This post is part of a recurring series here on BSB – we share a wedding budget tip every Tuesday to help you save money on your wedding! You can also see past posts (and a sneak peek at what's ahead) on this wedding budget tips page for your convenience and future reference.
Wedding Budget Tip #6:
BYOB for your Wedding Reception
Choosing a venue that will allow you to Bring Your Own Beverages is clutch when it comes to sticking to your budget. Just to be clear, when I say “beverages” I'm talking about booze!
When I was planning my wedding back in 2008, I got many quotes from many different venues and caterers. When it came to the cost of providing alcohol for our wedding reception, I was shocked at the prices!! One caterer was going to charge us $40 per bottle of wine! I don't even spend that much on a bottle for a special occasion! There was absolutely no way I was going to pay that price for several dozens of bottles for our wedding reception. Even if I wanted to, that would've totally killed our budget!
A HUGE COST SAVINGS
I set out to try to find a venue that would allow us to purchase our own wine to be served, and that choice alone saved me thousands of dollars! Instead of $40 per bottle, I picked up several cases of Two Buck Chuck (which actually costs more like $3/bottle now) from Trader Joe's. 9 cases of wine at $40 per bottle would have cost me $4320. Instead, I spent less than $350 total on our wine by purchasing it myself.
This isn't just about wine, either, even though that's the example I've given. Being able to buy your own alcohol can save you bundles on your beer and hard liquor, too! Why pay catering hall prices when you get stock up for less at Costco, amiright? Get the liquor for your signature cocktails for less!
It's All About Control
When it comes to stuff like this, it's really about having control over the cost. You need the option to choose the alcohol you want at the prices you can afford. I highly recommend looking for venues that will allow you to bring your own booze. If you are lucky enough to find one that allows you to hire your own bartender, too, that will save you even more!
If you're worried about your guests thinking you went too cheap on the wine selection, do what I did — create your own custom wedding wine labels so your guests will be none the wiser! It's an inexpensive project and adds another cute personal detail to your big day!
The savings here is incredibly clear: I saved 90% on the cost of my booze by buying it myself. That mixed with a little creativity kept me from busting my budget while still providing my guests with beverages. Don't get sucked into catering hall fees if you don't have the money for it. Find a venue that will let you BYOB and choose alcohol that best fits your budget.
Will your venue allow you to bring your own booze?
Let us know in the comments below how you're saving on the drinks for your big day!
Want more wedding budget tips? Come back next Tuesday for the next post in this series.