Post # 1
So i know there are people who pull of budget weddings but I live in Toronto and 75% of my guests will be flying in from out of the province so getting out of the city has costs too.
How can I save money?
Right now, the venue I’ve found is going to be $165/person and that’s the cheapest by quite a bit.
Here’s out it breaks down (for 75 guests)
Cocktail Hour Apps: $650
Plated 3 Course Meal: $3,520 ($46.90pp)
Late Night Service: $439.50
Host Bar Estimate: $3,481.50
Misc Fees (SOCAN, delivery, Set up): $599.64
Venue Rental: $1,100
The venue includes tables, chairs, linens, dishes, candles & candle holders, staffing, and they do all the set up and tear down. I know I can cut the bar and save some money – but I would LIKE to have an open bar…
Does this seem really unreasonable? Has anyone in a major centre found ways to do things on a tight budget?
Post # 3
I’m in Atlanta, GA and we are at $130/person (based on 80) right now. We only have beer and wine though. The only number that is outstanding to me is the bar – but that depends on what shelf you picked, how many bartenders, and setups. Our menu selection is running about $32 a person (all courses), so that’s another difference. But all in all, I think your total seems reasonable for a metro area. We did a lot of negotiating to get prices down (i.e. free second bar setup, alcohol discount, food discount, Sunday discount). If you think you are high, see if they’ll work with you. That’s what my dad did with ours, he frankly said this is our budget, we’d like this this and this. And they accomodated.
Post # 4
@GeorgiaBride5: That’s just their initial quote, we will probably eliminate mixed drinks altogether and do just wine and beer. We have 3 menu options and I may decide to do chicken and vegetarian only and eliminate the beef which will save. I think I can negotiate a bit – I just get so frustrated hearing about people who have amazing weddings for $5000 or find food at $10 a person!
Post # 5
When I first started planning, I stayed away from ANYTHING in hotels because I thought it would mean big boring banquet halls I would have to decorate, or really expensive ritzy places. I found a beautiful restaurant attached to a reasonable hotel that had character and the best part was that there was no rental fee, as the hotel’s strategy I’m sure is to get rooms booked and make more money that way. I don’t know if you’ve looked at this kind of option, but most hotels list on the web site the restaurant/event areas that are attached to the hotel as well as prices.
Post # 6
@Britterscotch: hotel is the last resort. FH works in the hotel business so he really doesn’t want to get married/have our reception at a hotel. If the budget comes down to it we’ll get married at the hotel where he works – we would get an insane deal but really…who want to have their wedding where they spend all week working?
We really don’t want a hotel or banquet hall, we’ve looked at a couple and while they’re nice they’re not us. We really want something offbeat.
We’ve looked at repurposed industrial (sadly it’s very chic right now so that means big rental fees) we’ve looked at gardens, barns, golf courses, historical buildings…the list of places we’ve been is getting crazy.
Post # 7
I live in St. Louis, MO (so medium-large city) and our reception total (including tables, serveware, plates, utensils, glasses, tax, food, bar, glasses, servie, gratuity, space rental, and linens, not including centerpieces/DJ) is about $5500 for about 150 people.
Post # 8
@StL.Ashley: okay, so HOW.
How does that break out? I’m just curious where the differences are?
Post # 9
@MsGinkgo: a HUGE part of it is dumb luck. We’re using a microbrewery’s resturant (Schlafly, if you’d like to google), and until recently they didn’t really give their events side a huge amount of thought. They had a room available for rent, and a catering menu, but it was an afterthought. The prices that we booked at hadn’t been updated since 2006. They literally updated their prices the day after we booked (thank gawd). Similar venues/menus are easily triple what we’re paying.
Anyway, our reception breakdown is as follows:
Room Fee (includes early access for setup/tables/chairs/rentals/staff – private floor/bathrooms/balcony) – $600
Bar (10 microbrews, well liquors, 6 local wines): 4 hours @ $16/pp
Food (I’ll save the long description, but we’re doing an hor d’eouvres reception which actually is costing us more PP than a traditional meal): approximately $15/pp
Service Charge/tax: 18% of food and bar
So, at 150 guests, that’s a total of $5487. Well I guess if you add our room fee in that pops us over $6k, but I forget about that $600 because we paid it so long ago.
Like I said, dumb luck, because we got stupid good deals. Our bar package alone in the updated prices is $24/pp!
Post # 10
@StL.Ashley: to be honest, knowing that your prices are way out of date makes me feel better 🙂
The place we’re seriously considering (mentioned above) only does a few weddings a year, it’s a private club but anyone can rent the space. They don’t advertise that they do weddings, I just happened to find it in my googleing.