One of the first things most couples think of when planning a wedding is everything they dream of, from the venue, the date, the dresses, the suits, the bridal party, the guest list.
So, once you have your dream list, take a step back, and decide on your budget, or as I like to call it, a do not exceed number. Then find a venue that will be affordable enough to leave lots of room for all of the other things. Once you find out the cost of the venue, and the caterer, this will tell you how many people you can afford to invite.
After finding out the date and how many guests are invited, I always ask for a do not exceed number for the cake (or cupcakes, or dessert table). 95% of my customers, didn’t even think of it, or thought of it too late, so now there isn’t much left.
I often get requests from clients with champagne dreams and a beer budget. Just last week I had a bride contact me, and she said her budget for a cake was $500 for 150 people, and this cake was gorgeous, but if she ordered it from me, would have been $1,000. My base price for a 150 serving cake is $750 (she didn’t have the chance to look at my menu). Now you might be saying “$500? That’s a lot!” When you are dealing with a reputable bakery, chances are their cakes start at $4-$8 per serving, and the math is pretty easy. Highly decorated cakes go up from that point. So this is where you need to ask yourself “Can I afford to invite 150 people?” This will go for your caterer as well.
An organized couple is going to have the best wedding, because they are not freaking out about the money, and they are getting most of what they wanted within their budget.
Here’s a great article by Martha Stewart Weddings, on how to get started: