(Closed) 200+ guest wedding on budget

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
9987 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Be willing to accept compromises.  Have a less-convenient Sunday wedding. Host a brunch instead of a seated dinner.  Use a low-cost venue (public park, family property, etc) to save money.  And the easiest to say solution (but hardest to implement), cut your guest list.

Post # 3
568 posts
Busy bee

This is totally doable. Be creative with your venue. We used an old house that had been renovated into a gourmet Southern restaurant, and our reception felt like a big house party. Of course, one room was very large and used for dancing etc. However, because it was a restaurant, we did not have to pay for all the rentals that add up like crazy, like renting freaking plates and forks LOL

Post # 4
2163 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

My venue is amazing and has really great pricing. I got a middle package including cocktail hour stations and passed hors d’voures, served sit down meal with 3 options chicken, beef, or fish, wedding cake, open bar, ice cream bar dessert station, wedding coordinator, 52 color choices for linens, 3 glass cylinder vases per table for centerpieces, tax and tip included all for $85per person! Unheard of in the area!!! Take a look into Valleybrook Country Club. It’s in NJ, but you can literally see philly from the main road leading into it, not far at all from philly!

If you have 200 guests that’s $17,000. for venue and food. That leaves $8,000. for any additional decor, photographer, flowers, DJ, and other odds and ends. Totally doable! You could even downgrade the package for less than 85pp if you feel that’s too high. It’s seriously the best bang for your buck considering most other venues do not even come close to $100pp without including tax tip and open bar!

ETA: I’m working with a 20k budget for a 150-175 person wedding. I think you can make 25k work for 200!

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by MrsSapphire.
Post # 5
779 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Is $25K for the entire wedding, or just the ceremony and reception?

$125-150 a head seems realistic for the Philly/Lancaster/Main Line for a weekend dinner reception. You could do Friday or Sunday, but that may not reduce the price so much. 

Be aware that Philly charges more for alcohol and their taxes are a little higher. 

There are some venues further out where you can control more of the cost by picking your own catering or vendor. 

Good luck! I’m getting married in Center City, but we looked at venues all over the region. 

Post # 6
3080 posts
Sugar bee

Go to Delaware = no sales tax. My younger daughter married there and saved thousands. Her older sister married in PA and had to pay sales tax on the food served plus sales tax on the service charge.

Post # 7
147 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I wish I had that kind of budget! I’m doing 100 people on a $2,500 budget – and that includes the dress and everything. The biggest costs for the wedding really seem to be the food and people (photographer, DJ, florest, etc) 

Look for a venue that will allow you to do per hour pricing instead of insisting you get the “wedding package”.

Plan the wedding for late 7pm or after) and then have a dessert reception – you can buy small single serving frozen desserts from Costco or a restaurant supply place like Cash and Carry.

Get a small wedding cake for the pretty factor, and then get the full sheet cakes from Costco to serve the majority of your guests.

Find a small, just starting out photographer who will charge under $1000 instead of a well-known one who will charge 2k or more.

Do your own bouquets.

If your reception venue has a sound system, create a playlist and hook up your phone or laptop instead of hiring a DJ. 

Post # 8
779 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

OP, have you looked at any venues in the Philly area? 

Is $25K your entire wedding budget, or is that just for the ceremony and reception?

Post # 9
3791 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’m in the Midwest, but one way we cut costs was to go to a venue where EVERYTHING was included in a package deal.  I actually got this tip from my cousin…venues where food and catering service, all the speakers, etc. for a DJ, a bar, etc. etc. etc. are all in one place are soooo much cheaper because you don’t have to bring everything in.  We were able to select a package that worked for us.  We actually ended up bringing in our own photographer and flowers because that way was much cheaper, but everything else we used what was provided.  We were able to choose if we wanted to upgrade to chair sashes for example, and that was a certain amount per chair.

Venues that seem like they may be out of your price range sometimes are actually a lot more affordable than you think if they provide the services there.

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