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Budgeting question

I found a venue that I love, but it's a little bit higher than we're comfortable with spending (well, actually it's their exclusive caterer that's a little bit high, the place is very reasonable).  It's exactly what I wanted for my reception and I really want to book it because I'm afraid I won't like anything else as much.  I'm willing to try to make some cuts elsewhere but I'm worried that I'm going to end up going over our budget anyway.

Has anyone successfully booked a place that was a little more expensive and cut costs elsewhere and stayed within your budget?  Is it unrealistic to think that I can do this? 

I'm anxious to hear what you all think.  TIA!  

Re: Budgeting question

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    barbbhowwbarbbhoww member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    YEAH!  But its all about research!!!!   Find a photog that is willing to do it for proofs only or a cheaper DJ  (i chose Midwest Productoins, only 795) 

    Def ways around it!
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    edited December 2011
    I would LOVE to tell you to go for it, but I find that no matter how carefully I budget - it's a constant struggle. Can you share a little more of what you may have budgeted for certain items? Maybe you can meet with a florist and see if they can do something below your original budget? Or, maybe you can borrow a dress from a friend? If you are willing to give a little on some of the other items to get the venue you really want, then it might be do-able. But, I would recommend making sure you can specifically cut these costs first before booking the venue.

    Is there anything you can do differently with the caterer? Skip cake and go for an alternate dessert?

    Or, perhaps you can share your venue choice with us and the girls may have some recommendations for some similar places?

    Good luck!
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    edited December 2011
    If you really like the venue.....go for it!!! Yes, you may have to cut some corners. Maybe select a cheaper plate menu from the cater, or don't do favors. Some of the small stuff you can get away without having. We are not having favors, or chair covers. We limited the flowers to save. How much over are you?
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    edited December 2011
    We're still in the process of coming up with exactly how much we're budgeting for everything.  We're not ready to book the venue quite yet, which is both a good and bad thing, so we aren't sure what things we're willing to cut in order to get a good venue.  We definitely need to sit down and figure all this out.

    The venue is Gallery 1028.  I really like loft style places but I'm worried with places like that that costs end up sneaking up on you.  For people who have done lofts, is anyone willing to share what it ended up costing them total?

    Also, has anyone worked with Calihan Catering?  Are they willing to work within different budgets?
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    edited December 2011
    Our venue was a larger percentage of our budget than is recommended. We kind of ended up framing the rest of the budget around the reception. Having a small bridal party, fewer guests, and DIY are some really quick ways to save big. Would you consider doing this venue on a Friday, Sunday, or in the off season?
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    It's definitely doable if you love the venue, so don't give up yet. You could try bargaining with the venue or caterer for a cheaper price. Start low and see if they can meet you somewhere in the middle. We got our venue to go down $1500 from their max for the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend. Also, if you love the location, and the caterer is expensive, could you do heavy hordeouves instead of a full meal for cheaper.

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    NoronNoron member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_illinois-chicago_budgeting-question?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:72Discussion:3046705f-4263-4cb4-856b-4a3b3ae7bd79Post:65f805a6-d923-4d27-a3a8-e29ce8cc3a63">Re: Budgeting question</a>:
    [QUOTE]The venue is Gallery 1028.  I really like loft style places but I'm worried with places like that that costs end up sneaking up on you.  For people who have done lofts, is anyone willing to share what it ended up costing them total? Also, has anyone worked with Calihan Catering?  Are they willing to work within different budgets?
    Posted by AshleyK2011[/QUOTE]
    I've actually been to two weddings at Gallery 1028 (both with delicious food!) and reached out to them when pricing out our wedding.  I found them willing to help keep costs low (serve chicken only, more inexpensive appetizers, etc) but at the end of the day, it was still way over our small budget.  Do you have to rent tables, chairs, and linens if you use them?  I can't really remember, but if you do that could end up being a big expense.
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    edited December 2011
    I think with a venue like that, where you need to bring most things in, it is easy to go over budget. The main cost of the wedding is the venue/food/drink. I mean honestly, if it is pretty high over your budget, you won't be able to make it up. Unless for instance you had planned on spending 5K on a dress and now will spend 1K.

    I guess it is really about what it important to you and to prioritize. But saving a few hundred here and there can't make up a 10K overage. If that makes sense. I really had to alter my "dream". But I still am really happy and am in the city, which was really important to us. I would have loved to do one of the loft spaces, but it was just too expensive. My favorite was Salvage One!

    Good Luck! I found this to be the hardest part of the whole process!
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    NoronNoron member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_illinois-chicago_budgeting-question?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:72Discussion:3046705f-4263-4cb4-856b-4a3b3ae7bd79Post:5beb3459-db3f-4cc6-8ec1-525f8b2cacf2">Re: Budgeting question</a>:
    [QUOTE] I found this to be the hardest part of the whole process!
    Posted by sgylling[/QUOTE]
    Ditto this one million percent.
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    jbll326jbll326 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Our venue was over budget, but we fell so madly in love with it and knew we'd never be happy with anything else, so we had to make it work and we are within our original budget. It helped that they have in house catering and that all the tables, chairs, linens, and plateware are provided (those things REALLY add up and add a whole new level of stress to the planning process). Here are some of the things we did to make it work:

    * Friday wedding during the off season (typically january - March/April) - we saved over 50% by doing this compared to a Saturday wedding in the late spring/summer/fall (i'm a financial analyst so I analyzed the crap out of our options with excel spreadsheets galore!). If you can be flexible with the date, you can really save a ton of money and this is mostly how we were able to book our venue 
           * Friday wedding - lower rental $, lower minimum guest count, more
                     date availability

           * March wedding - $3 less/plate off of 2009 pricing, $2 less/person for the bar
                    package off of 2009 pricing, ceremony fee waived, cake is FREE
           * Dinner - we're only serving chicken which was at least $10/person less
                    than a beef dish; this allows to serve hor d'ouerves and have a nice bar
                    package

    * DIY centerpieces, invitations (saved about $1,000 on this one!) and STDs, favors, programs, bridal party gifts, place cards, menus, thank you notes, and more - thank you VistaPrint!

    * RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH - I got great deals on my photographer (starting his own business after being a photog teacher for many years and had plenty of wedding experience, but wanted to build his book), florist (it helps that we're not using flowers in our centerpieces),  and videographer (same thing as photog)

    * Use your friends - one of my best friends was a DJ in college and the other is a singer/songwriter who plays guitar - so the guitar player is providing the ceremony music and the DJ is renting all the sound equipment and DJing our wedding using his laptop. So we saved a ton of money by not paying for any entertainment. If you don't have musically inclined friends, consider an iPod DJ.

    * Netbride - I didn't buy my dress on Netbride, but I would have if I had known about it before I bought mine. We got the BM's dresses through them and saved a ton of money. 
     
    HTH! You can definitely make it work, but you have to seriously go over your budget with a fine tooth comb and really be honest about what you're willing and not willing to cut or do extra work on.

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    edited December 2011
    Like PP, this was our strategy as well. We knew we wanted to have our reception at a hotel downtown so 55% of our budget went to the venue (but this includes everything: food, alcohol, hors d'ouevres, cake, linens, taxes, gratuity) which is way above what they say you should spend on the reception.

    We were very careful to get super deals on everything else (photography, videography, dj, florist, band) so we could still get what we wanted. I researched a TON of vendors to find the best quality for the best price and so far I've been very pleased with all of my vendors.  I found that if I told a vendor the budget I had to work with outright, they were able to tell me the service they could provide for that amount. Surprisingly, most of them were very willing to work with our meager budget (thank you recession?)

    That said, we'll probably end up $1,500 over budget which I'm okay with because at the last minute we decided we wanted (well, FI decided he wanted) ceremony musicians, a live band at the reception and a videographer--three things that we didn't initially budget for.

    It can be done if you are willing to research, plan and do some negotiating! HTH!
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    edited December 2011
    you can totally do it but you will just have to cut either quality or quantity for the catering and trim other things. i think you can still have a nice wedding.

    can you go to white chicago and get a once-worn dress?
    there are always budget florists who do great work like kio kreations who i think used to be a knottie on here.
    another thing you might be able to look at is a smaller bar package or a budget dj.
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