Originally Posted by PorkQPine
I charge a $200 non-refundable deposit to hold the date. 10 days from the event I get the final count and full payment. Never had a problem with this system and I never have to chase anyone for money and I don't have to try to get paid at the event. If they don't have the money 10 days prior to the event they won't have it 10 days later.
I do it the same way, people get 2 days away from the date they booked you only to find out it is going to rain and then decide it's better to loose the $250 deposit than to pay another $1000 plus to be in the rain. Leaves the caterer high and dry after all food supplies have been purchased. At least 10 days in advance the weatherman can not make a predictable forecast and my contract states they should have a back up plan (tent or indoors) in the event of inclement weather. Plus like PorkQPine said, it sure is nice to not have to chase the client down to get paid.