Is A Cash Bar Acceptable for Your Wedding?

Fun Signature Cocktail

Q.

Is it improper to have a cash bar at our reception, even if we will have around 400 people and don’t have the money to provide for everyone?

A.

While it is often necessary to find ways to cut costs, a cash bar is never a good choice. When you have a wedding, you’re inviting people to a party, and they shouldn’t have to pay for anything while they’re there. Yes, it’s true that when you have a bash in your apartment and invite all your pals, you say “BYOB,” but it’s not quite the same at a formal event. Better to try and save money on the alcohol itself — and don’t worry, there are a number of ways to do that.

Consider having a “limited” bar. Serve only soda, beer, and wine or have a champagne toast. Some couples have a signature wedding cocktail, which cuts down on the different liquors and ingredients

This great advice came from the Industry Experts at The Knot!!!

2013 Wedding Open House and Bridal Extravaganza

Annual Open House

Indulge yourself in luxury as you surround yourself with lush gardens and a natural backdrop of rich history and exquisite beauty. The Hazlehurst House is the perfect setting for souther  weddings and unforgettable receptions. Whether you desire a charming and romantic outdoor garden affair or a more sophisticated, fantasy-inspired soiree in our luxurious ballroom and veranda, our highly trained event specialists will assist you in realizing the wedding of your dreams. Allow us to take care of all the details, leaving you to enjoy the most important day of your life.
Join us for our annual Open House and Bridal Extravaganza!!!!
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Wedding Cake Designs are Ever Changing!

Some elements of weddings remain traditional and are timeless, but the cake is not one of them. You can look back at a relative or friend’s wedding album and you can tell a lot about the era the person got married by the cake design, hair styles and wedding dress.  The three seem to change drastically over time.

We are seeing cake trends go to a smaller compact design with a lot of wow!  Sugar flowers, bling and texture are in!  The smooth buttercream with fresh flowers on top is out!  The presentation of the cake itself is also dramatically different.  Elegant cake pedestals are definitely in!  Some of them look very much like what your grandmother may have displayed her famous pound cake on when you were a child.  The vintage glass is hot!!  Jewels are also very popular.

As you search for the perfect cake, take into consideration a few things right off the bat.  You will usually find one of the following and it is important to know the difference:

  • commercial bakery
  • boutique bakery
  • reception hall caterer

A commercial bakery usually has very limited designs and flavors and cost a lot less.  You will probably not find the most trendy of designs with a commercial baker and the flavor is usually ok at best.  We find that the cakes are not quite as durable and it is sometimes scary who they send to deliver, if they even deliver at all.

With a boutique baker, you will find a lot of creativity and flexibility as far as design and they can usually recreate anything.  You will pay more, but you will be able to captivate your personality.  We find that the service is much better and that brides are usually very delighted with the end result. The old saying  that you get what you pay for is very true with wedding cakes.

A caterer/reception venue can often provide a good product, but keep in mind that chef’s specialize and it is difficult to find a chef that is good as catering/food in general and can also bake.  They almost don’t exist. So, ask the question of your venue, do they do the cakes in-house or have they partnered with someone who specializes in pastry.  You may be surprised.  You may be getting a caterer and a boutique bake all in one!  Make sure you know what you are getting, that you have seen their work and had a cake tasting.

Food for thought!!

Wedding Budgets

Congratulations on your engagement! Now your biggest question, “What is my wedding budget? How much does a wedding actually cost?” Let’s consider a budget planning process and maximize your family dollar. The chart below, The True Cost of a Wedding Knot, (<a href=”http://tiny99.com/865994“>Source</a>) provides the national average costs of a wedding. There are ways to have your day without killing your wallet. Let’s get started!

<a href=”http://tiny99.com/865994“>Source</a>

As ideas flurry, let’s ask yourself a few questions…….

1. What should my budget be—realistically?
2. How do I establish a realistic wedding budget to meet my needs?
3. Priorities—what are the most important elements of vision?

As you think about these three things, make a list of everything you need for your day based on your current vision.  For example, dress, venue, ceremony site, food, flowers, cake, entertainment, etc.  As you list all of these categories, put a dollar amount based on what you can afford and then take that list and compare it to the national average for each category.  How does what you can afford compare to what an average bride spends based on all of her research.  This will tell you a lot.  It will tell you if you if you need to tweak your vision or if you can expound on it and make it bigger.  This first exercise is crucial as you establish a budget and start planning and shopping!  Being an informed shopper always translates into more value!!

As you shop, you always want to know what questions to ask.  For example when shopping a venue, you want to ask up front what is included in the shell of a venue.  What rentals will you need to add?  Rentals add up quick!  Ask if the venue includes service staff?  Staffing is another cost not often considered in a budget process.

When shopping for floral and décor, a good question to ask is if the company is a flower shop or an event design company?  For example, do they supply more than just flowers?  Do they have access to and experience in designing an overall “look” including the décor aside from just fresh floral arrangements.  A mom and pop flower shop isn’t always capable of overall event design.

When shopping for a baker, always request a tasting and talk to previous clients and not always a client from three months ago.  You want to establish that the baker has a long list of very happy brides.

These same principals apply to every category of planning a wedding.  At the end of the day, you want to ensure your day is in the hands of very skilled professionals that will take the stress out of planning a wedding so that you and your family can enjoy the process and look back on this time as enjoyable and pleasant.  Doing homework on the front end is never a bad idea!