Wedding Receptions come in all shapes and sizes! You don’t have to break the bank in order to have the perfect wedding…after all, the day is ultimately about you and your fiancee celebrating your love with family and friends. There are plenty of ways to pinch pennies without compromising the elegance of your wedding day. Here are a few tips to trim the fat.
Have a Flexible Wedding Date – Once you are engaged, it is very exciting and many couples will immediately choose a date for their wedding. If possible, don’t be steadfast on one particular date. Enter into your planning with a range of dates that could work for you and your fiancee. Flexibility gives you the opportunity to hold your reception at a location that might be out of your price range or unavailable for a Saturday wedding. Most popular reception halls offer discounts for booking on an “off-peak” day or “off-peak” time of year. You can still get the experience of a beautiful venue and delicious food by choosing a Friday or Sunday. Often times, there are also discounts available for choosing a date in the late fall or winter, even if you do choose a Saturday!
The Endless Guest List- Although you would love to celebrate your special day with everyone you know, you can probably cut back on the list and invite those who are closest to you. Although your hairdresser may see you every 5 weeks and share in your trials and tribulations during shop gossip, don’t feel obligated to invite them to the wedding! The same goes for those cousins you haven’t seen since you were 5 years old! Inviting only those closest to you will make your day more meaningful, not to mention saving you a ton of cash! By cutting out as few as 10 guests, you can save up to $1,000 or more on the catering, invitations, centerpieces, and favors.
Choose a Reputable Venue- Although it may seem cheaper to rent an off-site location or have the wedding at your home, keep in mind the cost of all the rental items you will need: tables, chairs, linens, bar, plus a caterer, bartender, and staff for set up, serving, and clean up. You may even need to rent a tent, dishes, glassware, and additional restrooms. If you choose a reputable, ready to go venue, all these items are included in the cost per plate. Weigh out your costs before choosing whether you will host your event at an offsite location or at a full service venue.
Say I do at the Venue – If you are not set on a church wedding, having your ceremony at the reception venue saves money in various areas such as transportation costs, double venue fees, music, and flowers. Having everyone at one location offers an easy transition from ceremony to reception. Your DJ or band can play your wedding music and you can use your ceremony flowers to decorate different tables at the reception, such as your cake table or gift table. The flowers can be seamlessly transferred by the venue staff during cocktail hour.
Morning, Noon, or Night – Holding a reception earlier in the day may allow you to save money on the menu and the cocktails. Consider a brunch reception with pastries as appetizers and upscale breakfast foods as your main course. For drinks, serve a Bloody Mary Bar, Mimosa Fountain or Wine Spritzers. If you are paying on consumption, your bar bill will be half of an evening reception. For those venues that include the bar, work with your caterer on requesting a limited, less expensive bar.
Choosing your Dinner Option – Although a plated dinner sounds more formal and expensive, it is a cheaper alternative to a “stations” reception and most likely comparable to a family style serving. A buffet may be the least expensive; however, consider your guest list before having your grandma or tipsy guests walk across the room with a plate full of food…the savings may not be worth the potential food disaster!
Put a twist on your menu – Instead of serving a gourmet meal, which most guests will only eat a portion of because they are not a fan of arugula, quinoa, or bearnaise sauce for example, stick to the comfort foods. The latest trend is to serve traditional foods such as mac and cheese or BBQ chicken on a pretty platter. Your guests will be relieved to eat food they actually recognize and your meal will convey a feeling of fun, rather than fussy!
Tis the season – Choose your menu based on the season. Don’t serve fruits and vegetables that are out of season in your area. Not only will the flavor be less than satisfying, but the sour taste left in your mouth of the over priced items will leave you wishing you had chosen a different menu.
Bar Bill – If you can, you may want to opt out of the premium open bar and serve guests wine, beer, and a signature cocktail. They will still be able to enjoy “free drinks” without breaking your budget. Some venues include the Premium Bar in your package; if that’s the case, stick to the hours contracted and don’t be swayed to extend the bar by that fun-loving best man!
Toasting the Bride and Groom – At any gathering, guests raise the glass of whatever they are drinking to toast the occasion. The same can be true at a wedding, eliminating the need to serve champagne for a toast if it is an additional charge at your venue. Most people don’t enjoy champagne and may just take a sip to join in the toast. Think of the savings if you weren’t throwing out all those half-finished glasses of champagne! Of course, having champagne in the wedding couples’ glasses may be a tradition you would like to keep.
Even if you have the money to spend, saving a few dollars here and there will be a great boost to your newly wed piggy bank! At Capriotti’s we offer Special Packages for Friday and Sunday Weddings for those couples who would like first-class service at a savings. You don’t have to compromise your wedding bliss just because you are on a budget. There are affordable options for everyone at our venue. No matter what your budget, our outstanding team will pay attention to every detail for your special day, whether it’s a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday!