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blahblah2
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How much per head is reasonable?

Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:08 am

Hi Ladies,

Just wondering what amount you think is reasonable per head for a reception venue. We are have 100-110 guests and would like to keep the reception cost to half our $20,000 budget (which I though was a ridiculously extravagant budget to start with, I originally wanted to set it at 10) But most venues we have looked at, for food and a beverage package, your looking at $130 a head. It's ridiculous! I don't know if I am looking in all the wrong places, but I don't know where else to look. Any advice suggestions are so welcome.

Ps. Just some other details, We are looking for somewhere in Brisbane/ QLD South East Corner. I am not fussed on buffet or sit down, but not looking for a cocktail wedding. We could like Canapes for our guest when they get there, not too fussed on an entree, but would like a main and a dessert (I have a sweet tooth) and if possible at least a 5 hour beverage package. I hope all those wants don't make me sound like a Bridezilla, they are a combination of the things that I would like, my DF would like and Mum would like.
 
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Miss Michelle
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:24 am

I think you could definitely get all the things you are looking for, especially with cocktail style, for $100 per head. From places I looked into, cocktail style was usually $90 or $100 p/h and sit down was more like $120+.

Once you find a venue you like have a chat to them, they are usually happy to work within your budget. Say for example the meal was a bit more, you could reduce the drinks package to 4 hours or have a tab instead.
 
gdemon
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:38 am

We faced the same problem in trying to keep the cost per person around $100. Some tips for negotiating a lower price:

- can you skip one course? We didn't have dessert, just wedding cake. If your canapes and mains are substantial, you could skip the entree.
- can you opt for shared platters per table of entree, dessert, sides or even mains. This could reduce price by cutting down on labour in plating individual meals. (we had plated mains but two shared bowls of sides per table)
- can you reduce the beverage package price by going for house wines instead of premium wines?
- what is the cake cutting fee per person? Can this be reduced if you have cake served on shared platters for people to help themselves, instead of having one plate per person?
- will a tea and coffee station be cheaper than serving hot drinks to each table after dinner?
- can you get a lower venue hire fee if you start the reception later? (the earlier you start, the earlier the venue has to end their lunch service or function, to set up your wedding, which cuts into their profit so they have to charge you more).
- if their package comes with decorations or flowers, can you reduce the price by leaving them out, and source your own decorations instead? (our venu had a $4 per person option for table flowers which we declined)
- do they have a half price kids meal option?
- can you have just one entree/main/dessert instead of alternate options? This would be cheaper.

We used a combination of these to reduce our venue's usual fee of $150 per person for weddings to about $108 and no one went hungry. But talk to the venue managers and ask for their suggestions as they will know what suits their menu best. Good luck!!!
 
blahblah2
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:42 am

Thanks so much gdemon and Miss Michelle. especially for the tips on how to negotiate the prices down! Planning a wedding is so stressful, especially seeing as how my fh and I both have big families and some great friends, the guest list keeps creeping up! up to 117 and counting. We're also having the beverage package vs bar tab debate. My worst fear is that if we get do a tab it will run out half way though.

ps. Gdemon, I check out your S&T and your venue is STUNNING!
 
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EmmaCupcake
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:47 am

blahblah2 wrote:
. We're also having the beverage package vs bar tab debate. My worst fear is that if we get do a tab it will run out half way though.

I would personally go with bar tab (we are) as that way you will 100% get what you pay for & you can keep updated on the total. You can just have house wines, soft drink and local beers on it rather than spirits and cocktails, it's a good way to make sure it doesn't run out too soon.

Think about it this way, of 117 guests (at this point) not all of them will drink, some will be driving, some might not drink etc so paying for a bar package which is paid per head would be a bigger waste of money IMO.
 
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L.I.W
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:41 am

I have worked in a variety of functions roles and assure you that it is very rare for the drinks packages to be cheaper than a bar tab. I would ALWAYS go a set tab. Once its done, assuming its a reasonable amount people are on their own.

As an example we have a $5,000 bar tab (very good drinks were important to me, but this is a HUGE tab). We went through $800 immediately after the ceremony for champagne/beer/drinks and then another $1,200 in the first two hours of the reception. However, by 10:30 pm we still had $2,000 on the tab! So a lot of people only had a drink or two in the first few hours and then stopped drinking or slowed down considerably.

Had I gone for the premium drinks package at my venue it would have been $99.00 per person ( x 80 = $8,000 or just under). So I saved $3,000 even when budget was not really my first concern.

As it was we had a minimum spend to meet so we opened the bar to EVERYTHING (it still took two hours for that to go though) so we did get through it, but if you are on a budget without a doubt set the tab (for a reasonable amount, say enough for three to five drinks a person) and it should almost always work out cheaper.
 
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:28 pm

L.I.W wrote:
I have worked in a variety of functions roles and assure you that it is very rare for the drinks packages to be cheaper than a bar tab. I would ALWAYS go a set tab. Once its done, assuming its a reasonable amount people are on their own.

As an example we have a $5,000 bar tab (very good drinks were important to me, but this is a HUGE tab). We went through $800 immediately after the ceremony for champagne/beer/drinks and then another $1,200 in the first two hours of the reception. However, by 10:30 pm we still had $2,000 on the tab! So a lot of people only had a drink or two in the first few hours and then stopped drinking or slowed down considerably.


May I ask how many people you had at your wedding? We've got a drinks package for the reception but I'm also considering putting on drinks (which we will pay for separately) for our guests immediately after the ceremony and have no idea how much it will cost.
 
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:06 am

hbm wrote:
L.I.W wrote:
I have worked in a variety of functions roles and assure you that it is very rare for the drinks packages to be cheaper than a bar tab. I would ALWAYS go a set tab. Once its done, assuming its a reasonable amount people are on their own.

As an example we have a $5,000 bar tab (very good drinks were important to me, but this is a HUGE tab). We went through $800 immediately after the ceremony for champagne/beer/drinks and then another $1,200 in the first two hours of the reception. However, by 10:30 pm we still had $2,000 on the tab! So a lot of people only had a drink or two in the first few hours and then stopped drinking or slowed down considerably.


May I ask how many people you had at your wedding? We've got a drinks package for the reception but I'm also considering putting on drinks (which we will pay for separately) for our guests immediately after the ceremony and have no idea how much it will cost.


We had 80 guests. Keep in mind though we were serving bottles of sparkling that were either $40 or $50 a bottle (cannot remember off the top of my head) and for straight after the ceremony we served bottled beer which is more expensive than the tap beers we served during the reception.
 
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:47 am

Such good advice here! I will admit the cost per head is so overwhelming. I am IN LOVE with the Maleny Manor but at over $200 a head, it is way out of our budget, unless we slash the guest list to about 30 people. On this note, looking for some advice. I would love a Dessert Buffet (FH and I are def sweet tooth's), but haven't found any venues that offer them. Any suggests on how to make this dream a reality? And how much per head would be reasonable for this?

Thanks :D
 
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:50 am

Slinky wrote:
We managed to get our venue the Brisbane Golf Club for $99 per person, which includes canapes, entree, mains, dessert, and a drinks package. I think their prices are going up a little bit next year though, still won't be anywhere near as expensive as some of the rip-off places in Brisbane!

It is so pretty there too! :D :heart:

http://www.brisbanegolfclub.com.au/gues ... ings.mhtml


Gosh- I have looked at the Brisbane Golf Club but there prices start at $130 per head for what we are looking at. I agree it is Stunning and the function manager seemed really lovely when I called to get their wedding packages. Might be worth another call to see if we can get them in budget! Thanks for the tip Slinky! :)
 
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:22 am

I think it may still be worth a chat to them. Every other dealing I have had with them (to get their package information act) have been so wonderful. There event manager is so lovely, but not pushy like some other venues we have contacted (who try to get you to book in before you even look at the venue!).

Did you also have you're ceremony there Slinky? What was that like and is there a wet weather option?
 
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:39 am

miss_summer wrote:
I think it may still be worth a chat to them. Every other dealing I have had with them (to get their package information act) have been so wonderful. There event manager is so lovely, but not pushy like some other venues we have contacted (who try to get you to book in before you even look at the venue!).

That little bit at the end reminded me of a venue in Melbourne, three calls, tonnes of emails etc.....ended up sending them an email telling them that if they wanted my service they needed to let me shop around first, not keep on my back especially when at that stage we had only emailed 3 venues.
 
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:47 pm

We are meeting with the Brisbane Golf Club tomorrow to try and see if we can work out something in our budget!! Finders crossed because it is stunning. I may be not so patiently waiting for you HOF Slinky to see how your wedding went!!
 
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:25 pm

miss_summer wrote:
We are meeting with the Brisbane Golf Club tomorrow to try and see if we can work out something in our budget!! Finders crossed because it is stunning. I may be not so patiently waiting for you HOF Slinky to see how your wedding went!!


hey how'd the meeting go?
 
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Re: How much per head is reasonable?

Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:39 am

It went well I think... We're yet to get the things we talked about in a written confirmation letter and as I found out though a friend who got a little duped bu her venue, until it is in writting it doesn't count. But it looks like they will be able to give us current prices (so $130 per head for canapés, 3 course and a 6 hour drinks package{ the drinks package is the expensive bit]) and if we skip the alternate drop on the entree (which we think most of our guests will want the pork) we can have the dessert from the more expensive menu we want and they seemed more than happy to give us a choice of three beers and two red and white wines with the drinks package, as opposed to 2 beers and 1 red and white which is what was advertised. She also worked with us on the timing and hopefully we won't have to pay any extension on the room hire!

All and all it's still hitting the top end of our budget but if these changes go though, it has EVERYTHING we wanted in a venue, right down to what beers we wanted and what dessert we wanted! So as long as the written offer comes though, we will put down the deposit! :D

ps. Can't recommend them enough for being flexible and working with you- Sue was a doll and we got to see the end of another function and just how she interacted with everyone there made us see how lovely she is going to be having her around for the wedding!
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