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Tara
VIP April 2012

When do you pay for the venue?

Tara, on February 9, 2011 at 1:12 AM Posted in Planning 0 10
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I have tentatively booked my ceremony venue by back-and-forth email, but need to call the woman to "begin finalization" tomorrow. The quote she gave me is 3 times what the price was last year at the same time...still it's not very much, but does anyone know how you pay venues? All at once up front, half now half then, etc?? Did I mention it's not a typical venue, but I'll be paying the San Francisco Water Department? (Will be married at a 101 year old water temple).


10 Comments

Latest activity by Tara, on February 9, 2011 at 2:19 AM
  • L
    VIP April 2011
    LazyAssMama ·
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    Thats way nice first off... 2nd each place is different. My venue I had a $1500 deposit down, then abother 1500 had to be paid in october, and then 2000 in december, so half of the total payment was paid by december. Then 14 before the wedding we have to pay the balance. Talk to the person you are setting it up with what you need to pay up front

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  • L
    VIP April 2011
    LazyAssMama ·
    • Flag

    Thats way nice first off... 2nd each place is different. My venue I had a $1500 deposit down, then another 1500 had to be paid in october, and then 2000 in december, so half of the total payment was paid by december. Then 14 before the wedding we have to pay the balance. Talk to the person you are setting it up with what you need to pay up front

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  • Kimberly
    VIP August 2011
    Kimberly ·
    • Flag

    It will vary on the venue... if there is a food & beverage minimum then you may be responsible for a percentage of that fee. And then you will be responsible for part of the rental fee. Shop around~ I recommend that you don't completely secure your ceremony site until after you get close to securing your reception venue. It's been my experience (as a catering sales director at a venue) that couples have been forced into a location that wasn't their first choice only because the date was available there. Shopping around will also give you an idea of pricing & what the deposit situation will be. It should be included in any proposal that you get. And make sure you're getting proposals. it drives me crazy that venues i'm shopping won't give me a straight answer when it comes to cost! Also, don't be afraid to ask to split up a deposit. Most locations should be able to work with you if you need to break up the initial deposit & work out a payment plan.

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  • Patricia
    Master December 2011
    Patricia ·
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    Like Hayley stated, each place is different, my venue required a $1000 deposit then the remaining balance is due 3 days before the wedding, but we can make monthly payments if we want to. FH and I both discussed this and decided that we'll put the money in a savings account instead every month and then pay it off a month before the wedding. Reason why we're doing it that way is not to lose any money since all deposits are non-refundable. Ask the woman you're meeting with regarding your venue's policy on payments.

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  • Mrs. Hainsworth
    VIP November 2011
    Mrs. Hainsworth ·
    • Flag

    Depending on what the venue is providing, usually half is the deposit, then the rest is due the day of. That's usually how it works, so if it's some other way, it might be questionable. Also, I would negotiate that price. Maybe say first that because of the economy it doesn't seem reasonable to raise the price that much, the next way would be to say that you have your second choice offering x amount of $ less, and see if they will maybe try to meet the difference. It works well, especially in this economy. Because you haven't finalized, I'd call tomorrow and say, "after we talked, i called my second choice again and they are much better priced, I really like your place, but price is really important in this choice. I noticed your price was $x last year, and I think I'd be willing to choose you today if you can bring it closer to last year and the other vendor." Play hardball! Especially this far out, it's cash flow to get your deposit. They'll want it for sure. Good luck!

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  • Tara
    VIP April 2012
    Tara ·
    • Flag

    Thanks!! I was wondering if I should mention when I talk to her that my neighbor's son had the same venue last year for 1/3 of the cost, but thought since it's the city, there's probably nothing she can do about it, and then she'll think I'm pushy or rude anyhow.

    The problem I have to work on with the chair rentals tomorrow, is that I get the water temple for 2 hours, NO flexibility, and the rental place will drop off/pick up for a fee, but usually pick up 48 hours later, not an hour and a half! I have to have someone set up the chairs/flowers/audio etc before I arrive, and then we'll have like 1 hour to take pictures. You can't see from this angle, but behind the photographer are gorgeous rolling hills. And WHILE we're taking pics, someone will have to tear down...because this isn't stressful enough already, RIGHT? HAHAHA

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  • Tara
    VIP April 2012
    Tara ·
    • Flag

    You ladies are great! Here's the thing with negotiating, though, last year it was $50, this year it's $150. There is no way I could find another beautiful location for that little. My reception site requires a $200 deposit and you get that back after you clean up.

    The water temple doesn't allow a reception, no food, no drink. They only have two 2-hour windows per day; they unlock the gate, provide power, and 2 hours later the lock the gate. Period. Super frustrating, but I've wanted to get married there for like, ever, and even at the trippled price of $150 can't be beat. The reason I'm tripping on it is because I'm still on unemployment job hunting!! Smiley sad



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  • Kimberly
    VIP August 2011
    Kimberly ·
    • Flag

    You can try for a cheaper price on the ceremony site, but honestly, the price probably went up because CA is broke and SF is going to charge whatever they can. Rentals are going to drive you nuts (not to mention what the delivery fees are going to be like, i'm estimating $500 based on my experience). before you book anything shop around for venues, you may fall in love with a reception site that offers a gorgeous C as well. that would save you so much head ache. I'm sure the spot you're looking at is gorgeous.. could you go there for an engagement shoot?

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  • Mrs. Hainsworth
    VIP November 2011
    Mrs. Hainsworth ·
    • Flag

    OMG that price is like mine for my church! But better! Just have the reception somewhere else Smiley smile That price is AMAZING!

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  • Tara
    VIP April 2012
    Tara ·
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    Super good point Kimberly. Thanks Alexandra!

    Here's another thing I just discovered. When the local wineries are ready to bottle, they let a certain number of people volunteer, and they pay you in wine. So like for 8 hours of bottling, they'll give you any 4 bottles. Bottling season starts month and we've got a lot of local wineries...I think I'm about to go work for my wedding wine!! lol

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