Tuesday, March 20, 2012

10 Cost Savings Tips For A Wedding Reception Site

Your main consideration for finding a wedding reception site is finding a facility that is just perfect for the amount of wedding guests you are having. A perfect size makes for a perfect wedding party. Get a place too small and your wedding guests will leave too early, your guests don't have much elbow space, bump into each other, and can't have much conversation. Get a place that is too large, the wedding couple pays to the kazoo and the event feels like it's missing something, it just doesn't have the feel that a wedding should have. Make sure the venue is packed comfortably with places right for all the seats and tables, right for all the wedding vendors, right for the dance floors, and right for all the buffet tables, serving tables, wedding tables, and gift tables. Also make sure the traffic flow of people is efficient too.

Another little trick when planning an event at a wedding reception site and trying to save some money at a wedding reception site is to break the reception into 4 categories. The 4 categories are reception site, food, entertainment, and decorations. Next rank order the 4 categories, which categories are more important to the wedding couple. The two highest categories put more of a focus on and the other categories look for cost savings. Here are some other tips for cost savings on reception facilities.

Tip 1 - Consider Having Your Wedding Reception in a Wedding Tent
Outdoor weddings have become very popular in recent years and the secret to their success has been the availability of beautiful wedding tents. The good wedding tent has a high canopy and is beautifully decorated to a color scheme and looks like a magical place. The tables are decorated with colorful linens, it might be lit by color schemed flood lights, lanterns or clear or colored Christmas lights. Poles may be decorated with pretty garland and fancy colored fabrics may droop from the ceiling. The key is finding a beautiful spot to pitch your tent that has little costs and plenty of parking. Lease your tent by comparison shopping at rental service companies, party stores, and wedding tent companies. Find a company that has been in business at least 5 years and is reputable. Find good volunteers and wait staff to handle decorating and the food. For entertainment, if the budget is good, hire wedding musicians and if it is tight hire a disc jockey. Just a quick note, a good website for wedding tent needs is www.alexanderpartyrentals.com.

Tip 2 - Have Your Wedding Reception In An Off Peak Period
Prime time for weddings is May through June on a Saturday night or the week around New Years. If you can stay away from this period you can see substantial savings. In the off peak season, you can see substantial savings from many of your wedding vendors from 20-40% in many cases. In the off season, your venues are less, your wedding outfits are less, your flowers are less, some wedding vendors may be less, and your wedding favors may be less. You can see a substantial savings. You can see a 15-30% savings if you have your wedding on another day but Saturday. Friday and Sunday nights you might see some savings, week day nights you see significant savings, and wedding on week days you see substantial savings, you just have to be careful, some of your wedding guests might not attend because they can't get off from work. If you have your wedding earlier in the day on Saturday you can expect a 30-60% savings. How about having an early morning wedding and a wedding brunch instead. You also may consider having an early afternoon wedding reception that is a lot less costly than the evening, make sure the reception is over by 5:00 p.m.

Tip 3 - Consider the Services of a Culinary School or Women's Auxiliary
Consider the services of a culinary school or women's auxiliary group. Add to that list, your area fire department's banquet hall, Knights of Columbus, Shriner's groups, Elk's club, senior citizens complexes, or church hall. These groups might be able to help you in three different ways. First, they might have their own venue you can use. Second, they might know of other venues you can use. Third, they might be able to provide you with wait staff or other assistants for setup, decorating, or cleaning up. Another option, the Chamber of Commerce can provide information of places in the area you might consider for your wedding reception.

Tip 4 - Find a Facility that has Built In or Provided Decorations
When you meet with a wedding reception facility, don't forget the decoration and extra wedding vendor aspect. A wedding reception place that has built in bits and pieces of wedding decorations will save you a lot of money in decoration costs. If the venue has beauty built in and this might save you a lot in decorating costs. Take into consideration out of the ordinary tables and chairs, beautiful visions in the walls, luxurious carpeting, cathedral ceilings, beautiful flowers all about, beautiful architecture in the trim, and beautiful landscaping. The venue might offer varied colored linens to decorate or part of their contract includes desirable vendors such as florists, decorators, and chefs that make wedding cakes included in the contract. You won't need to spend much for decorating saving you some money.

Tip 5 - Bring Your Own, Just As Good, Less Expensive Wine
Many wedding reception places have their own wine cellar and really jack up the price of their wine. The companies that stock these businesses with wine have agreements. Some of the monies made from selling the wine gets split between the reception place and the business offering the wine. It looks like the wedding couple is getting expensive wine. The fact is the wine just looks like it's expensive. If the wedding reception place allows it (many companies won't allow you to bring your own wine). You can buy wine at your local liquor store or winery and buy wine yourself for your wedding, (make sure you do a taste test to be sure you have chosen good wine) you can save yourself a lot of money. Make sure you buy both red and white wine for a wedding and you have red and white wine glasses. Make sure you understand if there are any corkage fees and see if you can arrange to return unopened bottles and consider leaving wine favors for extra unopened bottles with any wine drinkers.

Tip 6 - Choose a Less Expensive Wedding Reception Facility
There are many less expensive wedding facilities all around you, you just have to look and ask around. Spend a month or two in search of good wedding reception facilities, especially if you have a tight budget. Check out wedding reception facilities in restaurants, bars, sports facilities such as golf clubs, country clubs, yacht clubs, senior citizen's complexes, Elks clubs, firemen's halls, church halls, multipurpose rooms, historical buildings, empty office spaces in towers, the choices are many. You may even check in with the Chamber of Commerce and see if they have a list and don't forget wedding directories and look in search engines using the internet. Some of these places can provide you with a wait staff. Pick a final four to interview, and make a final decision.

Tip 7 - Have Your Wedding Reception in a Beautiful Home 
Many couples might have not thought about this one. Maybe you, a relative, a friend lives in an elegant estate or mansion. It's on a beautiful property or there is plenty of room in the neighborhood for parking or maybe hire a valet so cars can be parked in a parking lot or down the street. Let the neighborhood know there is going to be a wedding reception, invite them for entertainment. The place needs a big kitchen, and many of the rooms such as living rooms, family rooms, besides the dining room needs to be converted into a wedding reception room. Decorate the reception areas such as you would a wedding reception place. Strategically place flowers, plants, and family photos around the place. Consider allowing artists to hang oil paintings and allow a few sculptures. Bring in a string quartet for a little music entertainment. If there is a pool, have a dance floor placed over it, set up a music player or hire a disc jockey. A wedding in someone's home can be as glamorous as you may find at other elegant reception sites.

Tip 8 - Avoid Reception Facilities that Charge Catering or Referral Fees
When you are interviewing reception facilities, you should have many questions for them, you should have a list of questions for them on a sheet of paper. You can write their responses next to the question. They might even give you a brochure. You should understand every single thing that will be on the contract. What services are included and what services are excluded. All costs should be identified. Are some fees passed on to the wedding couple or caterer to cover overhead and operating costs such as insurance, advertising, administrative staff, vehicle maintenance, fuel surcharges and costs, cocktail napkins, dishes and glasses and various sundries. Interviews with a wedding reception venue takes a lot of time and discussion. Arrange for a walk-through along with your interview and take pictures. Consider going with the venue that has less overhead charges or referral fees that you have to pay for.

Tip 9 - Find Experienced Wait Staff 
The help you have for the wedding is very important. The wait staff leaves an impression of what wedding guests have of the bride if wedding guests don't know the bride very well. If the wait staff is good, your wedding guests will be left with a high impression of the bride. If the wait staff is poor, the first impressions of the bride may not be very good. For wait staff for a wedding, if you bring many of your own often there is a lot less expense. If the venue brings in more of the people they will charge you higher prices. If you find your own people, you pay out of your pocket and the expense tends to be less. Find wait staff that has worked many big time events. Don't hire wait staff from small restaurants, diners, or eateries they usually don't have the experience for a big event such as a wedding. Find wait staff from 4 and 5 star hotels, upscale restaurants and bars, exclusive golf clubs and country clubs that offer weddings. When you go out to dinner talk to waitresses about their experience and tell them you need someone for your wedding. A good waitress knows good quick conversation, is organized with a good memory, is courteous to guests, always stays under controlled never gets flustered, intercedes if a problem arises such as a wrong meal or cold meal, sets and clears tables when appropriate, takes care of wedding guest needs and dresses to the occasion.

Tip 10 - Choose a Wedding Reception Facility That Offers Low Cost Parking 
When you are searching for a Wedding Reception site, you can save yourself a lot of money if you can find a facility that offers low cost parking. At a wedding, a wedding couple is expected to handle all fees associated with parking or valet service. If you have a big wedding, this expense can be enormous and these vendors are also expecting gratuities. Try to find venues that have free parking in their parking lot and a lot of money can be saved if there are no valets. Some upscale hotels, resorts, upscale banquet halls and restaurants have valets  and may cost a wedding couple a lot of money. When searching for a wedding reception location consider the parking and valet cost. It might be a better deal to park down the street and use a party bus or use a shuttle, evaluate the parking situation before booking a deal.

So these are cost saving tips you can use for finding that perfect wedding reception facility, even if your parents or someone else is paying for the wedding, do your part in cutting down costs and saving money.

See you on the other side

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