When looking to cut costs, always consider your venue. Here's how to manage expenses wherever you wed.By: Elena Donovan Mauer
They say location is everything — and when you’re trying to save money on your wedding, it helps to compare your choices. At the same time, remember that your venue will set the tone for your celebration. This guide can help you decide what type of location is best for you in terms of both budget and style.
Photo Credit: Javier Gomez Studios
Weddings in hotels are popular because out-of-towners won’t have far to go to rest their heads — and because the hotel staff is well versed in receptions. It’s usually a cost-effective choice, but there are some important things to keep in mind.
Make sure everything is included in the fee. “At a hotel, everything should be included — tables, chairs, linens and so on,” says Christine Paul of Christine Paul Events in New York City. “The only items you should pay for are food and beverage.”
Beware of extras, says Jo Ann Woodward of Schwartz & Woodward in Houston, TX. Chair covers and upgraded linens are pretty, but can add up fast — so be sure to prioritize what’s important.
Go seasonal. “Ask the hotel staff what’s considered high season and what’s low,” says Paul. “It will differ depending on the hotel and its location, but if you book at low season, it could save you thousands of dollars.”
Negotiate — before signing a contract. Many hotels offer package deals with set prices, but if you negotiate, you might get even more for your money. Ask for a complimentary wedding-night suite or a free package upgrade. “We often get the couple an extra hour of bar, a champagne toast, suites for both parents or an upgraded menu,” says Laura Weatherly of Engaging Affairs, Inc. in Alexandria, VA.
Seek out any hidden charges. “I’ve seen hotels charge a $6 per person cake-cutting fee,” says Amy Nichols of Amy Nichols Special Events in San Francisco. “The fee may even apply to serving cupcakes!” Politely ask to have these charges waived.
Remember: Taxes and gratuities aren’t usually factored into your original quote either.
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