(Closed) Feel so out of control on budget.

posted 5 years ago in Money
  • poll: What would you suggest doing?
    Cut the food budget by serving cheaper food. : (22 votes)
    36 %
    Suck it up and eat the extra cost (literally). : (18 votes)
    30 %
    Skimp in another way (please specify below): : (21 votes)
    34 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    9201 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

    That seems really high for a rural area food cost! Are you wanting a nice plated meal with fancy steak or something? We’re also in a rural area and went with a $20/pp (USD) caterer that does buffet. It’s not the fanciest food (chicken, sides, veggie option) but the chef makes delicious food. Is something like that an option, if you keep asking around? Good luck!! 

    Post # 4
    Member
    2555 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    If you could cancel the deposit on the flowers, maybe you’d save money (just get bulk in season flowers) and, question, have you sent the invites to these extra 20 people? If not, don’t invite them. Just tell this to your parents: they don’t fit in the venue.

     

    Don’t have a rehearsal dinner or have a dessert little reception as a rehearsal.

    If you’re going to have an outdoor reception you probable don’t need the dried flowers, candles, etc, I imagine the venue is pretty much decorated on itself.

    You can have an awesome meal that it is not sit-down. Having a full meal doesn’t make it better. How about you do heavy hors d’oeuvres and cake only? That gives people the opportunity to talk and mingle.

     

    Post # 6
    Member
    2440 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @grapeslice:  I would keep pushing for more catering bids.

     

    I had our caterers give us their bids based on our guest list. The ones that were too high were generally chopped, and I requested the ones within an ok range (15-25 pp) to itemize their quotes (inclusive of all menu items, service charges, rental charges, tax, and gratuity)

     

    For me, I still wasn’t seeing the quality of food I wanted for the price I needed. I found (quite by accident) a restaurant near(ish) our venue that offers catering. They were amazing. Farm to table, all fresh. Whole foods. I contacted them asking for a sample menu that might come in at no more than $25 per person, and I was shocked (SHOCKED) when they delivered. The food looked incredible. I went for a family style offering to save on service costs, and am providing drinks on my own.

    What’s more, I realized that they had a few more food options than I cared for, and I asked them for itemized prices on each menu items. I then asked them for an itemized price on some “would be nice to have” menu items. I realized that if I got rid of items I didn’t care for (Salmon at $6 pp, and ribs at $5 pp) I could add in a steak option (from between $4 pp and $8 pp) and reduce the price to about 18-22 per person while getting the food I really want.

     

    I still need to meet with the caterer in person for our tasting, but by keeping my budget close to my chest, and negotiating food by items, I have more control over costs than caterers typically want to give. I’m getting amazing food I love for a price I can afford.

     

    If you really love the caterers that gave you the high prices, call them up (e-mail is too easy to dodge) and request an itemized quote for their services. If they refuse to comply, you’re better off without them.

    Post # 7
    Member
    9550 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    First of all – tell your fiance and parents that NOBODY is being invited other than those on the guest list you have put together. If they say someone can come they are going to have to go back to them and tell them there has been a mistake and your venue will not accomodate so many people. Because the extra people are throwing off your whole budget. Between the tent and 20 extra meals at $55 apiece – that’s $2,000!

    That being said. Nobody will mind if the food isn’t spectacular. People are coming to see you and your fiance – not to get awesome food. So I definately don’t think it’s worth stressing your budget to go with the high end food.

    Post # 8
    Member
    3625 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    Are they providing wine & beer? IMO that’s high. If you can provide the alcohol, it’ll be cheaper. I had 70 guests not 100 but I think I spend less than 1/2 that on alcohol and I had a ton left over (beer and white wine). I even bought imported bottle beers (e.g. Corona, Stella) and decent wine (e.g. NOT $2 Chuck). I got beers from Costco and the imported bottles average out to $1/bottle and the cases usually have 24/box. The wine is from BevMo’s 5 cent wine sale so if you buy wine that’s normally $12/bottle, it now is $6/bottle. I also think you can do non-alcoholic drinks cheaper than $200, but I’m not sure how much that breaks down to because we had the caterer supply that for us. People can only drink so much in the span of five hours or however long your event is.

    Ouch on the marriage license. That’s way higher than ours and Southern California is known for having pricey everything.

    Can you go with a more casual Rehearsal Dinner, like a BBQ in the park? $400 for the amount of people that normally attends a Rehearsal Dinner (unless it is a DW) seems a bit high.

     

    Post # 9
    Member
    2440 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @grapeslice:  Do you mind my asking what aread you are looking in for caterers?

    Post # 10
    Member
    3078 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    We contacted one of our favorite restaurants to see if they catered.  It was SO much cheaper than going through a catering company.  We had cajun food (obviously not quite as fancy as your sit down meal, but you get the idea).  People had tons of choices and RAVED about our food.  It came to $9/person (135 people including our vedors which there were 17 people to feed from them alone).  Talk to some restaurants around the area to see if they offer anything.

    Post # 11
    Member
    163 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I would have a serious talk with your parents and Fiance about not inviting anymore people and if you do that you guys need to have a serious talk about it before hand. If you have not sent out actual invites then you can tell people you had to cut down on the numbers but seriously the less people you have the better.

    Post # 13
    Member
    3625 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    @grapeslice:  You may want to check into your local laws regarding alcohol and your venue. Since you are providing it and you don’t have a bartender, you may have to look into getting an alcohol permit. I think in some areas, it can’t be left unattended in a public place. In addition, our bartender came from our caterer company who is insured and licensed. You may have to look into event insurance (especially because you are providing unattended alcohol). This is to cover you and everyone else involved in case someone drinks too much (bc it wasn’t attended to) and gets into an accident on the way home.

    Post # 14
    Member
    8695 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @grapeslice:  why does the catering have to be from the one town? Caterers can and WILL travel. Contact other caterers since that is one of the largest expenses. Also, cut your guestlist. You can have a “B” list like many other bees.

    Post # 15
    Member
    307 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    I agree, it is those extra guests causing the trouble! I have a similar problem with my venue, if I go over 60 people it will cost me a few thousand extra for the marquee! So I am adamant we will keep it below that.

    I think if I were you I would cut the music budget. Honestly, just go for ipod, you get the music you want and it’s probably free if the venue has speakers. Also I wonder if you can cut the rehearsal dinner, maybe your in-laws can pay, or just do it as tapas/drinks or a picnic?

    Post # 16
    Member
    10367 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I think you need to cut your guest list back so you can cancel the tent. That’s the most obvious thing.

    Also, why does postage for your 100 guest wedding cost $150? I’m assuming some of those guests are couple, so that’s what – say 65 invites? $150/65 is $2.30 an invite. Why so much?

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