Ok here is the bad news…..your wedding is going to cost you money 🙁
Here is a rough guide to pricing for your wedding. This list is not the same for every venue but its an easy to use guideline. There has also been an emergence of ‘All Inclusive Packages’ which will have all of these items bundled. Most venues I know will expect you to prepay at least 48 hours before your big day.
1. Food: Cost for dinner per person. You may end up getting extra courses and supplement prices will apply. Don’t forget to include yourselves in the numbers when calculating the bill!
2. Wine: Estimate a half bottle per person. The split between red and white will depend on your menu but typically 50/50 is safe. A venue will always have overstock if you run out of either. You may decide to bring your own wine. In this case ‘corkage’ will apply. Check the rates for wine, sparkling and champagne as different prices may apply. Yes there is a charge to open a bottle of wine…..remember the venue has a business to run but always try and negotiate. The price of wine varies between venue but on average €20 per bottle therefore for it to be worth your while you would need to be getting a good wine for apx €3/€4 per bottle. You will also have to store it, deliver it and if you are left with overstock, you will need to bring it home.
TIP: If you don’t use all the pre-purchased wine, check if the venue will refund you. If they don’t make sure to use your wine allocation. You could get them to keep the corks from all opened bottles and then count to make sure that you haven’t been shafted!
3. Toast Drink: You may end up doing a complimentary drink for everyone and you could estimate €6 per person, or you could do sparkling wine or champagne. There are 5 glasses per bottle so for a wedding of 100 guests = 20 bottles. Sparkling wine can start from €25 in some venues.
4. Evening Finger Food/ The ‘Afters’: You only need to cater for 50%-70% of the total number of guests in the room by evening time. This is usually served in between the band and DJ. It is always well received as after a few drinks who doesn’t love some cocktail sausages and sandwiches! I wouldn’t go too fancy on this- no one cares or notices so don’t worry about canapés- the greasier the better!
5. Bar Extension: Most venues are only licensed to serve until the standard bar closing times. Each venue is meant to apply for a late bar and the price they get depends on the solicitor fee’s etc. Always see if this can be added complimentary as extra 2-3 hours of their bar tills ringing is in their interest!
6. Arrival Food: Most venues supply the usual suspects- tea/coffee and biscuits. You may want to add some extras and there is a charge on this. Like evening food- no need to buy for everyone, 50%-60% worth of extra would do. Samples of arrival food include canapés, buns or sandwiches.
7. Venue Hire: Not all venues charge this, some do. This is a flat fee or day hire rate for the exclusivity of the venue. Some charge ‘minimum numbers’ for key dates. This means that there may be a minimum requirement for your numbers to be 120 for a Saturday in September, if you have 80 people in your party, they may charge for 120 or put in a ‘venue charge’.
Others say you have to pay for a number of rooms which means that your guests will pay for the rooms taking the pressure off you as a couple but beware if your guests don’t show up- you will have to pay.
This is it in a nutshell. Other venues have other types of charges so just ask what those charges are. Also check if the venue provides the dressing- i.e floral displays, chair covers etc
I hope this helps you!
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