by Dana Briggs
As unromantic as it may sound, money will be a factor in every aspect of the wedding planning process. One of the biggest expenses you’ll have is that of the wedding reception itself. Here are the tips you’ll need to make sure your plans are as stress free as possible.
First and foremost, it will simplify the process enormously if you sit down and crunch some numbers before you head out to start booking vendors. Take the time to learn the average costs you may be facing. Just remember – you’re not getting married every day, so being involved in planning such a big event might be “sticker shock” when you first start planning. It’s difficult for some couples to understand how expensive hosting a wedding reception can be, so take the time to educate yourself first.
The average cost of today’s wedding reception can run $25,000 or more and the amount you spend on your venue and menu will be one of the first things that you have to consider.
My suggestion? Know your budget from the beginning before you shop. You won’t want to run into a situation where you contract with a venue that ultimately ends up taking 75% of your budget, leaving you little room for any of the other “must haves” on your wedding day.
Once you have a budget in mind and rough estimate of your guest count, you and your fiancé can now start shopping around for venues that fit your needs and budget. The important thing is to remain flexible and realistic, as well as to take the time to fully understand all of the financial requirements before going to contract. Small added details such as specialty linen fees and chair cover rentals can bog down your budget if you aren’t prepared for them. Have a firm sense and agreement on how much you are willing to spend as well as your financial obligations to host your wedding reception at the venue you are considering.
Additionally, keep in mind that the wedding guest count drastically impacts the cost of your reception. The time of day is another factor to consider as daytime brunches or luncheon affairs tend to be less expensive than evening soirees.
Above all, be up front about your budget with your potential wedding professionals. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss financial considerations, as rare is the bride who doesn’t have to worry about sticking to a budget. If you share your bottom line with the experts, they might be willing to show you how you can stretch your dollars or plan something that fits your purse.
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Dana Briggs is the owner and certified lead consultant for Elegantly Yours Events, a Richmond wedding and event planning company that prides itself on blending tradition with the latest trends for discerning Richmond brides. Dana enjoys traveling across the country to stay up to date on the latest wedding trends, as well as planning monthly events for the Richmond Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives.