Post # 1
I am asking here first to see if there is something I didn’t think of to see if I could cut. I’m sure I could ask my vendor, but I don’t think they would be jumping up and down to lower their bill LOL.
My venue has an exclusive caterer and I have my quote from them, but we are yet to place a deposit. We have been considering switching venues, but I want to exhaust all options to cut cost before doing that (and potentially losing our deposit for our current venue). Right now, we have approx. 175 guests, are serving lunch (about 15.50/plate), no alcohol, offering their standard coffee and tea, and also lemonade which is 1.25pp. I asked her to add a champagne toast which seems to be a decent cost at $675 all together (3.75/serving) and also champagne glasses for almost another $100. We are also paying for all linens (nothing upgraded), chairs for the ceremony, delivery fee, and $1/person for setup of everything. China service is 3.25/person (ouch).
We are close to $8000 for the reception alone :/
Is there another option for Champagne (technically we are doing prosecco)? That seems like an awful lot per glass but then again I don’t know how that all works. Did anyone forgo this but still do traditional toasts? Did anyone not do china and substitute for another option?
TIA for reading this long post!
Post # 3
@onourway13: Maybe ask your caterer for less expensive food options? Our venue included the china, linens, toast, etc., so I’m not sure how good/bad the pricing is on that.
Post # 4
@onourway13: Ask them how many glasses per bottle they will be serving. With a campange toast you only need a few ounces in the glass. So instead of 5-6 glasses per bottle, you might be able to get more.
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
Instead of a champagne why dont you do ask the bar staff to go around with a cocktail which you both like or which has some sort of memory for you. That was you wont have to pay for toasting glasses as well. You could even do like an elderflower drink which would fit nicely with your tea theme
Post # 6
@KoiKove: Good call. That’s definitely a good idea.
@housebee: As of right now, the plated lunch option is the cheapest so I’m not sure if I could get lower.
@leecy87: I’m not sure how that would work if we aren’t having a bar?
Post # 7
You could try a couple of things.
1) call around and see if there is a cheaper place to rent place settings from, or look into disposable settings.
2) Ask you caterer for a price/bottle instead of price/glass for the champagne toast. Its pretty standard for them to price wine/champagne like this. 3.75/glass 12-15/bottle. But if you do the math, you end up getting about 6 glasses/bottle so paying by the glass you end up spending closer to 20-24/bottle. Also ask if they will bring enough bottles but only charge you for the ones opened.
3) Pay for some bottles of champagne and some sparkling cider or grape juice (its cheaper then champagne, and there are usually a good number of guests who don’t enjoy champagne and will happily toast with something else.
4) Go back to the caterer with a dollar amount in mind and ask if they can accomodate it. (EX. After looking at our budget, we have $______ for the reception. That number needs to include our linens, place settings, food, drink and toast. What kind of services could you offer at that price point? We’ve loved working with you and really want to use this venue/caterer, but realistically we can’t afford more then this. )
Post # 8
– Use sparkling cider/white grape juice for guests, champagne for just you and FI…we considered this.
– Consider not having champagne but a signature drink instead (I loved the elderflower suggestion!!), of which not every person will choose and just toast you with water, tea, etc.
– Consider no champagne at all.
– Cut the lemonade option.
– Do you have to have chair covers? I realized looking at some places that the chairs were totally fine.
– $15.50 a plate sounds great but could you forgo something in the menu? You didn’t list what the menu is so I’m not sure if this is possible.
Post # 9
@nikkialys: Ahhh great ideas!!
@Coral99: Nope no chair covers! I’m good with the ones provided! I considered no lemonade, but as someone who hates tea (and wouldn’t drink coffee with a meal) I figured it would be a nice substitute for those like me. The menu includes an entree, two sides, and I *think* salad. I would have to double check on the salad. The sides are 1 starch and 1 vegetable. I’m sure I could ask about cutting one of those components?
Post # 10
@onourway13: You definately could.
I was watching Four Weddings on TLC and one bride had meat and mashed potatoes, with a salad beforehand. I didn’t find it odd when I heard of it. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard anyone on that show say they didn’t have enough food. I’ve heard not enough variety or too ethnic/odd and even too much food, but never anything about the amount.
I feel a meat plus a starch would be fine as the salad will be your vegetable and then they have wedding cake.
How about asking if they can only charge you on what lemonade is served? Could they do that?
We are still heavily considering serving only sparkling cider to toast us. First, we are pretty sure we aren’t providing an open bar as there is one right outside the room we are renting. We also have alcoholics in our family. If they want to purchase their drinks…fine. But we don’t feel totally ok providing it. Lastly, it’s daaaaaayum expensive. if we do any alcohol, it will be our favorite drink, Bloody Mary’s and just for cocktail hour. I have also honestly considered serving Shirley Temple’s or Roy Rogers to toast us because those are my absolute favorite things to drink. Might be fun with our small wedding and its bubbly!
Post # 11
@onourway13: Also could you see if the venue would let you provide your own tea/lemonade instead of the caterer? You could easily for a lemonade/tea/punch set up with some pretty glass containers and make it self serve for a very low price.
Post # 12
I say you and your husband have a champagne toast and just something like “everyone please toast your drink to the bride and groom”. Then they would just raise whatever they had in their cups (I’m also allergic to alcohol so most times Im holding up my coke )
Post # 13
I agree that axing the champagne is a definite cost cutter. You do not need to serve everyone a toast for bubbly and then they don’t need to include champagne glasses either. I work at a banquet hall and our toast only includes the head table. So it is not out of the ordinary unless it’s customary in your family…