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Money Question

Hello all!  I just got engaged and I'm starting to make my plans.  I am basing my budget around the price of food and drink.  So if a mag says a place is about $100/head does this include drinks?  I have a feeling it doesn't.  How much can I expect to pay for an open bar?

Thank you!!!!

Re: Money Question

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    JennM31JennM31 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011

    It really depends on what venues you look at and what prices you get. Please remember tax and gratiuty(this will vary from place to place from about 8 to 13% or higher).
    Base your budget with food and drinks being about 50% or more of your Budget.

    I was able to get a premium open bar and with all the food for under 100pp with the tax and gratiuty.

    Good luck planning and Congrats!

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    edited December 2011
    It's a possibility that the price does include open bar.  What is the venue?
    ~Chelsea~
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    uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In NJ, the price probably does include drinks.  Few places offer packages that don't include drinks.  Be forewarned though -- magazine prices can be extremely inaccurate.  Some places still list their price ranges from like 1997, some list their price ranges for a Thursday afternoon wedding in January, and some list their real Saturday night peak prices.  Some places have huge variations in prices depending on day of week, time of day, and time of year that you get married.  Some don't.  Also, most venues include taxes and gratuities (of around 20%), which can add another 20-something percent to the price.  The only way to know for sure what a venue will cost is to ask the venue, taking into account when you think you want to get married.

    That said, if $100 per person is your price range, that's definitely doable in NJ, particularly if you are flexible about day of week, time of day, and/or time of year.
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    edited December 2011

    It usually does include alcohol, but the above advice rings so very true: the pricing is very inaccurate.

     

    When I began my planning, I only based my decision to go look at places based on what the magazines had said....which limited where I went, because I'm working on a very tight budget. However, my FSIL was really sick last year and home a lot, and she spent her sick days doing some research, calling places for us, and she managed to get us a place that we thought we could never afford for a very nice rate. 

     

    $100, including tax and gratuity can be done. And you can find a really beautiful venue for that amount as well....especially if you're flexible. 

     

    Now, what I did was I eliminated the open bar and I saved a lot of money per head because of that, and instead, I am offering beer, champagne, wine, soda and a signature cocktail. You can save a nice chunk by doing it that way. Though, in my situation, it's an option, since no one in my family really drinks more than beer or wine. We slashed the price by about $6 a head doing that...while it doesn't seem like a ton of money, with a guest list for us of 150 people, that little bit of extra money ensures us that we don't have to have a B-List.  I hope this helps! Merry Christmas! :) 

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    mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    5 Love Its First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Only one place I looked into charged an additional price for alcohol. Most places included an open bar in their per-person quote (and one place had different "tiers" for open bar - like, generic liquors vs. premium brands).

    Ditto the others that a magazine's price probably won't be very accurate ... I found other girls' (and guys') comments on this board to be a lot more accurate. Let us know what month, day of the week, area of the state and price you're looking for, and people can make suggestions. Also any special features or amenities you want ... only beach venues, hotel ballrooms, outside grounds for pics or the ceremony, etc.
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    rachaelb16rachaelb16 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you all for the great advice....VERY helpful!!!  We are planning a Friday or Saturday wedding in July 2011 in Bergen or Passaic county.  I really don't want to go over 100/head for the food and drink, we have a big family and many drinkers.  I don't really have a dream venue, right now I'm just basing it on price and quality of food.  I have heard great things about the Tides.  Do any of you know anything about that place?  Next week I will start calling places.

    Thanks again!!
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    kewltifkewltif member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I suggest posting a new thread with the title "The Tides." I think you will get a lot of responses.  There are a lot of girls on here that got married there.
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