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Budget Weddings

Venue changing price based on headcount??

We fell in love with a venue, so naturally we asked them to send us a contract. Our wedding is a year and a half out and this is a family owned venue. During our walk through I said that we anticipating about 100 guests.

When I first reached out she said the rental fee is $6900, when we got the contract, it read $6800 (I wasn't going to say anything) but the contract specified that we would have a max of 100 guests (the max capacity for the venue is 200). When I asked if I could increase our estimated count as a buffer she said that would bump my rent price to 7000.

This particular venue does not include tables or chairs or anything that should apply to our final headcount. Is this normal for venues to charge based on number of guests? 

Re: Venue changing price based on headcount??

  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    That is weird... you would think it would be cheaper (generally speaking) for more people, particularly if it is JUST the room venue.

    No, I have not seen this. Most venues I looked at offered a package- the room rental, catering, service, and often decor for X price per head. Obviously  more people= more $, but the venues cared more about achieving a minimum vs a maximum. Most venues stated in their contract that the signing party agreed to pay for Y minimum number of guests, guaranteeing the venue got a least a base amount of money.

    I would call the venue up again and ask exactly what you are getting for this price. I would flat out ask WHY the increase in price when if you are only paying for the rental of the room, more people (in the same room) costs more money.
    OurWildKingdom
  • I have seen this, but usually it is because more people equals more food/chairs/linens etc. If only providing space, that doesn't really make sense at all. I would clarify why the price increase and what you are getting for your money. It could also be that since you toured, they increased the general price. My friend ended up in this because she didn't get the current price in writing when she toured vs. put down the deposit.
    OurWildKingdom
  • My venue also charges more if we go over a 100 guests. (£600 more!!)

    The manager said she would only count the adults which is helpful and the kids on our list bring it to less than 100 (without RSVPS).  TBH I would be kinda pissed to pay an extra £600 for 2 or 3 extra guests!  

    I guess the larger the number of people on the property the more mess there is???  With my venue they would need to use the whole marquee instead of part of it, so I suppose they need to clean it and prepare it.  (They don't do the catering, only the bar which of course will be a bigger tab for us as numbers go up as well.)

    Several venues I looked at have this pricing strategy.  If you think about it it is 'fairer' for bigger parties to pay more, and it allows affordable smaller weddings to be booked?  Still sucks though.
  • I have rented spaces multiple times for various parties (birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, family holidays) and see this pricing quite frequently.  Sometimes it's because there is more to set up, or legally (or just their own policy) requires more staff to be on site if the party is over a certain size, or there is simply more to clean up at the end of the party.

    If you have a question about why their pricing is that way, just call them up and ask why. They are the only ones who are going to be able to give you an answer, not us. But from experience it's not unusual.
    SP29
  • Are they providing any services like servers or valet parkers? Reason I ask is if they do it would make more sense because if you have more guests, they may need to have more staff on hand for those items. If that's not the case, just ask the venue straight out why the price goes up for a higher guest count since they aren't providing chairs/tables or the food.
  • Erikan73 said:
    Are they providing any services like servers or valet parkers? Reason I ask is if they do it would make more sense because if you have more guests, they may need to have more staff on hand for those items. If that's not the case, just ask the venue straight out why the price goes up for a higher guest count since they aren't providing chairs/tables or the food.
    Even if it's not the obvious staff (like servers of valet parkers) they may need more staff for more people. Things like security, or simply having a certain number of reps on site may be required based on the head count. Or as others said, even if they aren't doing table/chair set-up, are they still cleaning and prepping the space in other ways, and need to do a larger space? Or is it for insurance reasons? Lots of reasonable possibilities. 
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