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Wedding 911

Hidden $5000 venue cost!

My fiance and I booked the venue of our dreams in February after deciding the fairly pricey cost per head was worth it for what we were getting, even though it was at the top end of our budget.

The contract we signed mandated that we had to use one of four approved florists for our wedding. Ok, no problem, as neither my fiance nor I is much of a fan of flowers. She planned to have a bouquet and that was it. Candles for the tables. Done. We set aside $2000 for decor and forgot about it.

Fast forward to today, and the coordinator casually mentions that we should have no problem "hitting the $5000 minimum for floral" with our guest list and that she imagines the floral/decor cost will come to $75+/person. She also mentioned that the florist cost will need to include all linens, as apparently the venue tables come undressed and the plated dinner/silver/china/etc. included in our venue fee does not include napkins.

No where in our contract nor on any of the four florist sites is a minimum mentioned, so you can imagine that we're frankly shocked to learn that even if we wanted no flowers or lighting at all, we'd be obligated to spend a minimum of $5000 on what I can only imagine must be diamond-studded napkins and tablecloths alone.

We feel/(felt?) fortunate that we were able to book our dream venue, but we are not so well off that we can casually spend an estimated $8350, or even the minimum $5000, on something we absolutely don't want or need.

We have already contacted the coordinator and related as much, but we're curious if anyone has had an experience like this and what they did.

Any suggestions?

Re: Hidden $5000 venue cost!

  • @charlotte989875 has it.   

    On top of that, also thoroughly look over your contract to see what it's containing in your agreement at the venue.   Plenty of venues require you to bring in everything and others have all things included.   You need to review those details. 

    What you can do is after reviewing things with a fine eye talk to your coordinator there.   If none of that was mentioned how much have you spent there thus far?   Can you get a deposit back? 

    FWIW, a dream venue is great but in the end people care about the food, drinks and being comfortable (temp control, seating) and decent music.  Whether or not the venue was perfect is somewhat secondary. 
  • Read your contracts over.  Using a preferred vendor is significantly different than required to meet a minimum with a vendor.  SNS - I'd opt out of flowers if they had a $5k minimum for all the preferred flower vendors, have a DIY silk bouquet for pictures, and otherwise have nothing.  Read the fine print!
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