(Closed) Ideas for staying within a budget.. but lots of guests.

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
788 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

In my area having a buffet vs a sit down dinner makes a big difference on the cost per person. I thought open bar was the big kicker, but it turns out the buffet option can be much more affordable for larger parties.

Post # 4
Member
5479 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We cut our catering bill in HALF by serving a lunch instead of a dinner.  You could also do a brunch reception- your guests will still get a meal but you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it 🙂

We also decided to get married and have the reception at the same location, so we didn’t have to pay two venue fees. 

You can skip favors and programs alltogether- they are not required!

One other thing we did that was unique was to have candy bowls for centerpieces.  The idea was similar to a candy bar, but we put different kinds of candy at different tables, and each place setting had a baggie that they could take around and get a little variety of candy from other tables- this encouraged mingling as well- and it saved a TON on flowers! 

Post # 5
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@roojchan:  Chicago bride here! Let me just say that if you plan on getting married in the city, much of your 15k will just go to venue and rental fees. Look outside the city! I would search for a larger space with an indoor, air conditioned area. 

Another idea is to limit the bar to beer/wine/custom drink and to serve desserts or just finger foods. Since you want your guests to linger, maybe set up bar tables mixed in with the round tables. That should save you money on decor. Or, have a brunch! Morning weddings will be so much less expensive than evening, traditional weddings. You’d also save on having a full bar (think mimosas and bloody marys), food costs, and DJ (since you could easily do the ipod instead). 

Post # 6
Member
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would look hard to find a location where you can bring your own food vendors in. You will get much better pricing that way. There are not nearly as many, but they exist. 

Does this budget include honeymoon, rings, dress, officiant, rehearsal dinner, etc?

Post # 7
Member
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Any local city, county, state, or federal owned parks/venues with discounted rates.  Also, try to cater using trays of food from a local restaurant.  Local italian or BBQ places should be under $20 a head for food.  I would skip serving alcohol or set up a keg or two and leave it at that (if alcohol is even allowed at the venue.)

Post # 10
Member
1513 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

wow! if you can pull this off in this budget, you are my wedding hero! we have the same budget for 150 and seriously it’s hard! cutting booze is probably the #1 money saver. half our reception is alcohol :/

i am following this thread for money saving ideas! good luck!

Post # 11
Member
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I highly recommend grabbing a copy of Bridal Bargains.  Lots of great tips for saving money on every aspect of your wedding.  Bonus points for checking it out from the library.

Post # 12
Member
3969 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Do a meat and vegetarian option… but not beef! It’s really expensive. I second the lunch or brunch ideas, too! Do it on a Sunday (if you can). 

Post # 13
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@beachbride1216:  It’s HOT up here in Chicago in August.

I would not plan on getting married during July-August since we average temps of 90+.  That or do the brunch/morning wedding and then you can savor some early morning weather. 

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