N
Newbie September 2022 Ontario

Cost of venues...is $22,000 outrageous?

Nz, on February 23, 2021 at 11:01 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 13
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Hi there,

My dream venue just got back to me for a wedding and reception in Oct 2022.

For 100 guests, they are charging $22,000 for the ceremony and the dinner. This includes use of the indoor and outdoor space for ceremony and reception, setup and tear down, the 3 course plated dinner, h'orderves, and sparking wine toast. This number includes HST, 18% gratuity, and HST ON the gratuity.

It does not include a DJ, any alcohol, a photographer, dessert table, decorations, lodging rooms for the bride and groom or rooms for any guests, a late night snack or a rehersal dinner. Those are all extra.

It is a very nice venue but it seems like alot. Other places I'm looking into that are slightly less nice have at least the bride and groom lodgings included, late night snack, and a DJ for 3000-7000 dollars less.

Does this seem like alot of money for what we are getting? Is gratuity always that much? How much extra are photographers, DJ's, decorations etc. if we are keeping things relatively simple?

I've never planned a wedding before so want to know what's reasonable. Thanks!

13 Comments

Latest activity by Kir, on July 14, 2021 at 14:42
  • Kir
    Newbie March 2021 British Columbia
    Kir ·
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    Hello, I’m getting married in DT Vancouver BC. My venue cost is $10,000 for 50 ppl. That includes hors doeuvres, signature cocktails, 3 course meal, cake, gratuity and day of coordinator.
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  • Megan
    Frequent user July 2023 Ontario
    Megan ·
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    For a reference point, we are paying 23,000 for our ceremony/reception venue, and it includes hors d'ouvers, 3 course dinner, wine on the table, open bar, late night snack, day of coordinator, bride and groom suites all day, gratuity and HST, and they will do most of the set up and tear down. So personally with what's included in yours it seems expensive. I'm in southern Ontario.

    I agree though, when you start planning you often have no idea what is a normal cost, how much you should spend, etc. I've found this community super helpful with stuff like that!

    • Reply
  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    I wouldn't go with that deal since it doesn't have much to work with besides the basics. I paid about $11,500 including gratuity charge for 72 guests. I would consider the other venues that are offering more for the less price range.
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  • N
    Newbie September 2022 Ontario
    Nz ·
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    View quoted message

    Thanks for letting me know! Ya I suspected the same, at the end of the day it would be like a 32,000 dollar wedding with alcohol and everything else, which is far more than I wanted to spend. The venue is close to a park so that's probably why it's so much money.

    I'm so impressed with the level of feedback from this community!! You guys are the best.

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  • Gloria
    Expert October 2022 Ontario
    Gloria ·
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    Agreed with what many have said. It’s pricey given that it doesn’t include alcohol. But you have to keep in mind what you’re getting for that price and the quality etc. Out of curiosity may I ask which venue? We saw one venue we loved in Cambridge (I believe it has now shut down) that was roughly $260/person but that included alcohol (still very pricey nonetheless).
    Also/ yes ... gratuitous is added based on the total Bill so that may be a bit pricey
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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    I think that is way too much for not including alcohol

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  • Geneviève
    VIP September 2020 Ontario
    Geneviève ·
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    That does sound steep especially since it doesn’t include alcohol. What else does it include? (I’m mostly wondering about: officiant, table linens/cutlery, tables for food/activities, day of relief room for the couple (not overnight, just where you chill before the ceremony), any day of coordination) or is the price basically for the space and the food?
    Also, you shouldn’t pay HST on a gratuity. It should be built into the price after the subtotal. Perhaps the pricing and contract could use a little more looking over in case they have some other weird things too.
    • Reply
  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    That is quite high, especially without an open bar. I'm now really curious as to what the food menu is for that price.

    To put into comparison, I can get the following for $22K:

    1) A ceremony and reception in a swanky downtown Toronto hotel for 75 people with hors d'oeuvres, five hour bar, wine during dinner, three course plated dinner, one night room and breakfast next morning for the couple, and valet parking.

    2) A ceremony and reception for 120 people in an uptown hotel with hors d'oeuvres, five hour open bar, four course plated dinner, room for the couple for the night + their anniversary, coat check, spa day for the couple, and parking.

    This is all Toronto pricing. I can get more if I go further into the suburbs or out of the Greater Toronto Area.

    Most venues do not include a DJ. a photographer or decor in their packages. But I am surprised they didn't at least give the wedding couple a room for the night. Sounds like covid hit them hard and they're really pricing aggressively to make up for it.

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  • Arexy
    Devoted October 2020 Ontario
    Arexy ·
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    The gratuity is normal. Mine was 18%. But $22,000 for food and venue only... that’s essentially $220 per plate. I would think this is okay if alcohol is included, but without alcohol that is quite steep. How much more is alcohol per person? Most people usually give $100 as a gift per person (some will give more some will give less)...
    • Reply
  • Rayanne
    Featured January 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    If it was a package with alcohol I wouldn't think that was horrible but I think that is way too much without. Do you have many options where you are to keep looking around?
    • Reply
  • Linda
    Frequent user April 2021 Ontario
    Linda ·
    • Dispute
    My ceremony and reception for 50 guest was costing about 9000$. That is 3 Corse dinner open bar, house wine use of the bridal sweet and outdoor patio with heating. This also includes a discount for being on a Friday and before official wedding season starts.


    22000 dosent sound unreasonable.
    • Reply
  • Sara
    Frequent user August 2021 Ontario
    Sara ·
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    This seems a little high...

    Our venue doesn't charge as a "package", but charges seperately for food, alcohol, and ceremony services.

    To compare, our venue is charging $1000 for ceremony set up (arbour and chairs)
    Our reception venue is free of charge if the event is catered, so for catering for 100 guests, it will cost us approx. $40/plate plus HST and 15% gratuity for a total of about $5,200.

    We are opting out of tray passed appetizers - but even if we did get them it would add on approx. an extra $2000.

    So for the services you are receiving (minus the sparkling wine toast), our venue would charge approx. $8,200.

    Technically, our decorator will do set up and tear down. We are paying an extra $3000 for a decorator with set up and tear down, so that would put our total to $11,200 if you include the set up and tear down aspect. About half of your quote.

    We also get a night in the honeymoon suite included, and a 15% discount on hotel rooms for guests.

    You pretty much have to decide if your dream venue is worth the extra cash!! I think you can definitely get a lower price on the things you are receiving elsewhere.

    In terms of other costs:
    DJ - we are paying $850 for ceremony and reception music
    Photographer - $2300 for 8 hours of coverage
    Liquor - We were quoted $3500 for an open bar but this is an overestimate and we are refunded the balance not consumed

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  • A
    Curious May 2021 Ontario
    Angie ·
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    At first i was going to say no, its not crazy. But after reading your description and seeing that this does not include open premium bar, then yes I think thats too much.

    Essentially, its $220 per plate which is already an above average rate if there WAS open bar included, so without open bar its alot.

    May I ask which venue this is?

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