Budgeting for a Wedding Reception
Budgeting is an activity that most people find frustrating, stressful, or too time consuming. However, when a couple gets engaged it is one of the absolute most important steps to take seriously. If you decide to skip the budgeting talk / phase, you might be in for a world of hurt later on in the wedding planning process. As a couple you need to sit down and talk about expectations and budget for all aspects of the wedding, especially the wedding reception. Every person has a different idea of what “the perfect wedding reception” might entail, so communication between the couple from the get-go is essential before planning details and making arrangements. Make a list of priorities so you can reference this as you are making decisions that will affect the budget. The number of guests that you invite to your wedding will have the greatest impact on total cost. Think about it….more people means more food and drink, a larger venue to accommodate the group, more wedding cake, and even more invitations! The list goes on and on! Therefore, putting some parameters on the guest list isn’t a bad idea as this will give you a bench-mark to stay within. You certainly want to be sure you invite the people that are important to you, but don’t go overboard. The type of food and beverage you serve will obviously also has a great impact on what you will be spending for the reception. Be sure to ask the event / sales team at the reception venue about food costs, and ask for their opinions on what menu items traditionally go over better before you narrow down your options / make a selection. Typically chicken and pork entrees will be more affordable than beef and or fish options….however the time of year can also affect food costs. The type of service (plated meals versus buffet meals) could also have an effect on the cost of the meal at some venues, because of differing levels of staffing required. Here at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, we do not charge more to serve plated meals (instead of buffet meals), even though they require more staff to execute the event. Don’t forget to think about the beverage budget! Alcoholic beverages are usually an important part of wedding receptions, however they are not cheap. However, there are ways to incorporate alcohol to your event while still keeping the cost under control. I always suggest to couples working with a budget, to go with something that is a controlled cost…. instead of just opening up the bar for a specific time period. Some popular options are:
1) Kegs – this way your guests can have a beer on you, and you can still have a cash bar available for those guests who prefer liquor drinks. The cost of a keg is known and is a controlled cost, so you won’t get a large bill at the conclusion of the event that you weren’t expecting.
2) Wine – one of the best ways to enhance a cocktail hour and or dinner is to offer a red and white wine to your guests. Here at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, we offer to butler pass wine at no additional cost. You would basically pay for the wine by the bottle (per bottle we cork). If you have a specific threshold that you do not want to surpass, you can just advise us and when we get to that number we will let you know (so you can decide if you want to continue with the wine service or not).
Give me a call today and I would be happy to help you put together some options that work with your budget, and still achieve your goal for your wedding reception!
– Jill Hericks | Sales Manager | 605-367-4156 | Sioux Falls Convention Center