Are you a Bride on a Budget?
You are not alone.
All bride's are on some kind of a budget. The question is... how do you handle that budget. It is often hard to match your dream wedding with the amount you have to spend on it. I have heard it said of some bride's, "She has Cinderella dreams and a shoestring budget!" Let me be clear... while you may have to make some very difficult decisions, you CAN have your Cinderella dream wedding on a shoestring budget. It is all about prioritizing and making the cuts where they will be less obvious.
Many venues offer all-inclusive packages, but are they really all inclusive? Some of them are, but they are normally outrageously priced to accommodate for all the extras they throw in. Also, they normally do "cookie-cutter" weddings. Choosing a venue that is not all-inclusive is not only more cost effective, but it allows you to create a wedding unlike any you have ever been to.
If you would like to consider an "all-inclusive" venue for your wedding, you will be looking at a bill of between $10,000 and $29,000 for 100 guests, but keep in mind that even though we refer to these venues as all-inclusive they do not normally include your musicians, photographer & videographer, or florists. They do sometimes offer fake floral centerpieces, but they are very generic and you may not like them at all. These additional vendors will likely run you between $800 and $3,000 each. Add that in and you are looking at a wedding cost (minus wedding attire) of at least $15,000 and likely as much as $40,000 at an "all-inclusive" venue. On a good note, all-inclusive venues give you the convenience of one stop shopping. Though they do not include your musicians, photographer & videographer, or florists, they often have relationships with some who they will gladly recommend to you.
On the other hand, to have your wedding at an "a la carte" venues, depending on your style and some smart decision making can run you (minus wedding attire) as low as $5,000 and likely as much as $22,200 for 100 guests. Because you are able to pick each and every detail of your wedding from a wide variety of quality, quantity, and cost there is a lot more flexibility for money savings! You can personally hand pick each vendor, paying less for things that are not a priority and incorporating DIY (do it yourself) ideas where you can. You even have the flexibility with some a la carte venues of having family and friends DJ, Cater, make the cake, take the pictures, and decorate. If you chose to have a bar at your wedding it is also cheaper to buy your own bottles and any that are not opened can be returned for a refund. Tons of savings there!
The down side of a la carte wedding venues is that you have to do much more of the actual research and planning yourself. This is where a wedding planner becomes very valuable. Not only do we have experience in planning weddings, but we have unlimited resources and lists of vendors and venues for which we can recommend or steer you away from if we have evidenced a problem with them. We can go with you to meet the vendors and venues, walk you through all the decision making, and review the contracts. We help you incorporate DIY ideas and find the best deals on everything. We remain by your side through the entire process from the start of planning through the end of your wedding day.
Although most all-inclusive venues have their own wedding planner/consultant, it is wise to hire your own. While their wedding planner will be a great asset on your wedding day, when it comes to making package decisions and agreeing on a contract, you have to remember they work for the venue and will be looking out for their best interest, not yours. It would be wise to have a professional in your corner. Also, when it comes to shopping for a wedding dress, tuxes, gifts for your bridal party, and other such things, they will not be by your side making sure you are getting the best deal possible. We would be.
What kind of wedding venue are you using? What is your preference? More expense, less work? or Less expense, more work?