most websites will advise you to begin by setting your budget and selecting your venues. while that's a great start... we advise our clients to take a very important step in between - determining your guest list.
as excited as you may be to start checking tasks off of your to-do list, you should first take some time to focus solely on your guest list. the number of people you plan to invite plays a major part in almost every aspect of your wedding - or any event for that matter. from decorations (number of centerpieces can increase with each table added), to stationery (invitations, programs, favor tags, etc.), to more obvious costs such as food and drink.
dedicate some time to compiling your guest list and comparing it to the budget you've set. decide how much you'd like to spend, and determine how many you can accommodate with that amount. it may be easier to contract with an event planner who is experienced with determining the price per person costs of an event.
many times hostesses (brides, honorees, etc.) are frustrated after an event because of the additional, and often last minute, costs added. sometimes last minute guests are added because the bride (groom, or family members) forgot a few folks. sometimes last minute guests are added because of an attempt to fill anticipated empty seats due to the responses.
to avoid the former, spend the suggested time mentioned earlier on your guest list, then do your best to stick to it. to avoid the latter, when you contract with your venue(s) book a lower guest count. let me explain...
if you invite 200 guests to your wedding, don't book the reception hall for 200 guests. but do make sure they have seating capacity should all 200 guests respond affirmatively. book your venue for 150 guests, and increase as necessary based on the r.s.v.p.'s received.
we'd be happy to assist you in preparing for your event and determining your price per person costs. contact us today for a complimentary consultation.