Since weddings are expensive enough already, you don’t want to blow your budget on the sit-down wedding dinner. The wedding dinner is supposed to be a celebration and the most important thing is that everyone is together. The good new is that you can have an elegant sit-down wedding dinner on a budget if you pay attention to the details and if you aren’t afraid to look for discounts and alternatives.
Consider Forgoing Alcohol
One of the priciest aspects of a sit-down wedding dinner is the alcohol. A $10 – $20 bottle of wine will only be sufficient for four guests, and if you have one hundred people at your wedding dinner, you’re looking at an alcohol budget of $250 to $500. If you have more than one hundred guests, the costs keep going up. Instead of alcohol, opt for the less expensive sparkling cider or grape juice. This is especially helpful if either the bride or the groom doesn’t drink alcohol or if any of your guests has ever suffered from alcoholism.
Don’t Forget Taxes & Gratuity
When you’re planning a budget for your sit-down wedding dinner, don’t forget to add things like taxes and gratuity. Most wedding dinners are catered, so you’ll need to tip the waiters and waitresses, and you’ll also need to pay the tax on all food provided. A good rule of thumb is to add 20% to the entire estimated bill in order to come up with your total out-of-pocket costs.
Save on Decorations
If you’re wanting to have an elegant sit-down wedding dinner on a budget, you might need to cut corners somewhere else to help offset the costs. One great way to reduce your budget else where is to save on decorations. For example, create your own centerpieces rather than having them ordered. You can also use inexpensive table linens that you find at your local dollar store or at Wal-Mart rather than renting the nicer ones from the reception hall. No one is going to notice if you’ve skimped on decorations, especially if you have great food.
Plan Your Menu
Some foods will be far more expensive than others, so consider all possibilities for your menu. A sit-down wedding dinner doesn’t have to include a six-course meal. Rather than serving soup and salad, why not start with your main course? Chicken and pasta dinners will cost less than salmon and other seafood, plus it’s more common for people to be allergic to fish than chicken or pasta. If you serve pasta, you can have breadsticks or French bread rather than soup or salad and it’s easier to fill up on pasta than other dishes.
Cut Down on the Guest List
One of the best things about a sit-down wedding dinner is the intimacy of the event. If you invite fewer people to the party, you’ll save money all around. Of course, you might want to share this moment with five hundred of your closest friends, but try to be realistic about your budget. You’ll have to cut costs somewhere if you’re on a strict budget, so decide what is more important to you and trim prices elsewhere.