Post # 1
- Wedding: June 2015 - Bottom Lounge
So everyone knows how the wedding budget ruins everything!! Hahaha seriously I hate the word budget. But anyways our goal was $30k wedding budget in Chicago.
Things we need: dinner to be served, open bar, in Chicago! Not suburbs, unique space that feels open and lofty, and preferably an outdoor rooftop/deck. We are aiming for 150 guest.
Well we found a place (Bottom Lounge) and fell in LOVE! Unfortunately, when the event coordinatoor priced it all out it came out to $24k.
Food was priced $35/person. Open bar $35/person. All together food & alcohol turned out to be $15k with tax and gratuitity.
Sounds amazing but there is also the rental fee for the venue $4k and rental fee for tables, chairs, and linen. So it does add up.
The space is so beautiful and has so much character that minimal decorations would work so I could save a ton on flowers.
Anyways my question is keep looking? Or book?
I know they say venue should be around 45-50% of budget. I’m scared to blow my whole budget on the venue! But honestly the other similar venues seemed to be similarly priced.
Post # 2
freckledjasmin: Have you budgeted for the rest of your wedding? My biggest costs were open bar, food, and photography. I would highly recommend that you create a spreadsheet so you can clearly see all of your wedding expenses at a glance.
Post # 3
I’m getting married in the Chicago suburbs (looked in the city too, but my fiance’s family is from the country so would freak), so I know that is actually a reasonable price (I think maybe the venue fee is a tad high, but the cost per person is very reasonable). However, if your budget also includes the dress and/or rings, I don’t think that will work. Even without the dress or rings in that figure, 6k for flowers, ceremony fees, and photographer alone would be tight (doable- but tight). My fees for musicians, officiant, other church fees total 2 grand. 2200 is really the absolute cheapest you can go for decent professional photography (and if you want videography too than you might be out of luck). We got our flowers for 1000 dollars- we got an amazing deal, but that doesn’t include centerpieces for the reception. We will be making those ourselves to save money. And then there is a DJ, who average cost a couple grand, and limo rentals (also pricier than you would think), and the many other random fees and expenses that come up planning a wedding.
I think the venue might be a bit out of reach for your budget if you are absolutely adament about not going over it. You might end up close if you are very frugal everywhere and do a lot of DIY, but it would be tight, and weddings always get more elaborate and expensive as planning continues, it is very probable you’d go over. If going over budget isn’t an option, than you really should trim down the guest list or look at other venues (maybe you have to change your vision a little to fit your budget). I found the venue fees are what really get you. Instead of fee, look for a venue with a food/drink minimum instead.
Definitely go through ALL the costs of a wedding, find different options, and how much they cost, so you can figure out how to best use your budget.
Post # 4
freckledjasmin: Wow I am in the exact same situation!! I say go for it, because just like you, we realized that most other venues were in the same price range, and we were afraid someone else would book it before us. Get it if you are ready to compromise on some other costs to stay within budget (I hate that word too!)
Post # 5
Thing that I have learned from many people is all prices are negotiable. See if they are willing to come down a bit somewhere. Maybe you can knock of $2k or they’ll throw in something for free that you would have needed to pay for otherwise like a cake or something?