If you are planning on getting married and having a traditional wedding reception there really are so many little details that you have to be aware of and look out for. When I started to do this it was real eye opener for both me and my fiance. Maybe shock would be a better way of describing it. Our initial thoughts were that we would pick out a meal, or a few meal choices and we would be given a price per head. Multiply that by the number of guests and we would have an idea of our budget. When we went to the actual hotels it was a very different story.
They introduced an array of things such as red carpet, drink’s reception, wedding table plan, individual place settings, flowers on the tables, covers on the chairs, various different sizes of cake stands, a cake knife, wine for the tables, champagne for the toast, room hire and a list of other optional extras. We were shocked having assumed wrongly that most of these would be a standard. Tradition would state that the parents of the bride should pay for the wedding reception but of course that comes down to individual circumstances and affordability. Irrespective of who picks up the bill I have always believed strongly in getting good value for money, without compromising on the quality of the day. It is a one in a life time day and you do want to do the best for your family, friends and guests so we tried to find the best ways to save money on the reception
It was then we looked at the various options of hiring a marquee and bringing in outside caterers. We quickly found that by doing that, it again depended on a whole variety of options, and we quickly realized that option could easily add up to the same amount as using a hotel. We considered going abroad to get married and have our wedding reception in that country. That would of course have saved us money but would have cost our close friends and family a lot more. True, they would be getting a holiday but that is not always a convenient thing for them either. We also realized we would miss out on having some people there that we really wanted to attend on our big day. There were people who simply couldn’t afford to go away and people who were afraid of flying and we didn’t want them missing out.
It was then we decided we wanted our local wedding at our local church and a local hotel to minimize traveling for everyone. We attended three different wedding fairs and realized that many of the hotels offered different ranges of packages, from a standard to elite to a customized package. Each of them had most of the basic options included in the price and when you got to the higher end, they even included things like the evening entertainment and evening buffet. Some even included the cars, flowers and the photographer along with a Master of Ceremonies and a wedding co-ordinator.
My advice now to anyone looking at saving money on your wedding reception is to look at all the packages available from the hotel choices that you have narrowed down. Price everything separately first and then list down what is in each hotel package and then see who offers the best value for money. We did this and saved a substantial amount and still got the hotel we wanted. We also noticed that the number of guests can really make a huge difference to the price point and it would seem the more guests you have, the price per head drops. In our case it was actually cheaper to bring 100 guests than to bring 80.
Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate with them and ask for items to be thrown in free of charge. One of the hotels was trying to charge us for a champagne bucket! Good luck.
Kate Garmora is a wedding consultant with Engraved Gift Creations. She has helped countless couples achieve their dream wedding. Her new focus on Eco-Friendly wedding trends and DIY designs puts her on the forefront of the Green wedding movement. For more great ideas on the best gifts for groomsmen and the latest in wedding accessories, visit her at Engraved Gift Creations.
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