When assessing how much a celebration like this was going to cost, S and I made lists. Well, I made lists - S just shook his head and rolled his eyes.
Some immediate things we needed to consider were:
1. How many people? While S has a relatively small family, and would have been more than happy to elope, I have a lovely large (loud) family and wanted them all there to celebrate our day with us.
2. The ceremony location: the cathedral we ultimately decided on is booked about a year in advance. We had strongly considered an outdoor location, but the thought of getting rained out was seriously off-putting. The hassle of booking a tent and chairs for the possibility of rain (plus some kind of ground cover so our guests aren't standing in a pool of mud) wound up being too expensive for our budget.
3. The reception hall: we visited many halls. Our first choice was a hotel ballroom. It was a great location, had a lot of amenities, but also a lot of additional fees. Corkage fees, cake cutting fees, hall rental fees, catering fees (want coffee with that? It'll be an additional 2$/person) plus gratuities. Oh you wanted your cake cut too? That'll be an additional $2.95/person. Don't even get me started on the open bar!
Our second choice was the Italian club my parents have been part of for years. It was a smaller hall, didn't have any anterooms, but was so much easier to deal with. Catering for this many people? Then there is no hall rental fee! Cake cutting fee? What the hell is that? Dealing with a smaller hall made for a much more personal experience.
Opinion of Probable Cost: Wedding Style
At work I often have to assemble an Opinion of Probable Cost (OPC) for different building projects - adding up different materials and labour costs, plus a contingency and taxes, to figure out what a project might add up to.
|Wedding Cost Estimate|
I adjusted the costs to reflect typical costs in my area, while still allowing for some contingency money. It adds up fast! As we begin to pay for things, I'll update the 'Actual Cost' column to track our spending. Poor S just about had a heart attack when I showed him! I'm really glad we have two years to figure this out...