Thursday, April 2, 2009

$500 punch station FAIL

As great as many, many elements of putting together our wedding have been for us (I mean helloooo, our amazing invitations!), I've gotta be honest: I can see exactly why so many people get so pissed off at the wedding industry. Here's what Adams-Hanger '09 is getting increasingly resentful about these days: simple requests to our wedding venue that produce an absurdly laughable result. Enter: ceremony refreshments.

Because we're starting our ceremony a bit later than guests think it's going to start, we'd planned to have simple music and refreshments available so that everyone can mingle and be lively while they wait, rather than staying seated and wondering if the two of us ran off somewhere (only with each other, of course). A punch station seemed like a great, cute way to do this. Three glass canisters with a different type of beverage in each: water with fruit, lemonade, and a standard fruit punch. Cute signage on the canisters. No alcohol involved. Self-serve, even. The price quoted back to us? $500.

$500 for a punch station. Really.

There are three directions to go here, seems to me. One is to shrug it off and tack it onto the bill - honestly, I think most people probably do this, or the venue wouldn't be so cavalier about the price. I am not one of those people. One is to bitchily latch onto the $500 punch station as representing the greedy underbelly of the entire wedding industry, and perhaps vent about it on blog posts. Another is to tell the venue rep (who my mom loves and the F-Word routinely wants to strangle, interestingly) that it's a ridiculous price and therefore a no-go and to move on. I guess I'm doing both of the last two - I told her no already, but instead of moving on, I can't stop getting pissed about it.

Getting married in the remote area of my choosing means that our options for venues were severely limited compared with most any other place in the country. We really do love our venue, though, and chose it because of how easily it can accommodate our whole crowd in one place for an entire weekend - no driving between locations, no getting lost, etc. But going with this venue also meant we were beholden to them for all food and beverages. I don't think I fully realized at the time we signed on just how big a deal that is. Frankly, food and beverage is the part of our expense spreadsheet that keeps us up at night.

We have gorgeous invitations bursting with our personalities, we have a weekend full of events that will bring together our favorite people, we have saying 'I Do' at the end of it all and not looking back... those are fantastic things. The $500 punch station, though? It makes me want to punch someone. Not very "bridal" of me, I know.

9 comments:

Abbie said...

Are you kidding me?! That's insane. I would do the same thing if I were in your shoes!

I've been looking for a drink dispenser that is actually large enough and pretty enough that isn't at least $200! I don't live within 3 hours of a shopping center, so I have deal with shipping costs, too. I am thankful that I can bring in my own vendors, though.

nole said...

That is an insane price. I worked with my caterer to offer iced tea and soft drinks before our ceremony. We purchased a cold beverage jar from Crate & Barrel - http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=180&f=23882 - and our caterer was willing to fill it with iced tea for us and then we took the jar back from them at the end of the night. Perhaps your caterer would be willing to do something similar?

The F-Word said...

I really do kind of want to strangle her over this, actually. I find her to be smug in the face of the frightening audacity the venue shows in it's willingness to embarassingly overprice everything. Seriously, $4/person for water and lemonade? We could get custom bottled water for less than half that. So yes, she remains firmly in my doghouse...

Milltini said...

That is just absurd...have you thought about maybe doing something similar to what I (think..or at least what I think I saw) that they did at Kate's? Pass drinks out in glasses? It sounds like no matter what creative/adorable concept you come up with, they aren't going to budge on the ridic. factor. So annoying.

Allie said...

Could I smuggle in some pitchers of Kool-Aid? OH YEAH!!!!! =O

Kate said...

yep, know I'm not supposed to be posting and all but whatevs (waiting on dinner taxi)...

yeaaaaaaah, I think we paid like $100 bucks extra for the iced tea and lemonade to be passed to guests before the ceremony - do NOT pay $500 - that is ghastly!

Oh and Evan wants me to tell you right now that he loves you (platonic-style) - he made me swear to say so.

SLynnRo said...

Invite me, and I will smuggle in my beloved Crystal Light.

Legallyblondemel said...

There is always something to drive you crazy with the planning process. $500 definitely fits in the crazy category. While I'm all for spending the budget on food/drinks, don't think your guests will miss this detail if you opt out.

And look at Kate commenting from her honeymoon; what a bloggy rock star!

Anonymous said...

I catered. I don't think this is nuts. It's not just pitchers of punch. It's preparation of said beverages, rental of canisters and glasses, washing and restocking all the glasses and canisters after use, use of table cloths and table skirts and tables, setup and maintenance of waste stations for empty glasses, and napkins and compensation for staff to set this up, maintain it during and then tear it all down when finished. Lets assume that your wedding only has 100 guests--that's $5 per person for the hour or 2 this will be setup. Doesn't seem at all ridiculous in those terms to me. It's only a bit more than if you bought everyone a bottle of Vitamin Water at the 7/11.