Reception Costs

The Reception.  Normally the wedding reception slice is the biggest expense but it is the easiest major adjustment to cut significant costs. Based on statistics, it shows that the average guests to attend in a wedding is 180.  If you try to keep this number in mind, it is easier to calculate costs per person in the discussion with your caterer.  Food at the wedding can be significantly reduced if you choose a hot buffet over serving a four course meal. And as long as the food is delicious, your guests will not mind walking over to partake of your great food.  Keep in mind that you have to pay and tip the wait staff to serve those four courses.  

Cash Bar or Open Bar ~ With an Open bar the alcoholic beverages are unlimited and you get to select the brands you want, just remember that top shelf is expensive and you have to pay in advance. ~  A cash bar limits your guests to the amount of drinks to be consumed based on their pockets.  You would offer a
beverage like wine at the table and of course the Champagne for toasting would be your only cost.  
Photography.  I’m sure you would definitely want to capture this best moment of your life so you’d want to get the service of the best photographer in town. This is important because, after it is all said and done, all you will have are the Memories and you want good shots.  Do not depend on family members and friends to take good pictures.

Invitations and Stationary. Do not spend a lot of money on this. You can actually print your own stationary at home or use an online service to lower costs.

Music. A great reception is one where the food is delicious and the Music is Great. Hire the DJ or band that will play a variety of music that your guests will enjoy. Most times the DJ is also the Master of Ceremonies so make sure he speaks your language and give him a program. Do not let your Cousin bring his CD player.

Flowers and Miscellaneous. Flowers are one of the few that you can consider as great expense. Buy flowers at wholesale or pick flowers from your garden. I suggest that you get a good florist at a great price and spend the bulk on the table arrangements & brides bouquet. The bridesmaids can carry a stem of your favorite flower.
Most wedding receptions are held in luxurious and expensive suites, but you can have a Grand time at someone’s home, clubhouse or even at your local restaurant. Just create a plan and stick to it.

Currently, the national average for certain wedding costs:
Venue Rental & Catering = $12,700.00
Floral Arrangements = $1,980.00
Entertainment = $1,400.00
Cake = $466.00

Other Factors to Consider:
Safety First - If kids are invited, you cannot afford to choose a spot that is not child-safe.
Second - The Venue should come within your affordable range. Do not overextend yourself.
Third -  The decor and atmosphere must blend with your wedding theme.
Fourth - There must be adequate bathrooms.
Fifth - The space must have a Liquor License if you want serve those beverages.
Last - The spot must be accessible for your guests. Transportation should not be costly.

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