Post # 1
This is my first time posting, so bear with me! <br /><br />I’m getting married in May 2015, and I have a $12,000 budget from my parents for the venue, catering and photography. My family doesn’t have a lot so to me, this is VERY generous. However, I feel like I made a huge mistake. <br /><br />We booked a museum for the venue for $3,000 and an amazing photographer (with prints, wedding album and second photog) for $4,500. Now, we have about $4,500 left for catering. We were planning on inviting 90 guests (I have a huge family, FH does not, so it’s mainly family, and almost no friends, which I’m kinda bummed about) but the museum came with a list of required caterers, which I was unaware of at the time of booking (I know, I know. Rookie mistake. I am literally kicking myself) and all the caterers are pretty much out of our price range. <br /><br />So…we can reduce the guest list, or we can lose a $700 deposit with the museum and start fresh. <br /><br />I am so confused, I don’t know what to do. I am willing to leave the museuem, and I am also willing to reduce the guest list. But I just need some advice. What would you do?
Post # 2
Is there any way at all that you’re able to contribute money to the cost of catering? If not, I would say reduce the guest list to only immediate family (like parents, grandparents, and siblings only) and closest friends. Unless you’re extremely close to the rest of your family, you don’t have to invite everyone…I think they would understand. Also, keep in mind that inviting 90 guests hopefully doesn’t mean all 90 will be able to go 😀
Post # 3
i dont understand how much more money you will need to have the catering at the musuem. ahskinner:
Post # 4
califlorican: i realize most people do say like a small percentage will not show even if sent an invitation, but I got a feelings when i send invitations out my family and friends will come, because they wanted to see this for theirself. lol. they waited a long time for this. and they know if they dont come to my wedding, my parents especially my mom will not be coming to their childrens either, so they will be there…at least in my case. dang. lol
Post # 5
12,000 dollars is very generous even if your parents are well off IMO. I think you should pitch in some money and keep the guest list as is
Post # 6
Thanks, guys! I appreciate it. Me and FH are already paying for wedding dress, tux, favors, save the dates, invites, centerpieces and pretty much everything else except the flowers and bar. So, I’m not sure how much we’ll have left to pitch in (I’m still a poor college student at the moment!) but I really apperciate all of your responses! Thanks again!
Post # 7
ahskinner: Personally, I’d lose money on the photographer and get someone else.
Post # 8
ahskinner: Oh, what a pain!
Before you do anything, I would contact some other caterers and try and work out what the going rate for your area is. If it turns out the list of caterers you have been given have fairly average prices and you can’t get anything much cheaper anyway, that may make the decision for you.
Alternatively, if you do find a cheaper catering option, it may be worth double checking with your venue about whether you can hire them instead. Sometimes the venue will charge you a fixed fee in order to use a different external vendor, but this could end up being worth it if the price difference per head is substantial.
Lastly, have you considered doing something alternative to the standard sit down meal? If you really are stuck, you could do a cocktail event instead. Otherwise you could look for little options to cut down costs, such as skipping dessert and using your wedding cake instead.
Hope something works out – good luck!
Post # 9
Can you contact the caterers, tell them what you have to work with, and see if any would be willing to offer you a different package that accommodates your budget? What about having heavy hors d’oeurves instead of a meal? You say you aren’t paying for the flowers and bar….is someone else covering those? Can you cut back on those and ask if the extra money could be put towards catering? Can your photographer work with you to reduce costs (i.e. give you copyright privilages and a disc vs. prints, so you can choose what to print at a later date?
It does not hurt to ask questions regarding budget and vendors, you never know who will be willing to work with you!
I’m working with less than $12K and funding with no family help, so I understand the struggle!
Post # 10
I agree with AprilinTX, is there any way you could alter the menu in any way to make it cheaper? skipping starters, cutting to just a beer/wine bar instead of a full bar? or prehaps cutting back on decor?
I think we would be better able to help if we knew how much the price difference was that you are tryin to make up.
Post # 11
I would talk to your photographer and possibly cut the album/second shooter to cut costs. Since it’s a museum I’m assuming it’s a pretty well-decorating room, so flowers can probably be minimal or you could choose cheaper ways to decorate. Stick to beer and wine instead of open bar. Tell the caterers your budget and see what they can do for you. If it’s still not enough, I would probably cut the guest list before changing venues- like another bee said, if the caterers are within the average price range in your area, changing your venue isn’t going to help. Good luck!
Post # 12
I definitly wouldnt cut the photographer as that is all that you will have left to remember the day years down the road and getting a good photographer is top on my list! So definitly wouldnt cut that…Before you lose that deposit, go around to comparable or other venues and see how much money you would be saving. I thought the same thing until I comared. Granted there were a lot of “Cheaper” venues that were just very cheap looking in looks, feel and quality that were cheaper but the other venues that were comparable were on the same price. So find out first if you do like any other venues, what the cost is there and if you will be saving money and if they have the date and then go from there! Good luck!
Post # 13
I’d definitely run the numbers first to see exactly what the cost differential is in terms of catering. If it’s a couple thousand, it should be doable to make up the difference by cutting in other areas — dropping the album, choosing a more cost-effective menu, having fewer flowers, etc.
I would be a bit hesitant about cutting the guest list, if only because your parents are very generously paying for the catering and venue and they might be disappointed if less of your family is invited.
Post # 14
ahskinner: That photographer his a HUGE chunck of your budget and I’d probably look to cut that down first (maybe less prints or cut the album). I’d rather have crappier pictures of more people closest to me then super awesome pictures of my decor.
As PPs have said, you can also try and work with the caterers to see what kind of package they can put together for your budget.
You can also contribute yourselves. I know you don’t have a lot of spare cash, but you can cut other things from your budget such as favors, bathroom baskets, welcome bags, etc. You could also look at serving beer and wine only and cut the liquor out of your bar.
If none of that works, then I’d look for a different venue.
I know that cutting the guests list is the easiest way to save money, but for me personally, having my friends and family at my wedding is far more important than pictures, venue, decorations, etc.
Post # 15
Personally i’d cut the guest lift. Any friends or co-workers you felt obligated to invite- cut. Any distant relatives you never see (and your parents arent super close to)- cut. Even though you don’t expect everyone to make your wedding- pe prepared that they could. Also try to negotiate with the caterers. Can you serve cake as dessert and therefore not pay the caterers for dessert? It could be doable. I wouldn’t drop the venue before negotiating and cutting the guestlist.