You may recall that when the Boy and I saw the first venue – Holland Marsh Winery, we were in love. We had some reservations about the size of the space, but we were thinking since it wasn’t built yet, and we were the first to inquire, and Rolland (the owner) said he “always takes care of his first,” it was looking like Venue 1 would be the standard by which all others would be measured.
Well, we looked around. In that process I decided that it’s really unfair that the most expensive part of the reception is the first decision to be made. Both the Boy and I suffered a little sticker shock. But in the back of our mind we thought – but we’ve got a great deal at the Winery. What’s that thing they say about things being too good to be true? Argh.
Since Rolland couldn’t give us a ballpark having never had an event in his space, given that it’s not finished yet, my parents and I went and saw a local caterer that my work uses regularly and creates all things delicious. On the pro list for the Winery was we could use any caterer we wanted, and the caterer that I knew was looking to become Rolland’s preferred caterer. So we met her and made our wish list (the Boy chose to opt out of this meeting and made dinner for me upon my return instead – cool with me). She said she’d put together a quote, meet with Rolland to see how he wants to work out his end (room rate – he had no idea when we met him, and/or percentage of the food – and what percent that might be). She said she’d have an answer for me by the end of the week…. that was 2 weeks ago.
I emailed her last week to say – I know you’re busy with the holiday season, but I’m here looking to make a decision before the rest of the universe gets engaged over Christmas. She answered – thanks for your patience, meeting with Rolland should have a quote in the next few days. That was December 13. On the 17th I called her. Really looking to make a decision this week. She said she’d send me her quote by Saturday afternoon but she wanted to let me know that my BFF Rolland – the guy that was going to take care of us as his “first” wants $5000 for the space alone.
Should I repeat that? $5000 FOR THE SPACE ALONE. As far as I know (since it’s now Monday and she still hasn’t sent me a quote) that price doesn’t include anything… just space. Space that’s not even built yet. Space that we have only seen digital plans of. Space that no one else has used. There are no testimonials. There is no coordinator. There is no history. There is no reputation. $5000, for 150 people to come to a space and stand there. No one has anything to eat. There are no decorations. There is no food. And the Boy and I are naked.
I repeat… Uh… What?
So I said what any bride-to-be (BTB for short you know) would say – “Um What? Does he know that that is 2-3x the venue price of other places we’ve looked at.” Let’s keep in mind that those other venues are built, not North of Hwy 9, some of which are right in the beautiful city of Toronto, with beautiful city of Toronto prices? To put this in perspective, stunning Venue #3‘s rental fee is $2500 and that includes tables, chairs, basic linen, silver candlesticks, all staff costs and a night of Maitre’D.
So what did Ms. Caterer say? “Well, he says he’s done some research and spoken to another similar venue in town.” This other venue that he “researched” has done over 800 weddings according to their website. She did not try and convince me. She did not say she thought this was a reasonable price. In fact, she followed that statement up with, “Have you looked at Waterstone Estate and Farm?”
We hadn’t. We did this weekend. There were more shenanigans there, but it seems that this might be another viable candidate.
As I’m typing this it’s now Monday evening, I still haven’t received a quote from Ms. Caterer. I should say I would normally just say the name of the company I’m waiting on, but she is really good, and I think the delay (while I still find it unreasonable) is likely due to the holiday season.
So the long and the short of it is we thought the venue was going to be an easy decision, but I’m quickly learning that when it comes to wedding, there are few “easy” decisions.
Positive thoughts. Positive thoughts.
4 Days ’til Christmas!
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