Destination Weddings

Please help - it's 10 days before our wedding!

Basically, I've been chasing our wedding planner for an updated balance for the past 8 weeks. Today, she sent me over this email: 

Hi, 

Here is the final balance attached. I have confirmed all costs with the villa, as you are meant to have 50 guests and numbers have dropped we have added the staff meals and child meal in here for you. It says on the contract you should have a minimum of 50 guests. I have attached the breakdown from the villa here for you but still all works out fine. 

I sent her this email in May 2016:

Hi xyz

This is awesome news, thank you! 

I am happy to accept the quote, but what happens if we send out the invites but only 40 people are able to come? Will the cost change?

Her response:

Hi,

Okay perfect! If your guest numbers are less you will only pay for the number of guests attending your wedding, for the reception meals. The villa hire cost will stay the same. Also so you know this villa only uses one music company as they have exclsuive use. 

Where do I stand here? It's basically £2,000 extra for another 10 empty guests. I feel like she's back-peddling, but I've got the evidence that she told me that I wouldn't pay for additional meals. 

They are also charging me for 50 open bars when I only have 40 guests, and for my two year old nephew. 

I fly out to Italy in 6 days. I am so annoyed. My wedding planner is costing me £2,750. I'm so angry. :( 

Thoughts please?



Re: Please help - it's 10 days before our wedding!

  • Yikes! Do you have more updated communication from her that says that you only pay for the number of guests attending? May 2016 is kind of long ago, and it's possible their policy could have changed since then.

    Is there any verbiage referencing this in your contract? Sometimes contracts have a set dollar amount you have to pay, no matter how many guests attend.

    Was there a date you were supposed to have your total number turned in, and did you get her the numbers by that date?

    Also, have you responded to her email to clarify yet?

    (Additionally, if the "staff meal" she references above is for anyone working your wedding, they SHOULD have been worked into your total count from the beginning. Always feed your vendors!)
    Knottie1451334804InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
  • edited August 9
    Hey - yeah, we're happy to cover the staff meals - staff meals are 50 per head, whereas guest dinners are 205.

    I've always updated her with numbers - when I received RSVPs back and when people have told me they can't attend after sending RSVPs and I've asked her to update the final balance with the number. She's never corrected me so I just presumed she was updating it as we went along, based on her previous comms.

    She asked me for the final numbers 2 days ago and I gave her them the same day.

     Not responded yet, this is what I've drafted:

     Thanks for sending over the final balance for the villa. I have attached a couple of emails that we exchanged back in May 2016, where you told me that we would only pay for the number of guests attending the wedding. I have calculated the costs below based on the actual numbers; should I transfer the money today?

    I can't even afford the extra £2000 without losing an aspect of the wedding (photographer/videographer/lighting etc)
  • Oh wow that's a huge discount on staff meals; awesome!

    What does your contract say? If there's any wording in there about only paying for the number of actual guests you have, you could include that in your response. 

    How did she reply to you ask you were giving her the updated guest counts? 
    InLoveInQueens
  • edited August 9
    She just constantly said "I'll get you the final balance" she never addressed it and she never sent it over. I'm just so disappointed. Her fee is not cheap. So for them to spring an additional £2000 10 days before the wedding is really poo...

    I asked her because in the contract it states minimum numbers, which is why I wanted it clarified. Even if the policy had changed, as the contract had been signed and her email verified the position, surely that's enough? Or she should've told me sooner?
  • Does the contract say minimum 50 people or not?
    flantasticInLoveInQueens
  • It says something like "The price above is based on minimum of 50 people", which is why I asked her the question initially.

    If she'd said "no, it's fixed", I'd have changed venue as 50 was the number of people invited, so it would never be more than that.

    She initially asked for an estimated number of guests, which was used in the contract, to which I replied "Around 40-50", even in consequent emails - other than this one - she was asking if our number of guests was still "around 50" and I said yes, because it was. 
  • Another email exchange from July: 

    I asked her to please update the balance to reflect we are having 40 guests 

    Her response: 

    Okay perfect, let me update the balance. I will also send all the info to the villa so they can confirm everything for me and send a new proposal with updated guest numbers etc. 
  • If the contract says the price is based on a minimum of 50 people you might be SOL. That also may have been why she never changed the price as you were adjusting your guest count. She also probably didn't feel the need to clarify the cost would be the same with 40 or 50, as the contract you signed said there was no cost difference.

    You can try to respond to her and use that email she sent you as leverage, but you might not have much to stand on.
    InLoveInQueens
  • But, even in July she was acting like it was OK? Surely, I'm paying her for her services, and one of those services is to know this in and out?
  • So I think this is still a little confusing, your contract says 50 guests, but you told her in advance it would likely be less than that? And you've been asking for an updated contract since then? I think the confusing part is asking for an updated balance v. an updated contract. He balance would likely change based on deletions you make, packages, etc while the contract would reflect the original agreement. I would definitely ask her for clarification (say something like "per our emails on x,y, and z dates (and attach) it was my understanding we were paying for the final guest total if given by x date, which is 40, not the 50 guests which was the original estimate.  Is that not accurate based on our conversations? Can you please clarify?" ) but I would also be prepared if she comes back and says the contract says 50 and that's what you're expected to pay. 
  • Another email exchange from July: 

    I asked her to please update the balance to reflect we are having 40 guests 

    Her response: 

    Okay perfect, let me update the balance. I will also send all the info to the villa so they can confirm everything for me and send a new proposal with updated guest numbers etc. 
    Did she ever follow this email up with some kind of updated cost? I wouldn't assume "new proposal" to mean "lower cost," it could just be that they need everything in writing so the venue knows how to set up, how much staff to have, etc. What is her relationship to the venue? Is your contract with the venue itself, and have you been communicating with anyone there? Now I see from your original post it looks like this is your planner, so there may have been some miscommunication.
    InLoveInQueens
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    If your original contract says a minimum of 50 people, and she never sent you a revised contract, I unfortunately think you are stuck paying this extra money. Regardless of what her emails have said, you signed a contract that stated a minimum of 50 people. 

    InLoveInQueens
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If you are stuck having to make the full payment, perhaps the venue will at least allow you to actually put it to use.  See if they will consider applying the monies to some upgrades in your menu or bar.
    InLoveInQueens
  • Today, she sent me over this email: 

    Hi, 

    Here is the final balance attached. I have confirmed all costs with the villa, as you are meant to have 50 guests and numbers have dropped we have added the staff meals and child meal in here for you. It says on the contract you should have a minimum of 50 guests. I have attached the breakdown from the villa here for you but still all works out fine. 

    I sent her this email in May 2016:

    Hi xyz

    This is awesome news, thank you! 

    I am happy to accept the quote, but what happens if we send out the invites but only 40 people are able to come? Will the cost change?

    Her response:

    Hi,

    Okay perfect! If your guest numbers are less you will only pay for the number of guests attending your wedding, for the reception meals. The villa hire cost will stay the same. Also so you know this villa only uses one music company as they have exclsuive use. 
    These are my thoughts but it's tricky for me to interpret the back-and-forth so please correct me if I've missed something: To me it sounds like her 2016 email states that the cost of the reception will stay the same regardless of whether you have 50 guests or not. I think you may have misunderstood her because the previous sentence says the cost of the meals is based on the number of guests. The estimated meal cost was based on 50 guests, so the difference in the cost of meals for 40 guests needed to be applied to another area.

    I don't have the invoice of course, but her email makes it sound like she upgraded the staff and child meals to make up the difference. You should get to choose what is upgraded.


    If your understanding was that they would adjust the cost of the entire event if you didn't meet the 50-guest expectation, I would have had the contract amended to state that before signing it.

    InLoveInQueenscharlotte989875
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