Post # 1
I started checking into venues, and I’m a little anxious now.
First of all, how can you put deposits down for weddings and make payments if you don’t know how many people are coming? Do you just pay for the number you invite, or a percentage of the invited?
Second, what does it mean when they say “$65/person”? Does that mean EVERYTHING costs that much, or just the food? What are the general fees on top of that? And, speaking of money, if we want a wedding with roughly 240 people invited, what percent do they say generally show? What does the average wedding cost for that many people?
I’m pretty savvy with money and definitely will shop around and do a lot of DIY stuff to save money, but my fiancé wants to get as close to 10K as possible for everything (I think he’s nuts with that goal!)
So, if you can help me with these questions/concerns, and give me any other advice, I would really appreciate it!!
Post # 3
every venue has a different deposit. it can be based on the minimum food/beverage budget. for mine, it was just the rental fee.
also, every venue calculates cost differently. you have to be astute and ask what the per person price includes — a lot of times, it’s just the meal (salad, entree, sides). hors d’oeuvres and beverages may be included or separate. also, there’s usually a service fee, tax, and gratuity added on top of the per person price.
a wedding can cost as much or as little as you want it to.
Post # 4
What $65 per person means can be best answered by the venue. They should tell you what’s included in the package. When I researched venues, I found that this varies significantly, and $65 per person can sum up to very different final amounts at two different venues, depending what other charges they have.
As for the deposits, you are only paying down a small amount of the total, and the venue might have a minimum charge. There might be various fees that do not depend on the guest count. The venue will tell you a $ amount for the deposit, and when you pay the rest just before your wedding, the final amount will be calculated on the # of the final head count you give them.
There is no average wedding cost. I mean, statistically there is, but that does not say much about what you should expect to pay. Vendors in NYC charge more than vendors in Omaha, NE. And the final cost really depends on the kind of wedding you have in mind.
Post # 5
Generally the info the venue gives you should say whats included- either it will say 65/ person including tax and gratuity, or 65/ person plus tax and gratuity, in which case you have to add tax and tip to that number. It should list, or you should be able to find out easily if tables, linens etc are included in that number. They often are.
Generally you put down a depost it reserve the venue- which is a standard amount- for us it was $500. Then at a second meeting you give them a 50% deposit- for this you have to guess how many people are coming- if you guess low, you’ll just end up paying more later, and if you guess high, you end up paying less later.
240 people is a lot- even if only 200 show, paying 65/ person is 13,000- and that doesn’t include flowers, photographer, dress etc. So you’d have to figure out a way to cut the food number in half if you wanted to stick to 10,000 budget. People do that though- so don’t lose heart!
Post # 6
If you have a rough number for 240 people, that is what the venue will base your fees on. Usually a deposit is a set amount of money no matter how many people you have. We had to give our venue $1500 to hold the date, and then they credit that towards our total at the end. We are estimating about 200 people, so they quoted us on what it would cost for 200, and 6 months before the wedding half of that amount is due. Then we pay the rest (adjusted to our final count of people) a week before the wedding.
All venues are different as far as what they include for “$65/person.” Our venue’s package price was $55/person, but since we’re trying to save money we modified it by changing elements of it and brought it down to about $45/person. At $55/person ours include a lot of things, like a champagne toast, 5 passed hor duerves (i never know how to spell that), an antipasto tray, guests can choose from 2 meals, and some other stuff. However, another venue I looked into was somewhere around $80/person but included a cake, nicer chairs, centerpieces, etc. So it really can range depending on the venue.
At $45/person we’re well over $10,000 and that’s just for 200 people. There was a small rental fee for the venue and we’re having the ceremony there (only an additional $200 though). The worst part of it is most places charge 18-20% gratuity and then you have to pay tax, so those numbers alone are huge.
The best advice I can give is to definitely do your research. Check a few venues that you might be interested in and compare what they have to offer and how much they charge. You may find that one place might be slightly less expensive than another, but doesn’t include as much. I made a spreadsheet to keep myself sane. 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 7
We had some venues that offered centerpieces, a dj plus the food for $65 a person. Then we had places that the food alone cost $80 a person. We also found caterers ranging from $30-100 a person for pretty similiar food.