Let’s face it. Weddings are big business. TheKnot.com reports the average cost of a wedding to be in excess of $33,000 per year. Of course, there are so many variables that affect the bottom line:
USA Today breaks down average wedding expenditures by state, and even provides data about which states have the highest and lowest dress and ring costs! Wedding expenses in Pennsylvania rank as 14th highest of all states, hovering around that same number The Knot reports.
Gone are the days when the bride’s family is “responsible” to pay for the wedding. So what is a couple to do? First, don’t panic. The team here at The Beaumont Inn is here to walk you through our helpful exploratory guide to make the process as painless as possible, and ensure the happiest day of your lives is celebrated at the very best venue for your budget.
You will save a lot of time, squabble, and stress if you plan your budget realistically. That means to plan for the number of people you invite and not the [lesser] number you expect to attend. Planning a wedding is a very emotional time, and it is easy for judgment and estimations to become clouded. By planning for the number you invite, you’ll build in a cushion to keep you from breaking your bank.
Choosing your wedding venue is so much more than the budget, though. A beach ceremony can be absolutely breathtaking; it can also be an experience laden with winds whipping sand in everyone’s faces. A vintage barn can be downright delightful; it can also bring unwanted guests…flies, spiders, and other undesirables. Following are the factors you need to consider and prioritize:
Location & Logistics
- Will the wedding ceremony and wedding reception be held at the same location, in the same building, in the same room? If there are multiple locations involved, what transportation options and expenses need to be considered?
- Is seating enough to fit each and every invited guest comfortably?
- Are events planned inside, outside, or both?
- What types of weather should be expected during the time of year for your event?
- If there is inclement weather that may adversely affect the celebration, what is the backup plan of the venue?
- Is the terrain smooth? Difficult for high heels? Impractical for the elderly?
- Are there steps? Are there accommodations for people with disabilities who may not be able to navigate steps or who are in a wheelchair?
- Are restrooms accessible to all, regardless of physical ability and seating location?
- Does the seating plan allow each guest to have views free of obstruction by pillars, doors, or partitions?
- How many other events will be hosted at the venue while your celebration is taking place?
- What kinds of decorations are permitted? What decorations are offered by the venue and at what charge?
- Are children going to be in attendance, and is the venue equipped to accommodate?
- How far are guests traveling, and is lodging needed?
- How much space is available for a dance floor? How much space is available for the equipment of a D.J. and/or band?
- How far in advance can your team gain access to the venue for any pre-event preparations?
Reputation & Experience
- How many customer reviews does the venue have, and from how many independent sources?
- How many weddings has the location hosted?
- Has the venue been recognized or awarded by any credible third parties?
- How long has the venue been in operation?
- What is the tenure of the staff like?
- Does the establishment welcome LGBTQ-friendly events?
Food & Drinks
- Will the reception be a cocktail one, a plated dinner, or a buffet?
- How many courses, stations, or selections will there be?
- How does the venue handle culinary needs related to allergies, sensitivities, and special dietary requirements?
- Is alcohol going to be served, and if so, does the venue provide it, or do you need to coordinate selection, purchase, pick-up, drop-off, bartending, cleanup?
- Is a wedding cake provided by the venue and included in the per person price?
Expenses & Fine Print
- What deposits are required and are they refundable?
- What is and is not taxed?
- Are there any unanticipated or “overage” fees that may be charged to you after the fact?
- What if the venue goes out of business before your event?
- Is wedding insurance an option, and how does it work?
Overwhelmed? Let us come to the rescue! Contact our Special Events Manager Sheila Humphrey, and your worries will be no more. Our expert team will take care of each and every detail for you!