The Venue Budget Post

Truth time folks. If numbers make you squeamish, come back tomorrow. There is a moral to this story and here it is: NEGOTIATE!

We had a strict budget and after lots of searching, we did have to raise it a bit. But that does not mean that we were resigned to just paying anything. We are getting married in February. In Ohio. I couldn’t imagine people would be vying for our date. So I negotiated. The first price is what we’re paying. The second price in parenthesis is the list price. Two things that couldn’t be negotiated were linens (coming from a 3rd party) and staff (people need to get paid obviously).

Venue fee: $1,495 ($2,495)
Ceremony fee: $100 ($300)
Facility fee: $250 ($416.66)
China/flatware rental: $200 ($357.50)
Bar*: $375 ($440)
Staff: $1,000
Linen: $250
Cocktail Hour: $400 ($600)
Dinner: $2,200 ($2,550)

Our total? $6,270. If I hadn’t negotiated? $8,209.16.
Now some of these are just estimates (particularly because we don’t have a firm grasp on # of guests), but they’re as close to accurate as possible. We saved almost $2,000, or 30% just by negotiating! Plus, of course, tax and gratuity, which would be higher on a higher priced event. $2,000 might not be a lot to some brides… but that amount is enough to cover the alcohol, my dress, and my accessories.

So that’s it! Short story. Negotiate!

*No, you don’t need to pack up the car and come to Ohio for the cheapest alcohol EVER. The bar fee is for water, tea, soda, coffee, and glassware for all drinks (including alcohol). We’ll bring in our own alcohol to be served by their bartenders.


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