Post # 1
I contacted my dream venue today, and the price isn’t ridiculous, I suppose, but still almost all our budget. And that’s just for the venue with tables and chairs. Not the cake, food, photographer, decorations, officiant, band, hair, makeup, alcohol, invitaitons…..It really was a shock how much some things cost, even though I’ve been researching for awhile.
I was just wondering, what is the average cost of things in your area? Mainly, the photographer, venue, food, alcohol, and cake. Those are the main things I’m concerned about. I’m not sure we would be able to get this venue and still afford a cake since I don’t have any clue how much our cake will cost. Our budget is already causing great stress to me, and we haven’t even been engaged for a week. Ugh.
Post # 3
Here are the pricing ranges that my Fiance and I have come across in the Pittsburgh, PA (East Coast) area:
Photography: $600 – $2500
Venue fee: $500 – $3000
Food: $30 per person – $120 per person
Alcohol: $5 per drink – $10 per drink…. alot of places allow you to bring your own alcohol.
Cake: $3.00- $6.50 per slice
Are you open to looking at other venues? I’m not saying that you have to choose one of them… but go in with an open mind and maybe you will find something that is close to your dream venue.
In my opinion, I would not spend “almost all of our budget” on just the venue. There are so many other (big and unforeseeable) expenses that add up so fast.
Or how about cutting your guest list?
Post # 4
@suburban: I’m fine with looking at other venues. We looked at one already, and it was WAY over priced. For the venue [with tables and chairs], food, and some alcohol, it was around 11k. The place I called today said it would be 6k for the whole place and tables/chairs. I’m sure once we added food and alcohol, that would be about as much as the other one. Ugh. Our whole budget is right at 8k [maybe 9, but that would be pushing it]. I just don’t know where to look that isn’t outdoors, and does’t cost our whole budget. I guess I’m just feeling a bit discouraged.
Post # 5
@Mrs. Bear Cheese Pie: Do NOT be discouraged this early in the planning process. That’s what the next couple months are for! No I’m joking.
Maybe you should take a little break from wedding planning. I do it ALL the time. I focus on one project at a time and EVERY single project/task has caused me some kind of pain. So I cry for a day, drink a glass of wine the next day and on the third day I’m back to working on the project. But that little break always makes me feel so much better.
I just want to fly to your hometown and help you out!
Keep searching and occasionally take a break. You will find something.
Post # 6
Venue Site Fee $2,000-12,000
Food $100-200 per person
Open Bar $4,000-8,000
Post # 7
Oh! This is for the San Francisco area, based on 200 people..
Post # 8
@Peony007: Whoa! You must live in a really expensive area.
Post # 9
Food: not sure, I just used a family friend
Alcohol: not sure if we are even having any
Cake: $140 for 110 cupcakes and a small round cake to cut
Post # 10
Why not look at non-traditional venues like wineries? I know many around my area have building areas they rent out for events. It limits you in what you can serve in regards to wine, but they were all very budget-friendly when I inquired about dinners and receptions.
Post # 11
@TriciaAndDazzling : Yeah, it’s a little painful seeing how people can plan weddings for so much less! I started reading the weddingbee before I started planning and when I started contacting people I nearly got laughed at because my budget was soooo off for this area. My Fiance and I had to come up with a new, realistic budget for around here.
Post # 12
I haven’t priced out a lot of things but this is what I have so far:
Venue, tables/chairs, linens, buffet, 1 Keg of beer = $21 per person
Extra bartender = $60
Extra Security Guard = $70
Skirting on Select tables = $150
China plates = $1 per person
Each additional keg = $150
Chair covers = $4.50 per chair
Most of this is stuff that comes with the venue we chose or is an additional option they offer. I have yet to price cakes, photographer, flowers and many other things.
Post # 13
In FL, our venue (including tables, chairs, food, AND booze) will be $6K for 90 people. The photog is $3K, and the cake is $300.
IMO – you can work with any kind of wedding budget wherever you are – you just have to be creative! (or steal ideas from places like Wedding Bee).
That being said – I read somewhere that that reception should be ~40% of your budget. OP, if you budget is $8K, then you should NOT be looking at venues that cost $8K – this will only lead to (1) frustration or (2) you spending more than you should on the wedding. Start looking for places that are free to rent and that come with tables and chairs so you are only paying for food and booze. Try fire halls, VFW’s, community centers, etc. Don’t get sucked into the “wedding industry” – you can have a beautiful wedding at a community center – with a little effort on your end and cute, personalized DIY projects.
Oh – and the weddings you see in magazines – they probably cost $100K – just keep that in mind when getting “inspiration” from Martha Stewart (or whoever).
I also fell into this trap early in the wedding planning process – I looked at a venue that cost $6k just to rent the propery – not including tables/chairs/food/booze. Yes – a wedding there would have been magical, but, with less than 2 months to go, and I super excited about my wedding AND having money in the bank afterwards for a house downpayment!
Post # 14
Our venue is 110 per person (including tables, chairs, linens, food, open bar) before tax and tip (27% total).
Photographers we’ve seen starting prices from 600-5000,
idk about florists and other stuff yet, but thats for North Central NJ which is one of the most expensive places in the country (after NYC). We’re doing a pretty formal wedding for 200 people.
Post # 15
@Mrs. Bear Cheese Pie: Also don’t forget a videographer (which we are skipping) if you want one.
Post # 16
@LibertyBelle: I never thought about wineries, since I’m not even sure we have any in our area. I’ll look into it though. Thanks!
@Rock Hugger: I’m trying not to get suckered into the wedding industry. We’re going to meet with them to see what the lowest price is that they will do before we decide to go somewhere else. Like, if their bar isn’t necassary for us to have alcohol, then we could drop the price to 3k for two rooms, instead of using three and it counting as the whole venue. OR, if we could use the same room for the wedding then switch it over to the reception room also, maybe that would cut costs. I’m hoping I can work with them and get it to a decent price. If not, I’ll have to look elsewhere.
I started pricing cakes after getting overwhelmed with venues, and it looks like ours would be around $400 [about what I expected]. Food…I have no idea on that one. I’m not even too sure where to look. I looked at the caterers that the venue recommends, and they would end up costing around 5k. We just can’t do that. I wish I knew someone who did something like that for a living so they could help us out.
@asscherlover: We’re skipping the videographer too. Photos are plenty good enough for me. I’ve heard most people will watch the video a couple times and then it just sits on the shelf. I’ve contacted the photographer I really want, but I have a feeling they’ll be around 3k. So if the venue is 3k without food and alcohol, and the photographer is 3k, we’re down to 2k for food, alcohol, cake, etc. I don’t think it will be plausible.