Missourian reporter Nichole Wade will be married Aug. 16 in Lee’s Summit. The ceremony will be in a chapel at Unity Village with a reception immediately afterward at the Emaline Ballroom.
She has invited about 300 guests to the wedding and is expecting about 200 to attend. Here’s what she’s learned during the past six months of planning.
Count on 70 percent of those invited to attend.
Wedding planners say that is a fairly accurate and consistent prediction of the number of people who will actually attend the wedding.
Order a dress six months before the wedding.
This allows time to make and ship the dress to the bridal shop and then have alterations done. Some dress shops ask brides to pay the full cost of the gown when it is ordered rather than a percentage of the price.
Rent five tuxes, get one free.
Men’s Wearhouse rents tuxedos for $100. Certain styles are more expensive, but many traditional styles are available for that price. The best part is that if you rent at least five, you get a free one. Usually, this is the groom’s tux, which helps trim the budget.
Downsize the wedding cake and add sheet cakes.
Wedding cakes are expensive. For a reception with 200 guests, a typical cake starts at around $400. Now, the trend is to order a small wedding cake and larger less-expensive sheet cakes.
A nice guestbook could cost $125.
If you want an elegant book bound in leather that includes engagement pictures, budget generously. Most photography studios offer guestbooks, and the couple chooses which pictures to use.
Look to eBay for favors and decorations.
The online site is a great place to find items for both the ceremony and reception. Bid on a veil, candles, wedding favors, gift bags, champagne flutes and more and spend much less than you might at bridal stores. A veil on eBay could cost a bride $15-$25, compared to retail stores that charge $120-$135 for the same piece of tulle and sparkles.