Thursday, January 17, 2013

Planning For The Big "I Do"

Hello Readers,

I have some amazing news to share: I'm Engaged! :) and now we are planning a whirlwind of a wedding that is both pocket friendly yet beautiful and elegant. Before I was engaged, all I had was a mental picture of what I wanted my wedding to look like, who was going to be invited, the awesome food and photo booths I was going to have. However, now that I'm planning, the price tag of obtaining all these items has sent me into a sticker shock!

Did you know that in the USA, it is fairly common to spend $20,000 on an average wedding. $20,000!!! And that is on the lower scale! That is 10 house payments for me! After owning a home, I couldn't possibly fathom spending that much money on a single day. My soon-to-be mom however said we would be lucky to have the wedding at $15,000 even after being frugal on items we can afford to be frugal on. Note: This is what I get for marrying into an Italian family ;).

For the next few posts, I'm going to introduce you into some ways to cut costs. And since I absolutely love food, we are going to talk about the biggest costs to your wedding: The Reception! The per head count for the wedding is what costs the big bucks. Meals can range from $18 per person to $100+ per person. This really depends on where you go, whether you cater with those who are hosting the reception or hiring outside caterers, what kind of food you choose, what appetizers and desserts you include, and whether you plan to pay for the bar and how many hours.

Tip #1: Try to find a venue that allows outside catering
The venue I would like to go to allows outside catering. However, be careful. My venue charges an extra $2000 to use an outside caterer. So my venue, which was originally $2500 is now $4500! BUT, the venue charges $40/person. So if I went with the venue + their catering, it would come out to approximately $8500 for the food and venue (for approximately 150 people. (Oh Italians). My outside caterer has a great menu that only charges $22/person. So including the new fee for venue and the food, my reception comes out to $7800. A savings of $700! That can go towards a DJ, a photographer or some other part of your wedding.

Tip #2: Ask your venue if you are allowed to bring homemade goods
Rather than asking your caterer to make the appetizers and desserts, see if they can deduct those items from your quote and opt to make your own appetizers and desserts. Think Meat and Cheese platter (which is a whole lot cheaper buying it at the store than hiring someone to do it for you), Tomato Bruschetta, Fruit Platter, or a bunch of other cute appetizers. There are tons of recipes available to you (I should know! I scour the website daily!). For desserts, yes you have your cake. But instead of buying a whole cake, opt to only buy a couple tiers and build the rest of your "cake" with cupcakes. If you want to add more "pizzazz" maybe rent a chocolate fountain and surround it with yummy dippables or go cheaper and opt for a s'more station or root beer float station. There are so many options available to you!

Need help looking for gourmet but easy to make recipes for your appetizers and desserts? Leave me a comment below and I will be happy to help you look!

Happy Hunting Ladies (and Gents!)

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