If you have ever gone in search of a reception site, you know that every location is different and has its own unique set of
difficulties qualities. Whether you are looking to have a relaxed outdoor reception, a formal indoor celebration, or something in between, there are a few tips that can help you to get your dream location for a lower price.
This is of utmost importance. If you have one particular place in mind to hold your reception but do not visit any other locations, you will never know what else is available or what other price points are in your area. The other thing that you will find in on-site visits is how supportive the staff will be in helping you to plan your big day. Side story: I thought that I had found the perfect reception spot when my hubby and I were getting married. It was beautiful, and I heard that it was at a good price point. I called/emailed and tried to make an appointment a number of times but no one ever got back to me. When my parental units came down to check out the locations that I had found, we went to visit anyway. SOOO Glad that we did! I hated the set-up and the date limitations (only Saturdays), and the on-site planner was awful. She was disorganized and a little crazy. Not cool. Also, it was more expensive than I had heard. I would have never known without the visit! So…suck it up and call at least 3 reception sites and set-up appointments. Sorry for the bad news!
You know how you seem to be going to weddings at the same time every year? People tend towards certain times of the year to get married. Hello June Brides! As long as you are not particularly attached to any one season in which to get married, ask your location what kind of discounts they offer in the off season (think Jan, Feb, March, August, and November). The savings can be substantial!
Day of the week:
If you, like me, are totally attached to being a June Bride, don’t fret, I have some help for you too! As I am totally my mother’s daughter, I am attracted to things that are expensive. It is not intentional, but it seems to be consistent. For instance, when I got married, I fell head over heels for my reception site (after having visited 4 or 5 others). It was definitely not a cheap spot! I asked the on-site planner about the difference in price from Friday to Saturday. It seems so simple, but I makes a huge difference. The spending minimum dropped about 35% going with a Friday night reception instead of a Saturday night reception. CRAZY! Sometimes it is a drop in the spending minimum. Sometimes it is a drop in site fees. Sometimes it is even a drop in the price in food prices or on-site amenities. Friday nights and Sunday afternoons are great alternatives to Saturdays. Just ask! They are also great alternatives if you are planning a wedding on a tight timeline.
For those of you looking to save money by hosting everything in your backyard, think twice before you pursue that. Don’t get me wrong, backyard weddings (in the right yard) are fabulous! Most of us have dreams of Father of the Bride and the glorious backyard wedding hosted by the Banks’ Family. As wonderful as a wedding in your parents’ yard may be, it may not be something that will save you money. Unless you live in a perfect weather location, you will need a tent. Cha-ching…be ready to write a big check especially for a tent that will hold tables and a dance floor for 100-200 people. Some other items that will add up quickly…tables, chairs, linens, china, stemware, silverware, generators, lighting, port-a-potties (these are hard to hide at a wedding) and a dance floor to name a few. You may also have to bring in portable kitchen equipment since most home kitchens can not accommodate a catering menu. Have I scared you yet? Sorry! Just wanted to let you know what to expect. While the food prices may be a little higher at a resort, hotel, country club or museum, the ease and price tag of having everything all in one location may be worth your while. The point is…price it out! Don’t just assume.
Hope this helps! Have a great week!