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am I being thick or is the wedding venue taking the piss?!

(111 Posts)
Floss881 Thu 03-Nov-16 01:52:49

So we've booked one of the top venues in the UK for our wedding. Today we received the dreaded payment reminder we'd been waiting for:
"This is just a quick reminder email to say that your venue hire fee payment of £4250 is due on or before the end of November.
The original £1500 booking deposit is deducted from the final food / drink / accommodation balance payable 6 weeks prior, NOT the venue hire fee at this stage."

"I was like whaaaaaat, since when couldn't you use the "venue" deposit against the venue fee?!". Their response was that it was in the t&c's. However, I dug out the t&c's and the only mention of the deposit was in the payment schedule:
Deposit.... £1500
6 months before... Full venue fee (£tbc)
6 weeks before... Final balance (£tbc)
I think that's pretty ambiguous... There is no other mention of the deposit in the t&c's but the booking form describes it as "venue deposit". The venue director also claims that he sent me a confirmation letter on receipt of deposit with the policy indicated, which I swear I've never seen!

It's not the end of the world, just annoying before Christmas. I've asked the venue if they would accept Full and complete payment in January- 5 months before the wedding, so waaaay before the 6 weeks required (for food and drink) in exchange for using the deposit against the venue fee, which they have so far refused. Has anyone else had this? Are they just being dicks?!

LellyMcKelly Thu 03-Nov-16 02:24:13

That's crystal clear. Full venue fee means full venue fee.

Bogeyface Thu 03-Nov-16 02:28:13

They need to confirm their T&Cs better. If it went to court then generally speaking any ambiguity in a contract is awarded against those who would benefit most, in this case that would be the venue. You would need to go to court to confirm and enforce their ambigious terms, which they rely on you not doing.

However, given that you are spending £5k on the venue before hosting costs (nice stealth boast there btw), I am not sure how this is a major issue for you, unless you cant afford to pay it in which case you need to plan a more financially realisitic wedding.

Bogeyface Thu 03-Nov-16 02:29:09

And how can you offer full payment 5 months before the wedding when you wont have all your RSVPs in by that date, so wont actually know what the full and complete bill will be?

Calling bullshit.

Motherfuckers Thu 03-Nov-16 03:11:24

So how is this "top wedding venue in the UK" decided then?

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 03-Nov-16 04:11:51

Except as a solicitor I would say the terms are not ambiguous and therefore under contract law you'd fail.

As I am assuming you don't want to go to court and want to use the venue I would stay as friendly as possible and ask whether you can pay the amount you assumed would be due now with the remaining £1500 after Christmas - although there is no obligation for them to sllow you to do this.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 03-Nov-16 04:13:07


3luckystars Thu 03-Nov-16 04:15:30

I would say they are going out of business!

Make sure you get wedding insurance and pay with a credit card. Good luck.

DancingDinosaur Thu 03-Nov-16 04:19:26

I don't think its clear at all. You shouldn't need a law degree to understand it. I second paying by credit card.

MimiSunshine Thu 03-Nov-16 04:34:47

We're the (£tbc) figures in your op made clear in your contract or are they as shown?

Surely you can't sign a contract without these as they could up being way over your budget, so if not shown I'd be going back and saying actually In the T&Cs there isn't clarity in what needed paying on what schedule so the delay to January is more than fair.

Can the manager prove he gave you a copy of the letter? You can both prove you have the contract. Surely any letter he claims to have sent can't be different to the contract terms (which don't appear to be clear) as it would make it invalid

3luckystars Thu 03-Nov-16 04:47:00

The reason I think the business is in trouble is because the letter points out about the fees and the reasons, if it was all pre arranged, they would have just sent an invoice, " £4000 due now please as discussed"

Instead of a chancy email with "the original booking fee is this, and now we want that" makes me think they are sending this letter to everyone.

3luckystars Thu 03-Nov-16 04:53:12

Sorry I just reread.
So you paid 1500 deposit. The venue fee is 4250.

Is it 6 months before your wedding now?

so then that is pretty clear. You have to pay.

Strawberry90 Thu 03-Nov-16 04:57:19

I agree with allthebest's advice

On an aside - you need to get used to being shafted by wedding related companies. Flowers, dresses, cakes.. etc you are going to be bleeding money through the nose. If you are stuck paying £1500 plus a £5k hire then I would question whether you'll be able to afford the rest of your wedding - it seems you picked an expensive place. You should have most of the cost of the wedding in your account 6 months before date already...

FerretFred Thu 03-Nov-16 05:33:48

The phrase FULL venue fee is pretty clear. It doesn't say full venue fee less deposit. A contract is what it says, not what you would like it to say.

PaulDacresConscience Thu 03-Nov-16 05:43:39

It could be clearer, but 'full venue fee' is exactly what it says.

RockyTop Thu 03-Nov-16 06:01:44

I think it reads pretty clearly myself, full venue fee means the full amount allocated to that. Final balance is that whatever remains after that, and any deposit paid.

Bruce02 Thu 03-Nov-16 06:04:03

Is the venue a hotel or the like that does catering or is it a venue with separate caterers?

I suspect the second. If so You are essentially asking the venue to drop their price by £1500.

It sounds clear to me.

People have expressed concern about the business being in trouble. I don't really agree with this because I used to organise weddings for a hotel. We would explain everything in the letters because we would get endless phones calls queuing stuff if we didn't.

However I would suggest wedding insurance just in case.

Costacoffeeplease Thu 03-Nov-16 06:12:34

It's pretty clear to me - full venue fee is full venue fee

oleoleoleole Thu 03-Nov-16 06:15:06

Surely if you can afford to spend that kind of money, you've got it lying around so it doesn't matter when you part with it!

Yakitori Thu 03-Nov-16 06:22:16

I think they should have followed up with an email and letter at the time of booking acknowledging receipt of the deposit and setting out what further payments, with the actual amounts, were due and when.

That said, I don't think it necessarily fails legally but it does fail in terms of customer service and goodwill.

Also the advice to take out wedding insurance is sound, with paying so much upfront.

snapcrap Thu 03-Nov-16 06:28:23

You lost me at 'top UK wedding venue' grin (what does that actually mean?). Why didn't you just call your thread 'WE ARE HAVING AN EXPENSIVE WEDDING - HERE'S WHAT IT'S COSTING'?

itlypocerka Thu 03-Nov-16 06:39:16

Looks reasonable to me. Full venue fee means full venue fee not the venue fee less the deposit already received.

Tbh if paying £1500 a few months sooner than you expected is causing you a moment's trouble you probably aren't really the target market for a "top wedding venue".

SavoyCabbage Thu 03-Nov-16 06:49:23

I'd just gave paid it! You don't want to fall out with them and feel uncomfortable on your wedding day.

Kirriemuir Thu 03-Nov-16 06:51:12

No, they are not being dicks.

TheNaze73 Thu 03-Nov-16 06:51:47

YABVU, it's crystal clear.

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