What a fantastic city we live in. Amazing. Picturesque. There are SO MANY places around this great city to have the most memorable wedding on your special day. Whether it be an Eastside wedding in the heart of the Woodinville wine country or possibly a formal wedding with an incredible view from the top of a high rise in downtown Seattle. There is something for every taste. Why not have the greatest local DJ and MC to ensure your reception is perfect?!? Yikes. Selfish. Digressing.
Of all the great cities in our country to get married… I think Seattle is easily one of the most beautiful. How do you ensure that you are remembered for having an amazing wedding / reception? Location, setting, venue… those are critical pieces to the puzzle. The next layer to making sure that you have an incredible and memorable day is the party! Things to think about here are food and entertainment. Are you going to have alcohol? Make sure you do the homework to knowing who has to pay for liquor licensing and what fees are associated with that. It changes from venue to venue.
There are some places where it makes sense to cut costs. After all… no one really fully understands how fast your wedding can add up to thousands of dollars until you are actually writing the checks. You can cut costs by choosing NOT to have alcohol, but you must weigh the other side of that decision and realize that this might upset some people. Have a pay bar! If you DO have alcohol available, there is no reason why your guests should EXPECT you to pick up the tab. If you wanna drink, you have to pay for your own.
Food is another place where you could potentially cut some costs and most of your guests wont realize it. When you are providing food at your reception… Every single dollar you can save yourself PER PLATE, is multiplied by your guest list. If you have 250 guests and choose to offer mashed potatoes instead of grilled vegetables you save yourself $2 per plate… you just saved yourself $500. I am NOT suggesting that you offer your guests sub-par food. However, your catering bill will easily be one of the top two expenses that you will have for the whole show, so a dollar here and a dollar there trimmed off of your bill on a “per plate” basis, will save you LOTS of money in the end.
Pick a venue in a location that you will remember… that will make YOU the happiest. Don’t spare expenses on this choice… The other place you CANNOT cut costs is in the entertainment department. I always tell people to just GO WITHOUT a DJ before you hire someone for $200 who has no clue what they are doing. At least then the party is just boring, instead of downright awful. A cut rate DJ/MC acting as “THE VOICE” and entertainment for your “once in a lifetime” party is the worst decision you can make in the whole process… and yes, this is where brides and grooms choose to save a few hundred dollars. Your MC is there running the party (or not!) from beginning to end. They effect EVERYTHING. They announce events, run transitions, ensure flow to your itinerary, play appropriate music at appropriate times and appropriate volumes with excellent equipment… giving you the peace of mind of knowing that you don’t have to coordinate your own reception DURING the actual reception. Hire an expert. Negotiate with the expert DJ/MC if you want to save some money, but don’t just hire the cheapest thinking they are all the same. They’re not.
So many people I talk to say that this is their biggest regret from their wedding day. Regret the frosting that you chose for the cupcakes… because that didn’t ruin the whole night for everyone. But don’t regret the few hundred dollars you saved by hiring your friend’s buddy who has Dj’ed a Halloween party once. Hire a professional. Pay their rate. Don’t let this be your regret.