Post # 1
My Fiance and I will be paying for our rehearsal dinner. We have a couple of options, but right now we are trying to figure out costs to see which option will be cheapest and meet our needs best. Here is was the best option looks like right now, but I am not sure if our budget is correct.
The rehearsal dinner will include about 30 guests (wedding party and immediate family). After dinner is complete around 7 pm, we will invite our Out of Town guests to come for drinks and dessert (could be up to 80 guests).
- Venue: Clubhouse Rental – $150 (I am pretty sure this is for all day Friday, returning the keys Saturday morning).
- Food – about 30 guests (7 of which are kids under age 12). We were planning on doing Sonny’s Catering which runs about $12 per person and includes 2 meats, 3 sides, lemonaid, sweet tea, and all the paper plates and silverware. We are budgeting about $400-$500 for this.
- Dessert – We are just going to pick up some cookies and small desserts from the grocery store to have around. We will probably be a lot needed because we will need enough for the whole night. I guess around $100-$150
- Drinks – Sonny’s will provide the tea and lemonaid for the dinner. We figured for the rest of the evening we will need water bottles and 2 liters of soda (about 10-20 bottles?) $50
- Alcohol – 1 or 2 kegs of beer ($100 each), about 5-8 handles of liquor ($20 each), about 10-20 bottles of wine ($10 each), and then maybe some mixers for the liquor ($50). On the light side this would be $350 and when we run out it would turn into BYOB, or we could make sure we had enough for the whole night and it would be about $600.
- Other – Plastic cups, table cloths, other decor – $200
On the low budget side this is about $1,250. On the high budget side this is around $1,500.
- Am I forgetting any thing that I will need to purchase or include in my budget?
- Are any of these budget amounts WAY off?
- Where would you recommend saving/splurging?
Post # 4
Does your venue include tables and chairs and lighting? (Lighting could be a big deal for a night time event) Does it have an area for the bar? (also, a way to keep the kegs cold?)
Are the caterers dropping off the food or staying to serve it? I think you’re supposed to tip if they stay and help.
By the way, I’d hestitate to plan on “turning it into a BYOB” after the drinks run out unless there’s a nearby place to buy alcohol. People won’t know if they should bring booze or not and it could get awkward if only a couple of people bring something but everyone’s drinking it (I’m thinking of some of my college friends who won’t care where the booze is coming from and my poor Aunt Sally who will have thought ahead and brought wine and then not get any).
Good luck! Sounds like you’ve thought of pretty much everything 🙂
Post # 5
Depending on how many of your guests are wine drinkers, I think you might need more wine (or, at least, more towards the 20 bottles you mentioned, versus the 10 bottles you mentioned).
I’m not familiar with that catering company – what exactly do you get for $12? That sounds like a good price, but if you are really looking for the cheapest way, you should probably do BBQ for less than $12 a person, especially if you have a Costco or BJ’s near you, where you could buy meat. There are lots of things like macaroni salad and cole slaw that could be made the night before, so you wouldn’t have to cook that much the day of the dinner. Mac and Cheese can be made earlier in the day, and kept warm in an oven on low temp. Up here, we can get a good salad mix that is big enough to feed 8-10 people for $4.99 at both the grocery store and BJ’s.
Lemonade is super easy to make, and Costco/BJ’s usually sell big bags of lemons for cheap.
You could also ask some people (family, good friends) to bring a plate of cookies, or a pie or other favorite dessert. If you did that, you could then save that $100-$150 you’ve budgeted.
Post # 6
Check with the catering, sometimes they have weird things about not bringing in outside food, which can really drive the cost up.
Post # 7
Also check the plates and silverware. We were planning on doing something similar to you, but then realized BBQ = need for sturdy plate and really strong silverware. The cost of decent plates and silverware actually pushed us over our budget (and arranging for tables, chairs, drinks and keeping it all the appropriate temperatures, and of course decorating…)… Now we are doing the whole shebang at a fancy restaurant where they are handling ALL the details and guess what?! It will be less expensive this way! Who knew we could have an event at a very nice restaurant for less than an outdoor BBQ!?!?!
Post # 8
The venue is just our neighborhood clubhouse. It is kinda like a house with a little living area with a fireplace and sofas and then a large dining area with 5 big tables and chairs. There is also a back deck with about 5 tables and chairs. I am really not sure if we should worry about decorating it. It has normal lighting, do I need something special?
The clubhouse is ours for the night, there aren’t any rules so it doesn’t matter about brining our own food.
Sonny’s is a southern BBQ chain that my Fiance and I love. While we would love to try to make our own food, we really love Sonny’s food and love the fact that we don’t have to make it! We also love the idea of pot-luck but too many of our guests are from out of town.
Here is more details about the Sonny’s BBQ catering menu:
All Catering Includes:
- Three Sides
- Bread & Butter
- BBQ sauces
- Sweet Tea
- Paper Products and Utensils
We would have our choice of three meats (pulled pork, smoked turkey, and chicken probably) for $10.99 pp delivered or $9.59 if we pick it up.
@HHausman – Good point, I forgot to include ice because there is no ice maker at the clubhouse, we would have to go pick up a few large bags.
We are really don’t want to look cheap and only provide a small amount of alcohol, but we also don’t want a huge all night party (we will be leaving early regardless). Maybe we do 1 keg but more wine.