If you have an upcoming wedding or event then you’re most likely a busy person right now. And it’s probably pretty safe to say that you’re also facing the task of having to work within a set budget while trying to execute the best wedding or event. Some wedding and event organizers are more flexible than others. Many people view budgets as a deterrent while I tend to look at budgets as more of a shell in which to fill the various components of your event. As I have often said in the past, taking the time to plan and organize your wedding or event will have a positive effect on the execution stage. The following are a few wedding and event planning budget tips to help guide you through the planning stages.
Wedding and Event Planning – The Venue
Of course the venue is the showcase of your wedding or event. This is also one of the most frustrating planning areas for organizers. This is where budgets play a vital role. Naturally everyone wants the best venue or the most popular spot in town. If you’ve already made a few phone calls to some of the more popular venues then you’ve probably been flabbergasted at the rental fee you were quoted. There are a couple of areas to consider when factoring how much a venue will cost you. Sometimes the upfront rental fee may seem ideal, yet once you see all of the add-on fees the venue is now starting to exceed your budget. The one area about facility rentals that I always tell clients to look for is whether or not they have in-house kitchen facilities. Now you’re probably thinking what do I care whether or not there are in-house kitchen facilities. Well, this is one area that I believe you need to review carefully . Venues that do not have in-house kitchen facilities require that the caterer bring their own equipment. This can literally add over $50 per person to your costs.
Wedding and Event Planning – Food and Beverage
As stated above, one way to keep your F&B costs to a minimum is to look for a venue that has an in-house kitchen. Another area to keep in mind is whether or not the venue has then in-house caterer versus a preferred list of caterers. My experience has found that in-house caterers are often less expensive than outside caterers. And the food quality can be just as good as outside caterers. As always, ask for references and actually call them.
With regards to alcoholic beverages, try and see if your caterer offers a per person price. Especially with weddings, many events serve alcohol. Depending on the attendees (and you know the people you’re inviting better than anybody) try to determine how many drinks per person. The caterer will be able to assist you. Weddings tend to be on the higher-end of consumption whereas work functions today tend to be on the lower end of consumption. Another area that may help keep your alcohol costs to a minimum would be if your caterer would allow you to purchase your own alcohol and they would charge you a corkage fee per bottle. A corkage fee is a nominal charge per bottle that the caterer would charge you to serve your product. Keep in mind with corkage you will often be required to obtain your own special occasions permit (license to serve alcohol). This is not a hard task to do, it’s just that you have to remember to do it or your event will be a disaster.
Wedding and Event Planning – Entertainment
Entertainment is also an area which can chew up a budget. Of course it’s easy to say hire a DJ or play recorded music, however sometimes the event dictates live entertainment. With weddings, for example, there will be a lot of music throughout the event. One way to consider keeping your costs to a minimum might be to hire live entertainment for the reception and then have a DJ perform for the dance.
Wedding and event planning doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it can be a lot of fun. Get a handle on your budget at the onset. Have a clear idea of the type of event you, or your client, want and then start to look at venues that are within your budget. Understanding how venues charge will give you an idea as to whether or not you can consider using them. Food and beverage and entertainment are also areas where if planned properly you can save without sacrificing the event itself. If a lot of this information seems stressful then I also strongly suggest that you consider hiring a wedding and event planning professional.