Budget Weddings Forum

liquor cost

I posted this under food but I think it's more of a budget problem.
Ok so I fell in love with a new venue that's affordable only because it's new. At the appointment to look at the place the sales rep told me "you can use your own caterer if it's a deal breaker, we'll just give you a minimal corkage fee." Well we get home and email her a couple more questions, ask how much the corkage fee is going to be and she comes back with a $10 a head corkage fee AND says because of their liquor license, we will have to buy liquor from them. That's over $1000 more than the original rental and their alcohol markup is insane! Is there any truth to this? Should I counter offer? Any help at all would be amazing. 

Re: liquor cost

  • You can try to negotiate, but it doesn't sound like this will be negotiable. 

    If you haven't signed a contract, you may have some leverage to say, "Sorry, we can't afford that. We won't be able to go with you unless the corkage fee is $X." Be prepared to walk away. 
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I second southernbelle.

    You may consider trying to work something out. For instance, tell them that you can afford $X and ask if they can help you create a package that will work in your budget.

    Just in case, you need to be prepared to walk away- or consider a dry wedding.

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I've never heard of that before - every venue we found was either BYOB or required you to purchase all alcohol from them. I guess you could google liquor licensing regulations in your state to find out, but that just sounds fishy to me. The corkage fee seems high, too. Are you using the venue's dishes and glassware? If you really want this venue, try to negotiate as the PPs suggested. You might also consider doing a limited bar with beer and wine only.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker



  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Corkage fees sound about right and are not unusual.   They are a business and that is how they make money.


    Liquor laws vary state-to-state and even counties and cities have their own rules.  So you having to buy the alcohol from them might be correct.   It really depends. 

     Remember each business can go for a different license.   For example, where I live some restaurants choose to only serve beer and wine.  Others upgrade to liquor.  Others go for a night club license which allowed them to sell until the wee hours. Point is all liquor licenses are not equal.    Your venue could very well have a different liquor license then another place.  It really depends on which license they applied for and received.


    What I don't understand is If you are buying liquor from them why the corkage fee?  That makes no sense to me.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    MegIAm
  • minksterweddingminksterwedding JACKSONVILLE, FL member
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    @lyndausvi exactly! when they said you can use your own caterer, we'll just charge a corkage fee, we assumed that meant food and drinks because that's what a corkage fee is! we were fine with that! we understand they are a business and need some kind of compensation. but to suddenly change their minds and say "oops you would have to buy liquor from us AND pay a corkage fee"....just feels like their trying to rob me blind. 
  • minksterweddingminksterwedding JACKSONVILLE, FL member
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    @blabla89 that's another thing, we're not using their dishes or anything! as a new venue, they have nothing so we also have to pay for all our rentals.
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    @blabla89 that's another thing, we're not using their dishes or anything! as a new venue, they have nothing so we also have to pay for all our rentals.
    Generally a corkage fee is when you're bringing your own alcohol, and they're serving it/using their glassware. That's what corkage is. If that isn't the case then I'd want to know what exactly they're charging you for (other than recouping the money they're not making by selling you alcohol) in this "corkage fee." If they're serving it for you or providing a bartender, I'd try to negotiate a flat fee for this.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker



  • minksterweddingminksterwedding JACKSONVILLE, FL member
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    @blabla89 that's great advice, thank you! 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited February 2015
    I was thinking about this more. You said this place is new right?    It could simply be a result of poor training and this contact person is just confused on the polices.

    That said, corkage fees are generally for wines, not liquor. And specifically wines they do not sell themselves. 
      
     Most places that have a liquor license are not going to allow things other than wine they do not sell.  Liquor license can be hard and expensive to get, it doesn't make financial sense to go through all that trouble to get a license and then allow them to bring in items you sell yourself.  You will not stay in business very long with the business model.

    So it is possible to have both a corkage fee AND have to buy their liquor, if you were bringing in your own wines.

    That's all I've got.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I have another question: you say it's a $10 a head corkage fee. Does that mean they are charging you $10 per person you're inviting as a corkage fee? I thought corkage fees were per bottle. They are very confusing.
    image
  • I have been in the alcohol industry for over 10 years and I've never heard of a corkage fee per head.  Typically, its per bottle of wine, and $10 is about right.  Liquor laws vary from state to state, but this doesn't sound right at all.
  • minksterweddingminksterwedding JACKSONVILLE, FL member
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    lyndausvi said:
    I was thinking about this more. You said this place is new right?    It could simply be a result of poor training and this contact person is just confused on the polices.

    That said, corkage fees are generally for wines, not liquor. And specifically wines they do not sell themselves. 
      
     Most places that have a liquor license are not going to allow things other than wine they do not sell.  Liquor license can be hard and expensive to get, it doesn't make financial sense to go through all that trouble to get a license and then allow them to bring in items you sell yourself.  You will not stay in business very long with the business model.

    So it is possible to have both a corkage fee AND have to buy their liquor, if you were bringing in your own wines.

    That's all I've got.
    Thank you for your advice, I did end up getting the deal I was originally quoted after telling her someone else was going to give it to me as well. It all worked out! Yay!! 
    theartistformerlyknownasrcher912
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards