Wednesday, May 8th, 2013...2:51 pm

Ask Jody: Limited Budget, Huge Guest List

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Nichole and Brian, Hampton Bays

Q:  Hi, me and my fiance are looking for a reception hall on Long Island.  We don’t have a huge amount of money to spend and we do have almost 250 guests. Could you maybe tell me where we should start looking at halls?

A:  Hi Nichole and Brian.  Congratulations on your engagement!  You pose an interesting question — you have a limited budget but a whopping guest list!   We suggest that before you start shopping around for a venue, you need to seriously reassess your overall plan.   Because a huge wedding reception is going to be extremely difficult on a limited budget.   So the first thing you need to do is cut down the guest list.  This may be a challenging task but it’s one almost every couple must tackle before shopping for a hall.

Keep in mind that in an ideal world, you’d invite everyone to share this special event with you.   Unfortunately, reality is not the case.  So make a guest list chart.  It should have two columns:  Must invite (that would include family and close relatives, bridal party, closest friends); Would like to invite (here include other friends, colleagues, coworkers, distant family).   Then do some budget calculations, figuring a good round number per person (say $100 a plate).   Tally up the entire guest list and see if it jives with your budget.  If it doesn’t, start crossing off names.