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GracieBebe

How much did you spend on your AHR?

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My entire reason for wanting to have a DW is because I have NO desire to plan a "traditional" wedding reception! (kudos to you ladies who are embarking on that :)) That being said, we are having a cocktail party with appetizers and beer/wine (hard liquor will be cash bar) at a restaurant near our house in Minneapolis. We are also having an iPod for music and a friend is baking a cake for dessert (she is a chef so I'm looking forward to seeing what she comes up with!). It will be open house style so people can come for a drink or stay all night! I will most likely have photos from the DW on the food and guest book table as well as a photo slide show and DVD of the ceremony playing on a loop. Since we aren't having a sit down meal, I plan to have clusters of tall tables set up for conversation as well as some round tables with chairs for those who do not wish to stand. I imagine we will have approximately 200 guests but I am hoping to keep it very low maintenence as I just want it to be a fun celebration of our new marriage!

 

Sorry so lengthy! Happy planning everyone :)

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We are spending just under 4,000 which includes the tip for the waitstaff. It is in a private room at a restaurant. We even looked into renting the VFW but between the charge for that, the catering, decorations, ect, it was not much more to do it this way and less stress on us. There will be about 80 adults and 15 kids.

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we are doing a brunch for about 100 people at a really nice restaurant. It is going to be about $4K with alcohol but I do not have to worry about anything other than showing up and that was so important to me.

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My fiance is from Canada and I'm from Colorado so we "have" to have two AHRs. His parents are hosting the pre-wedding Canadian one in two weeks and I have NO idea how much they're spending on it. It's at a banquet hall, 6pm on a Saturday night. Cocktail hour then a seated dinner for about 100 people followed by dancing (DJ) with an open bar.

 

My parents haven't offered to host ours in Colorado so I'm really pushing to have it at Dave & Busters. That way we don't have to worry about set-up or clean-up. We can probably do that with 100-150 people for under $3,000.

 

While I appreciate the FILs hosting the big party in Canada, it's way more formal than I wanted. One of the reasons I wanted a destination wedding is because I don't really like all the typical wedding reception things (big entrances, bouquet tosses, the hokey pokey). I also didn't want the stress of feeling like everything had to be perfect and I had to figure out how to make sure everybody has a good time. But since his mom is taking care of it all it's been ok - I just sit back and say "ok, whatever you think is fine". Haha.

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Good thread!

 

How are you girls keeping the costs to $30-$40 per person?? I am having a party at my Dad's neighborhood center on the Bay and my costs are closer to $10,000 for 100 people. Are caterers THAT much more expensive than going to a restaurant?

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We're planning to spend about $5K on our AHR for 150 people. We're having a cocktail reception at a community hall, having a caribbean themed appetizer buffet, open bar and a DJ for lots of dancing. We still want it to feel like a wedding reception (minus the all the formalities since I hate that stuff too!) since we are only having 40 people join us in Mexico so the whole wedding party will be wearing their attire and we'll show a clip of the ceremony. I'm almost looking forward to it as much as the actual wedding!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRama View Post
We're planning to spend about $5K on our AHR for 150 people. We're having a cocktail reception at a community hall, having a caribbean themed appetizer buffet, open bar and a DJ for lots of dancing. We still want it to feel like a wedding reception (minus the all the formalities since I hate that stuff too!) since we are only having 40 people join us in Mexico so the whole wedding party will be wearing their attire and we'll show a clip of the ceremony. I'm almost looking forward to it as much as the actual wedding!
KRama, just curious since yours sounds a lot like what I am planning on doing - how are you fitting an open bar into your budget? Or is it a place where you can bring your own booze in and that's what you're serving to people?

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Originally Posted by islandbride317 View Post
My AHR, early estimates, are going to be between $5-6K. We are having it on a private chartered boat in Baltimore's Inner Harbor ($2400, for 3 hours, up to 60 guests), the non-alcoholic/alcoholic drinks will run us about $1380, the cake will be at least $200, and the rest will be for the Caribbean foods buffet and Pasta stations
Christie - that sounds fabulous and like SO much fun!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by mmshaughness View Post
My entire reason for wanting to have a DW is because I have NO desire to plan a "traditional" wedding reception!
I AGREE!!!! But once FMIL offered to pay for the AHR, the plans started to change, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amybermuda View Post
Good thread!

How are you girls keeping the costs to $30-$40 per person?? I am having a party at my Dad's neighborhood center on the Bay and my costs are closer to $10,000 for 100 people. Are caterers THAT much more expensive than going to a restaurant?
I'm not positive on exact costs since FMIL is paying for the AHR, but I think I have a good idea. We our having our AHR at one of the Golf Clubs that FMIL belongs to and AHR will be in a banquet room overlooking the golf course, with lots of windows, and they put candles in all of the windows at night so it's lit up very nicely :) I believe the hall rental and catering costs are tied into one price and it's going to be about $100 per person.

HOWEVER they do something for their dinner entree which I haven't seen before. You know how for standard wedding receptions, the rsvp card will ask you to select steak or fish or something like that? Well our dinner includes 2 entrees (slightly smaller portions) so you don't have to deal with the hassle of figuring out how many beef or chicken entrees to order. We haven't picked ours yet but they have 4 different combinations that include different steak, shrimp, pork or fish entrees. Much easier from my point of view :)

The cost also includes 5 hours of open bar, an appetizer station, and later in the evening (around 10:30 or so) they bring our late night muchies...we get to pick from a pizza bar; sliders with fries; a taco station; a sub station; and I think there might have been one more option. I just thought it was kind of fun since I know when you're drinking, you sometimes get the munchies later at night, lol.

We are skipping the DJ and just using an iPod and speaker system for music (DJ would have ran us $1000 for the night), I think cost for flowers and decorations will be minimal as I want to do that myself - will probably use a lot of the same stuff from the DW. And I'm thinking of doing cupcakes instead of a wedding cake.

I think after you factor in all the "little things", we'll probably be around $12k to $14k for about 100 people.

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We are having ours early summer here at the house, I am thinking about 50 people, friends and family. We'll do a pool party beach themed and just have a barbque. I am hoping around $1000. Food and booze costing the most. I bought most of the decorations already from ebay and it was super cheap. I have a friend that will set-up a portable gazebo over one area for shade. I just have to pray for sunshine!!!

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Originally Posted by kat_mc13 View Post
KRama, just curious since yours sounds a lot like what I am planning on doing - how are you fitting an open bar into your budget? Or is it a place where you can bring your own booze in and that's what you're serving to people?
The hall we rented allows us to bring our own booze so we're going to purchase it all at Superstore (estimating $2K). They let you return anything that's unopened so we can save that way too. We have friends of a friend that offered to bartend for us for $150 for the night and the DJ is also a friend of a friend so we're getting a discount that way too. It's all about who you know! :)

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