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Newbie October 2019 Ontario

Venue & pricing changes + paying before the wedding?

Jean-Luc, on September 3, 2019 at 17:17 Posted in Wedding reception 0 12
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Hello all!

I'm in a bit of a conundrum and hoping to see what others may think -

We saw the venue in early 2018 (Jan-Feb 2018) and were given a pricing guide/their 'wedding package' for the venue (outdoor reception) that states what's on offer, pricing, etc. and we had told them it was an Oct 2019 wedding (of course they needed the date) and these seemed to be the prices that were going to be paid as we paid a 10% deposit based on #s they were quoting via email at the time (~12,500 for 140 ppl.) now that we're closer to, they came back with pricing of nearly 14k for 130 people as our list dropped.

Anyone experiencing/experienced this? They quoted and agreed to certain pricing before, so I assume they can't back out at this point even with inflation/new costs on their end?

Second part of this

They are asking for another large chunk of $ (~4k) as of right now and payments up to the wedding day, but shouldn't final pricing/payments happen after the wedding once the actual guests attended, food used, etc. is accounted for? I always feel weary of paying up front, what if things do go terribly wrong, we need to use their back-up indoor location, etc.? I don't want to sink a thousands into something prematurely - we have a contract so we're not about to skimp out on paying but don't most businesses charge once the work is complete?


  • Bianca
    Master August 2019 Ontario
    Bianca ·
    • Dispute

    I know most venues want payment upfront before the wedding (usually 10 business days prior), so that's not unusual. However, you should read your contract regarding the price change since that should have been discussed when you booked the venue and signed the contract.

    • Reply
  • Sharlene
    Devoted August 2019 Alberta
    Sharlene ·
    • Dispute

    Our vendor pricing called for a minimum amount for food and beverage costs, so we paid in full upfront. We worked out final numbers and food selection closer to our wedding date and paid an extra $60 or so above our minimum amount. We have guests RVSP and not show up, so there was some extra food, but not one steak was wasted. Some guests had seconds and thirds.

    • Reply
  • Kirsten
    Frequent user April 2020 Alberta
    Kirsten ·
    • Dispute
    My venue is passed on a "minimum" so we have a 6000 minimum for the cost which is the room rental,food and drinks. This includes anything that guest spend on alcohol(doing a toonie bar) so if it is less than that we pay the 6000. But that would include literally everything. The only cost changes I'm subject to is the cost of the food/bar which I'll know what those are next month but it's the same minimum we have to spend regardless of those changes. Paid a 1500$ deposit to book and the rest of the payments due 2 days prior to the wedding and final numbers a month before the wedding.
    • Reply
  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
    • Dispute

    First part:

    Definitely check your contract and see if you are subject to annual price changes. For us, we had a $2500 deposit we paid back in February 2018 with 1st installment due on September 9 (6 weeks away) and 2nd due October 12 (1 week away). Both installments were TBD since in my contract states we are subject to price changes.

    Second part:

    Lots of times venues will charge/require payment before the event to cover costs. We've paid our deposit and 1st installment but our final one isn't due until October 12, when our final guaranteed numbers are submitted for catering. Our wedding is October 19.

    At the start, when we paid our deposit, we had a estimate of how many people per our guest list (120 at the time). After working on the list we had updated our numbers to 145, which we told our venue before paying our 1st installment. Now, our max number is around 126 and we have 106 confirmed, so we can have anywhere in that range. By October 12, I'll have to tell my venue exactly how many we're expecting for catering and they will use that number to prepare food/tell us how much we owe. If we have no shows, obviously the venue provided food and drink for someone who didn't attend so they need to cover that cost.

    I actually found that most (if not all) of my vendors need to be fully paid before the day. It was in everyone's contract so it wasn't a surprise to me. If it seems like your venue is trying to spring a new fee on you, I'd ask about that $4k. It should state in your contract when and how much you pay.

    • Reply
  • Becky
    VIP September 2019 Ontario
    Becky ·
    • Dispute

    I would check the contract- I know my venue told me that the pricing would increase next year by so much percent. As for the food part- most catering places ask for a final number a month ahead and it doesn't matter if people don't show whatever the greater number is the one you gave or people who eat is what they charge for. My catering asked for final payment 10 days prior and if more people ate then paid for it had to be paid within 10 days after receiving invoice.

    The contract should say something about payments as well! Hope your able to sort it all out as thats a large increase

    • Reply
  • Rayanne
    Featured February 2021 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
    • Dispute
    100% check your contract. My prices are locked in for 2021. We were given a schedule of payments starting with deposit, then another for $2500, next is $5000 then another $3600. Everything else is to be pay the week before the wedding. If our numbers are higher than the final head count we have to pay that the day after ceremony.
    • Reply
  • Kelsie
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Kelsie ·
    • Dispute
    To me this sounds like your food price increased, which is fairly standard in most contracts. You might be paying $100 per head in 2018 but if food prices go up you may be paying $110 per head in 2020.

    to answer your other question, I’ve never heard of a venue finalizing payment after the wedding. This is why venue’s ask for your numbers a few weeks before (in my case a month before). You’ll pay based off of the final numbers at that time.

    If you have to have 150 people to secure the venue and only end up having 140, you’ll still have to pay for the 10 extra plates despite the fact there isn’t an actual human eating. It’s how venues make their money.

    despite this, I would definitely ask what the $4,000 is for exactly and get it in writing.
    • Reply
  • Daniela
    Frequent user September 2020 Ontario
    Daniela ·
    • Dispute
    Like many others have said check the contract. I booked my venue in 2018 for my 2020 wedding. The contract states that I have booked in 2018 pricing except for food prices, those are subject to change. So make sure its not for food vs the space.
    • Reply
  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
    • Dispute

    1. Totally check your agreement and I would even consider the emails to be binding. Perhaps they don't even remember what they had quoted you? Benefit of the doubt?

    2. Completely normal to pay ahead of time for the venue - but usually they have a payment schedule and don't spring them on ya. So for my venue I payed a deposit when we signed the contract, another payment at the 1 year mark, another payment at the 6 month mark, and now I just have to pay the damage deposit 2 weeks before the wedding and as long as we don't cause damage I'll get that back!

    • Reply
  • Casey
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Casey ·
    • Dispute
    I would check the contract for sure. We booked our wedding in 2018, and are paying the 2018 prices because that’s the contract we signed.
    For payments, I would say it is really up to your venue.
    We had to pay 50% 60 days before. Then 25% the week before. And the remaining 25% afterwards.
    This way if numbers changed, or something went wrong, the last 25% would reflect those changes.

    • Reply
  • Alexandra
    VIP November 2019 British Columbia
    Alexandra ·
    • Dispute
    Double check your contract for pricing, I know for us our food charge was able to go up and it did like $7 a head. Everything else was locked in. As for payment we owe 50% of the expected balance a month before and then 100% of the expected balance two weeks before hand. This seems to be standard as I know a number of other people who had the same thing.
    • Reply
  • Caitlyn
    Featured January 2020 Ontario
    Caitlyn ·
    • Dispute
    Do you have any type of signed contract? It seems like you have formed a contract with them anyway, but signed contracts in writing are always the easiest to prove. Since you’ve paid a deposit based on their quote that should lock in your prices meaning they can’t now raise the price on those services that you agreed to.

    In in terms of paying upfront, our venue requires us to submit guest numbers and make our final payment 2 weeks in advance of the wedding. I believe a number of venues do it this way. That does mean that unfortunately if I say I’m having 150 people and I pay for it two weeks before hand I am out the money for the meals of say 2 people who RSVP yes but don’t show up.
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