Post # 17
I’ve literally contacted about 1/2 the caterers in the county. Maybe I will try a bigger city and see if they are willing to travel 50+ miles. I am going to take your suggestion a bit further… 🙂
The guestlist is the problem. I don’t want to do a B-list because if they aren’t on my A-list, I don’t want to invite them at all. I can see the validity in the extra guests that they want to invite and they are both the ones paying the bill so I feel like if they want those people there they should have them there but it’s my responsibility to keep it within budget and I’m finding it impossible. Between my Fiance having a large family (between mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles and 1st cousins they are about 50 people) and my mother wanting to invite anyone we share DNA with (I have laid my foot down on people she wanted to invite but I haven’t met) we are only inviting a few friends each.
If I had to start over, I wouldn’t choose a holiday weekend. That was my first big mistake. I went against all the advice I’ve ever read about choosing a date. It’s the only holiday weekend that is the same for the US and Canada where 80% of our guestlist is coming from. I thought it would be easiest for people to travel but it’s turning into a logistical nightmare. There are a lot of big local events in the area for Labor Day weekend and I’m finding it really difficult to find catering/musicians/rentals. It’s one of the major reasons I think I’m having trouble having people get back to me.
The reason I’ve budgeted so much for postage is that we are sending so many invitations out of the country. About 40% are US (sending from the US), about 30% are to Canada (sending from Canada) and about 20% are going to Asia/Europe, 10% will be handed out locally. I expect our final group will be 50% American, 40% Canadian, 10% other.
Post # 18
Is there a farmers market close by? You could save on your flowers that way. I’m getting all of my flowers at the farmers market for around $200. If you have a green thumb you could plant your own in your yard and cut them for the wedding 🙂 Good luck
Post # 19
I feel that way sometimes too! We are having all fake flowers, I wanted really pretty centerpieces but real flowers was going to send my parents into bankruptcy lol. But I agree with PP that contacting a caterer a little further away will definately help you find a better deal. A lot of caterers are willing to travel if it means they get business, so definately look into that.
I also had to deal with “extra” people being invited and our wedding was about to be a 400 person affair rather than the 250 we planned. But definately put your foot down, you don’t want to be in debt because more people got invited to your wedding than planned.
Post # 20
$15 dollars for 3 hor d’oeuvres per person?? That’s insanity!!! Get rid of the hor d’oeuvres, they are not necessary. To save money we pushed our ceremony and reception time closer together so we could go straight into dinner. It’s a total waste of money in my opinion. I would also cutback the guest list to your original number of guests. Your parents and Fiance can’t just go around inviting people. This will avoid the tent rental, other rental items, delivery and setup. Good luck with all this!!
Post # 21
When additional invitees are suggested, can you say, “That will cost us $40 more for food?” What’s the response you get? I’m just confused because you say the guests are being paid for, so how does it affect your budgeting? Also I wish you could invite more of your own friends if you want to, and it sounds like you could if your parents guests were paid for.
Sometimes rural is more expensive than urban because there is no competition to keep the prices down, and there are expenses like gas & delivery fees that go up in a rural area. Also I think I don’t consider Chautauqua the most rural place, so I’m not sure how the location is affecting the price.
I don’t see a star next to food, so does that mean you haven’t found a caterer yet? Did the bed & breakfast suggest anyone? I just had a fun idea that you could have them cater and do a breakfast/brunch wedding.
$15 for 3 hors d’ouvres does sound high. Can you choose a more cost-effective menu for cocktail hour? Like maybe have several platters of different foods (cheese, fruit, veggie, pita chips & dip, salmon & cream cheese, etc.) that people could walk around and select from, instead of those passed h’ds which are expensive partly because of the labor and all those tiny dishes.
Did you calculate the percentage of your guestlist that you think will actually come? I read this formula somewhere that to estimate the attendance you do: (100% * # guaranteed guests) + (90% * # local guests) + ( 65% * # out of town guests)
Since you’re having so many out of town guests, maybe you will end up not needing the tent after all?
Okay sorry I jumped around so much – it is definitely my bedtime.
Post # 22
I would consider doing your own buffet or pasta bar. We are catering in fazoli’s for pretty cheap, we’re getting TONS of food for about $800 [enough for everyone to eat everything, we probably won’t order quite that much, but it’s a super good deal].
Also, if you are on a budget, I would suggest using china-look plasticware & silver-look cutlery. They LOOK very much like the real thing but are SOOO much cheaper.
You could also save a couple hundred by getting your bouquets from samsclub.. an 11 piece bridal package is just under $300.
Post # 23
My Fiance and I don’t make very much money but we are so excited about our wedding and here is what I have realized: I spent way, way more in the last year than my wedding budget and here’s what I have to say about it: What do I have to show for it? Your wedding will be with you FOREVER. You could be showing pics of your wedding to your great grand children, you will always, always, always have your wedding. So, if you feel the same way I do (What do i have to show for spending the same amount of money?) then maybe its worth it to up the cost and make it work, if its technically possible.
Post # 24
i agree with @Future_Ms.Bostonceltics:
cut out the hor d’oeuvres (thats $1200)
and if possible dont invite the last few guests, unless they have been told they are coming, which gets rid of the tent for $900 & extra food & drink. Reduce the flowers, can you buy linens for cheaper then renting?
Post # 25
I have made a few decisions in the past few hours. I want to thank all the bees for your help.
I don’t think we are going to cut down on the guestlist. It’s a very special day for us and I can see why they are inviting the people they are inviting. It’s an honor that so many people want to come.
I am not using the full invite list for our estimated guestcount. We are inviting around 140 people. We’ve sent out our wedding website and I’ve calculated guest count based on who has already told me they are coming and some i’ve heard about by word of mouth.
I don’t want to serve pasta salad to people who are taking 25 hour plane rides to come to our wedding and spending at least $1500 on a plane ticket plus the cost of car rental, hotel and gifts (not that I’m expecting anything from everyone but it is a pretty standard practice). But I can see cutting the cost by just doing cheese, fruit and other snacks at cocktail hour. I was planning on doing that as dessert but I think we will just stick with cake and maybe we will do a cheaper late night snack like a popcorn machine.
We’ve looked into plasticware but this is something we are not going to go that method. I looked into buying linens instead of renting them but it isn’t going to be cheaper unless I find other brides to share the costs. I contacted all the girls I know who are getting married in the next year but either their venue included them or they wanted something else.
I feel like we are already doing the flowers quite cheaply. I priced out getting silks and buying vases but it was going to be within $50 to going with fresh. I know I would have all the vases that I could sell but since this is a destination wedding to me, I don’t want to have to deal with getting 30-40 glass vases in the car and through customs.
Another way I’ve found to save is that someone will be doing the DJing for free. My ex-uncle (divorced but still parent to my cousins) is a pro DJ and he still talks to my dad. Last night he offered to do the wedding for free but we still plan on giving him a gift.
I didn’t understand your questions. What do you mean the guests are being paid for and how does that affect the budget? I don’t plan on inviting more friends either way. I have a few childhood and a couple university friends who are invited from the area but I’ve spent the past few years living in Asia so most of my closer and more recent friends are from there. Quite a few are getting invitations but only 4-5 are making the trip because it’s going to cost them 2000+ to come. My Fiance wasn’t living there as long, has been back longer and is a much more outgoing and social person. He could probably invite 50 friends plus their dates and still have more people who would expect invitations.
Post # 26
We’re serving our cake as dessert so have cut a few costs there. And we were also thinking at one point of just having a main and dessert (no starter) but canapes instead. That way it still felt like there was a lot, but we’d cut back.
Also, we’re having a cheese & meat evening buffet for 1/2 the number of guests, and getting cakes made for the other half! the cakes are much cheaper (by £300!) so there will look like variety but without the price tag!
Post # 27
And I’ve just realised – bed & breakfast is a huge chunk! Why are you spending THAT much? can you not stay anywhere cheaper? why are YOU paying for all six rooms?! That’s soooooo much money for something that is, essentially, not part of your wedding.
Post # 28
You can definitely cut your food budget. Try a restaurant that caters instead of a wedding caterer. Or do chepaer meats like chicken. Or you can even do a heavy hors’doeurve reception and do it cocktail style instead of dinner style. Your linen/glassware rental seems really high. How many tables and guests do you have? You can buy linens for as much or even less than it costs to rent them. If you get polyester you can just throw it in the dryer with a wet towel and steam out wrinkles, then iron or steam them a day or two before and hang them up in the closet.
Post # 29
The B&B sounds like her venue for the cermony and reception. I’m doing the exact same thing. Renting a B&B and doing the reception in a tent in the yard. When you do that you get all of the B&B rooms included in the price. That means you don’t have to rent a wedding night hotel room, and you can rent the rooms to your guests or have rooms for guests who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to come.
My Victorian B&B rental with 3 rooms sleeping 6 is $3,400 for the entire weekend plus tent, tables, and chairs. So I think you’re getting a good deal with the venue.
Post # 30
wow. that is a huge amount of money for just renting a venue. especially if it then charges extra for chairs and tables.
are the caterers not throwing in glassware and linen? they really should….
$5,350 for essentially just a room is a loooot of money…
Post # 31
Not everyone wants to get married in a cookie cutter hotel ballroom. In my experience $5,000 for the venue for both ceremony and reception is pretty cheap. Most historic venues in my area wanted at least $7,000 and that was without any rooms for guests, or food. If you want an interesting venue then you’re going to pay for it. And most caterers do not “throw in” glassware and linens. Everyone I interviewed charged extra for the rental. You’ll find this stuff out once you get more involved with interviewing vendors. Nothing is cheap or free once the word wedding is attached.