Originally Posted by Alina8706
So I have a question for all the ladies who have been married at the Dreams.....
When it came to the extras (and the taxes) did everything seem to add up very quickly and be very high?
If so, How did you cut costs. Also I am worried about the amount of guests we invited? I thought my budget would be ok but looking with the taxes and add ons (additional alcohol) I think I have sent out to many Save the Dates.
What percentage of the people you invited come to the wedding?
Thanks for all your time and patience ladies (im starting to get a little nervous)
We had less than 1/2 of the people that we invited actually come to the wedding. And because it was a destination wedding, the invitation list was already smaller than a traditional wedding invitation list. So don't get too stressed about the per person costs until you have firm commitments.
One thing I have heard brides did to save money was exchange the cocktail hour that is included in the package for 10 extra guests at dinner. That way if you have 40 guests you avoid paying the extra fee for the cocktail hour for 20 people and you only have to pay for the reception fee for 10 people. There are several bars around the resort, so it would be easy to send guests to one of the bars for that hour (if you plan on taking the pictures between the ceremony and the reception). For my extra 7 adults and 3 small children I paid an extra $279 for the cocktail hour and an extra $514 for the reception.
I agree with Jana that ditching the dessert for the upgraded cake is a good idea. I didn't do that - I paid for the upgrade and kept the dessert that came with the meal (chocolate napolean). You definitely do not need both.
I also had a rehearsal dinner - which of course is not necessary. I just wanted to ensure that we all got to sit together and didn't have to wait, but if you just schedule your rehearsal so that you get to the restaurant on the earlier side, then you will be fine.
Another money savings: if you pay for (or trade for) the gazebo flowers, the wedding coordinators will take those from the gazebo and put them on your tables for centerpieces. I brought my own photographer, so I got the gazebo decor for free. That decor included 4 column corsages which worked perfectly because I had 4 guest tables.
My big expenditures on top of the wedding package (not including the extra guest costs) were 1) DJ for 3 hours @ $933 and 2) light up dance floor for the beach @ $756. I decided those things were important to me, but if you either don't want them or work around them, then those would be places for BIG savings.
But remember that you don't really have to commit to any of these things (DJ, dance floor, menu, etc) with the resort more than a month or two out. That gives you time to get all of your RSVP's in and decide whether you need to spend what money you have budgeted for extra guests or extra items for the wedding.