wedding budget

Elegant reception

Photo credit// Justin Casanova Photography

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Every bride imagines walking into her wedding reception and being surrounded by endless numbers of loved ones and beautiful surroundings. Although what that looks like varies drastically, there is almost always this one common desire.

This is why one of the hardest things for brides to decide between is inviting ALL of the people they would like to include, or throwing the most amazing reception of all time. In most cases, due to budget restraints, this is one choice you can not avoid.

Reception elegance

Coming To Terms With Wedding Costs

For most, the reality sets in as the couple make their first steps towards picking out the venue. Quickly it becomes easy to see the stark difference in price between a 150-person reception at your typical sized venue, and a 500 person reception in a ballroom or conference space. Not only do you need a whole new level of venue for the added guests (thus reducing your choice in the location many times), but you also may start to see a jump in the per person costs. Many times this can be anywhere between an extra $15 per person to a whopping $50 per person!

Luckily, right now the industry has been seeing a shift towards smaller guest counts in favor of specialty receptions. It’s now become more popular for brides to favor really special experiences over a huge party.

Upscale food for your wedding reception

Planning The Wedding Reception Of Your Dreams

Personally, as an event designer for Couture Ever After who focuses on creating magical experiences, this is a shift I completely support. I see that when bride and grooms focus more on the experience of their big day, it not only makes it more magical for them, but also for their guests.

With a smaller guest count, it is much easier to include one of a kind personalized touches such as laser cut signage, custom coffee or dessert bars, never-before-used locations, or even as we created recently, a 14ft silver tinsel chandelier (see the picture above). The fun is definitely in the details.

This is why I say, include those most important to you, and create a wedding day that will truly be unforgettable.

Specialty touches at the reception

Photo credit // Katie DelaCruz Photography

Help finance your wedding dreams with a honeymoon registry from Honeyfund.

BIO: This guest blog post was written by designer, Nicole Boles Wolf, owner of Couture Ever After. With a background in fashion design, interior design, and event design, her bespoke events are always something out of the ordinary in the best way possible. She believes in creating magical experiences and does this by creating one of a kind props and decor along with custom wedding themes for brides in Wichita, Kansas, and throughout the U.S.

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Large guest list or extravagant reception

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Deciding between a big guest list and an extravagant reception is not an easy choice. As a Wedding Planner, I have couples that hit a crossroad where they have to decide on an answer to this question, and though it seems hard, there are some questions you can ask yourself that can help you decide on what direction to go.

Wedding reception

Deciding On A Large Wedding Guest List vs. A Fabulous Reception

One thing to establish is that most times when a couple ask themselves this question, it means there is a budget they have set and having a big guest list can either cause them to compromise on how they wanted the reception to look or to compromise on the look they envision for their wedding so having a big guest list will mean spending an enormous amount of money.

Below are some key questions we feel are important to ask yourself if you are trying to make this decision.

Planning your wedding

Questions To Ask Yourself

One: What is your budget?

What amount of money can you and your fiance honestly afford? What is the maximum you are willing to go above budget? Know the answers to these questions, know your numbers and stick to it. A wedding is once in a lifetime, so yes, you want it to be amazing, but you also want to be wise. Set a budget for how much you want to spend. However high or low you set a budget, give an allowance or an overage you can afford and stick to it.

Wedding style

Two: What Is The Look You Want?

What kind of design look do you want for your wedding? Most times having a higher guest count can directly affect how high your budget will go. You will either have to compromise on the design if you go with a higher count or have a lower guest count and splurge on your design.

Three: What Are Your Relationships With Your Guests?

Who are the people on your guest list and what is your relationship with them? When starting out the planning process, put a limit on the number of family members that can attend the wedding and give each side of the family the total number of people they are allowed to invite. This means you may have to cut out children under a certain age, your second and third cousins, and friends and acquaintances you haven’t seen in ages.

Four: What Is Your Guest Count?

How many guests do you intend to invite? What was your desired count? Does that match your budget? If your count is higher than your budget can afford then you need to make a decision to invite fewer guests or increase your budget.

Consider how you answered question 1 about money and remember that increasing the budget is not an option unless you have the financial means to do so without being broke. Use your answer to question 3 about relationships to get your guest list under control, especially if entertaining a huge guest list compromises your design.

Let Rae Affairs plan your wedding


Decisions, Decisions

There are lots of questions to ask yourself when trying to make this determination of having a large guest list or having an extravagant reception. Ultimately, it comes down to what is most important to you.

No one answer is perfect; however, going over your allowed budget to accommodate more people is not always the best idea. If you choose to invite a large number of people, then you will have to compromise with the design in order for it to fit into the budget. However, if your design is a top priority for your wedding then, aha! – There’s your answer! Keep the guest list lower to get the design you want. If you are not very particular about your decor then having extra guests won’t be a bad idea.

A Honeyfund honeymoon registry can help you finance your dream wedding.

BIO: RAE Affairs provides planning services for an array of events, depending on YOUR needs. From Weddings to Corporate Events to other Social Gatherings, at RAE, our goal is to bring your event to life. Our consultants work closely with you to make your vision a reality and to ensure that your event is customized to your budget and taste.

At RAE we understand that every client has unique needs, therefore it is our belief here that no two events are the same. Our number one goal is to ensure that your day is seamless and filled with pleasurable memories. From a posh intimate gathering to a grand deluxe event, our seasoned professional consultants have planned various types of events and we bring our years of experience to your occasion. At RAE the only thing we require from our clients is
Relax and Enjoy.

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