hmm vendor help...

I am getting married in October in Forest Park in Springfield. Since it is a city property they sold the liquor license to the highest bidder who happens to be Elegant Affairs Catering. We signed the contract with Forest Park without first looking at the bar info (stupid on our part I know). Please tell me what you think of these bar prices, I think they are high...Open bar there is a 20% "service fee"Open bar 1 hour - $10Additional hours- $5/hourOpen bar 5 hours- $20For cash bar there is a $250 feeBeer/wine/mixed drinks- approx $5 each Saturday events require $1000 spent at the barSo for open bar there is technically a minimum of $1200 ($1000 for a Saturday event + 20% service fee), and cash bar they make even more at $1250 ($1000 + $250 fee). I feel like complaining to the city that they are price gouging (not on the open bar prices so much, but on the "fees and services" costs. Just because Elegant Affairs has a monopoly on the bar service they are charging crazy fees I think. Other venues we looked at didn't have minimums of $1000 when they were already charing us $20 a person for everyone, kids too!And the kicker is we are looking at 130ish people for our wedding, 15 of whom are mormon and don't even drink alcohol OR soda OR coffee! That's more than $300 that we are paying for things like lemonade or water!Sorry this is so long, I just feel like we are getting hosed big time!

Re: hmm vendor help...

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    lauralaurlauralaur member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Based on what I'm paying I think that sounds reasonable. We don't have a bar minimum, but we have a food and beverage minimum that we need to hit for a Saturday evening wedding. We have to pay a bar setup fee, but if bar revenues exceed a certain dollar amount that fee is waived. Both food and beverage for us has a 15% gratuity, 3% service charge, and then 5% MA sales tax tacked on to it, so that 20% service fee, if it's not in addition to any other fees like the ones I just mentioned, really isn't that bad. I remember doing the math and with the open bar rates, the gratuity, service charge, etc. an open bar is/was going to run us around $3,000-$4,000 (and no, our venue does not charge for children) for 130 people, so a $1,000 minimum wouldn't even matter to us (we've got some big drinkers coming to our wedding though). HTH!
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    snoopy3319snoopy3319 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    That sounds pretty normal. Ours was upwards of $20/person. We opted to do a consumption bar. We're putting money down for the bar and once it runs out, it's a cash bar. It worked better for us since we don't think that many people will be drinking on a Saturday morning. We'll see. It's enough for everyone to hae at least one drink if not 2. We're having a party after the reception where we'll supply liquor, so they can drink then. The service fee and tax aren't added on to our bar prices, though, so that's a little odd. I'd say it's the norm. Sorry.
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    edited December 2011
    The prices seem average. Our bar comes in our package, but I am pretty sure they charge like $6 or so an hour for open bar. I think our house charge is up to 21% now so your about average.
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