I'll keep it as concise as possible. My fiancee and I have been planning on a particular date at a venue, it's about 2500 miles away from where we currently live (she's from there originally). It's not so much the deposit (50%) that freaks me out, but the lack of organization their main contact has, for example, she put us down for the wrong date and put a soft reservation on the specific date we asked for.

That being said. Sending a check for $5000 across the country, to me, seems absolutely ludicrous, it would be nearly impossible to take them to small claims should they renege on the contract or go bankrupt. Being a web developer and seeing their website I can easily within 2 hours mock-up something of equivalent look and feel and start taking checks and credit cards if I wanted to. (Obviously I don't need to do this I have a good job)

Is this tacky or out of the norm for someone to insist on an third party (escrow) holding the deposit until all conditions have been met?

  • Have you visited the venue? it sounds like you haven't because you mention sending a check across the country, and you are wondering about the qualify of the website. Also is this just the venue or are they also the caterer? Mar 28, 2019 at 11:55
  • The website example was just me explaining how easy it would be to fake a venue and take money from the unsuspecting. I'll be visiting this venue before signing anything and putting down 50%, once I know they're real then potentially put down 50%, but it being a year away I'd rather earn the interest on the $$ not them. It's obviously going to be up to my fiancee ultimately but its a perfect excuse to visit New Orleans anyway :) Just my infosec background coming through in my personal life o.O Mar 28, 2019 at 19:53

3 Answers 3


I would consider it normal for most venues to have easy-to-replicate websites and for many to have dodgy organisational ability.

The 50% deposit does seem unusually high however. For example, the deposit on the venue for my wedding was 10%, and that came with a contract spelling out the date and responsibilities of both parties.

As for the disorganisation, I would definitely factor this into the potential risk you are taking in booking them. A good contract means in the worst case, you can recoup the cost of the venue losses, but it's unlikely to recover deposits / payments to other providers and more importantly, you don't really want anything to go wrong at your wedding.

This is the reason most suppliers charge more for weddings. They're costing the extra effort to reduce the risk of ruining a wedding day


I would say, yes this is out of the norm. If you don't trust the vendor don't use the vendor...


You're free to negotiate payment terms as you like, but from the point of view of the venue, you are asking to put a hole in their cash flow compared to standard operations. They can decide whether your business is worth the deviation, so be prepared for a "no".

If you don't like the way they do business (standard contract terms, apparent organization, web presence, whatever) then find an alternative.

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