Post # 1
So I am trying to figure out how much we can spend on a reception venue. Right now, the place I love would total about 2/3rds of what my (very generous) parents have offered. Since the wedding budget was large enough, my Fiance and I were hoping to contribute as little as possible ourselves. Now we’re stuck deciding how much is an “acceptable” percentage of total budget to spend on the reception.
So… What percentage, roughly, of the total budget are you spending on your venue? For me I’m considering this to be site fee (for both ceremony and reception), food costs, bar and bartender costs, valet charges, and that’s pretty much it. It can include whatever you want, but feel free to tell me what your total budget is. Also I’d love any advice for how to stretch the rest of the budget if you spent a lot on this aspect.
Post # 3
My total budget ended up at $6600 and the cost of the reception was around $2000. My total budget did not include my dress/shoes/jewelry/etc nor did it include our rings or a honeymoon.
Post # 4
Mine comes out at an even 50% using the guidelines you provided. However, the budget as a whole includes bride and groom’s attire, accessories, and hair and makeup (just the bride on that one!). The budget total did not include the honeymoon, rings, or craft supplies for DIY projects. Our total budget came to just over $11,000.
Included in our reception fees were the ceremony and reception location (single site), wine & beer open bar, all food, all tables, chairs, linens, place settings, etc., and the cake. It’s a package deal so stripping any of those costs out is difficult or in some cases impossible.
Post # 5
We’re going to pay about (contingent on head count of course) 7500 of our 13000 budget on ceremony/reception/rentals/food/staff/bar/tax/gratuity. This does not include decorations, cake, favors, or paper.
Post # 6
Thanks for your input.
For those of you who spent/are spending over 65%, how did you justify the cost? And how did you adjust your remaining budget to accommodate?
I have been using the approximately 50% guideline, so the rest of my budget would have to change if I picked a venue that is more like 65% of the budget.
Post # 7
Sorry I voted only reading the title of the post and not the actual question—ooops.
We got a great deal on a venue. It was about 24% of our budget but that included tables, linens, DOC, bartenders, beer, wine, champagne, and soda/water.
Our food (buffet dinner and appetizers for 150) was about 26% of our budget.
About 10% was spent on flowers/decor/etc for the venue
Post # 8
Also, I think the 50% guidline is that 50% of your budget would include all the costs for the reception not just the reception venue. Your Food and Drink costs will be very high as well as costs for photographer, DJ, and attire.
Post # 9
65% for me, our venue is pricey for our area but it was the only place we fell in love with. I’d rather spend the money our food/alcohol for our guests than favors or fancy linens. Some of the thing I cut: ceremony flowers, we’re going to DIY cocktail hour flowers, no specialty tablecloths, no programs. We also lucked out with family friends (people have gifted my bouquet, veil, cake, ceremony musicians).
Post # 10
It was at least 75%… the open bar and food was so expensive!
Post # 11
@PinkBubbleGum: Ours is probably 60-70% of our budget. We justified that because it’s the cheapest venue we could find for our size wedding. Here, venues ask how many people, let you know how many sections of the hall it will be, and say you have ‘x’ as a purchase total minimum for food/drink, etc.
So we’re rolling with it. We’ve gotten great deals on my dress, I locked our DJ in early as well as our photographer so we’ve got 2010 rates for a 2012 wedding, we’ll do a lot of DIY stuff…just looking for the best deals we can get in every other part of the budget to compensate.
Post # 12
I spent $38k in total
My venue for total costs was $17k.
DJ – $1550, Photog- $3500, Dress – $2400 (includ alts), Florist – $2280, Invitations $860, Rings – $2300 (not incl engag), Gifts – $1000, Cakes – $750, Favors – $500,
Another 6k on all the little things like card box, escort cards, programs, craft things, save the dates, hotel costs, spa costs, etc
Post # 13
I broke down my entire budget here:
Real Budget: Emily and CJ
Hope that helps a little!
Post # 14
Ours was about 80%. But, our ceremony was on the same property, and there wasn’t an extra rental fee. My mom officiated, so that was free. We really only paid for decorations for the ceremony. When you subtract out the cost of that, our attire, rings, invites, and honeymoon, it’s about 80% left for the reception.
Post # 15
@PinkBubbleGum: Just saw your question! We didn’t justify the cost. It just worked out that our ceremony portion cost next to nothing, so the numbers got skewed, if that makes sense! We had an overall budget to work with, so when one area was cheaper, we used that to flesh out a different area of the budget.
Post # 16
@mwitter80: Do the little things really add up that much? We’re in a similar geographic area, so some of the other costs will probably be comparable.