Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How to Thow a Wedding for 100 guests on $10,000 or Die Trying

This is from a comment that I posted on the blog Cheap and Easy Wedding, written by a woman who, well, wants to throw a wedding for 100+ guests on 10k. It was late, which accounts for the ranty-like quality of my comment post, not to mention it's length:

Don't know if you've had a chance to look, but Target also has a nice selection of invites. Not this theme-specific, but cheaper, and you could make them more your style (ink color, font) and I did mention cheaper, right?
As far as sticking to your budget, here's the rule: half of your budget should be reserved for your reception, including rental and catering, and the other half is for everything else. So, you've got 5k to throw at your reception, take 1k off for rentals, decorations and the bar, so for say 100 people, that's $40 per person, which sounds like a lot, but it's not really. With the 9.25% tax that's hitting on 4/1, and the 15-20% service that's standard with caterers, it's actually closer to $28 per person. I know. It sucks. When you are talking to your caterer, GIVE THEM YOUR BUDGET AND STICK TO IT - ask what the best is that you can get for that price (or for even a few bucks lower than that), don't let them talk you into an upgrade. Cake will run you $5-7 per slice, see if you can get the cake cutting fee (another $3-5 per slice) waived by your caterer, or better yet, ask a brave friend to do it. Try Phoenix Bakery downtown, they're pretty good. Also Hansen's can be reasonable, surprisingly.
Bar - buy the alcohol/soda yourself, remember that you're going to be able to get 3-4 drinks out of a bottle, and think that each guest is going to have 2-3 drinks each. Make sure you can return unopened bottles, and that your bartender DOES NOT open a bottle unless they are going to pour from it.
Flowers: Never underestimate the power of flower petals and/or candles as centerpieces. Check with your venue for their candle rules. Keep the bouquets simple, ask what you can get for $15-20 per, or less.
Music: ipods were MADE for theme weddings. I just went to a house-warming where all they played was music from the 40s and 50s on their ipod. Make sure someone is around to monitor it, and has a list of the songs in order, just in case you want to switch to a particular one.
Uh, what else? Dresses? If you don't think you'll be overly attached to it, think about renting one. I know. One Night Affair in L.A. rents AND they also sell dresses that they've rented, which you could easily have one altered to fit your style. OR if you save enough money with everything else, there's a chance that you can have one made, but that's going to be 1-2k. You made me fall in love with Dita's dresses. That scoop neckline rules. Try Windsor fashions for bridesmaid dresses, they have some cute, inexpensive things that could work.
Stick to your budget, don't get discouraged, and remember that if someone tells you that it isn't possible, you just haven't found the person who will tell you that it is. If you have any questions, just email me - liz@silvercharmevents.com.
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