund your deposit, I am guessing, so I would probably take their offer and find somewhere else.

Post # 17
3584 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

I would just look for a new venue. Based on your description, it doesn’t seem much of anything is actually in the contact. No set prices, no set food selections, so set services that are to be provided (like the shuttle or portable bathrooms) it seems like you signed a list of ideas for the wedding and nothing was actually set in stone. This might be the nature of securing a place very far in advance, but even if you did get them to stick to the price, I wouldn’t trust them to provide excellent service and a good experience. I’d be taking my business elsewhere.

Post # 18
4611 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

OP, I’d just take their offer of your deposit back and look for somewhere else. You don’t want to start bringing in lawyers and going through a contract with a fine tooth comb and then forcing them to provide a venue/food at the cost they stated to you three years ago. Their backs will be up and they will cut corners to make the numbers make sense and you will be the ones to lose out. That is the last thing you need on your wedding day. You want vendors you can trust to bring your wedding vision to fruition with as little stress to yourself.

Even if they do decide by the end of the week to go with what was agreed on 3 years ago, do you trust them to carry it out and not throw kilograms of stress at you during the next 7 months.

They’ve given you an out. Take it and spend the next few days finding another venue instead of consulting a lawyer. 

Post # 19
4769 posts
Honey bee

Contracts are generally explicit.  Quotes also usually have expiration dates and may or may not be legally binding depending on the exact language used (for example, just saying “We estimate about $45/pp and here’s our current menu options for your to peruse and finalize your selections later” meaning you could pick things that cost more or less than $45 is likely going to be viewed as an estimate and not a legally binding quote).

For the most part, if it isn’t explicitly outlined in your contract, then it’s fair game.

So you saying that your contract doesn’t say that prices can be subject to change means absolutely nothing if your contract didn’t also explicitly outline what you were getting and at what price exactly nor did it specifically state who would be your chef (they are allowed to make whatever staffing changes they deem necessary to meet their business needs).  By virtue of you not having that drawn out in excruciating detail locking you into that price, you are effectively agreeing that prices may change because your specific costs are not final and not outlined in your signed contract.

Contracts exist to protect both parties.

I’m not convinced you’ll get anywhere arguing this.  They might throw you a bone here or there to make up for the confusion, but I highly doubt they are going to honor pricing from three years ago that you didn’t have explicitly outlined in writing in your contract.  And you’ll likely spend the same amount, if not more, on a lawyer.  I would probably just find a different venue – I know lots of people who have planned weddings and large events in the amount of time you have or even less.  

In the future though, make sure you ask for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING to be an added clause in your contract before you sign off on it.  Don’t make assumptions that implied agreements means you’re in the clear.  Even if you think it is minor – if you want it, make it an addendum that has to be signed and dated by both parties.  Don’t settle for boilerplate contracts that leave things open-ended.

Post # 20
1523 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
claroquesi : Agreed, I think they’ve been misleading over the credentials of the chef. It’s more likely that he trained in a Michelin star restaurant than he has his own star yet decided to effectively give his career up to go and work at a hotel on an island and serve average priced food. 

Post # 21
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Yeah I cannot say I’m surprised since you signed three years ago and every year the catering cost is increased (by 10% in my country). But definetely sucks and it’s your right to push them hard to make it right!

Post # 22
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017


View original reply
missmary4 :  sounds like a pretty dubious venue where it doesn’t even have bathrooms or shelter and which sounds like has had numerous complaints (yet has an alleged Michelin starred chef??).  I would take the refund and find a better venue.

Ps. However, thinking prices wouldn’t change in 3 years is a bit silly.

Post # 23
9717 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

This whole thing sounds like a hot mess. I would start touring other venues and see if you can find something you like better.

Unless you signed something specifically saying “chicken dinner for 150 people is $45/plate”, I think you are SOL on the food costs. They can change their menu at any time. And as far as the chef goes, it sounds like he is still available just not in your budget? Or am I reading that wrong?

How did you not know there were no restrooms?!

Post # 25
192 posts
Blushing bee

Unless you want to fight an uphill battle and maybe throw a few thousand dollars away I would just cut your losses and find another venue or just try to work with the venue and come to a compromise on price.  I wouldn’t threaten them with legal action, because that’s just going to sour your relationship.  I don’t think that’s going to want them to make your wedding day a happy day.  Sometimes it’s just not worth the headache and you still might lose.  Hope it works out.

Post # 26
231 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
missmary4 :  If you love this wedding venue and have your heart set on it and no desire to change at all, then I guess you will just have to pay for the additional charges on the shuttle and increased price per plate with the new chef and menu


Also, I find it so odd it has taken them 2.5 years to come up with a new menu. Seriously? Sounds like an easy scapegoat to hide other issues they have internally

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