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Let’s Talk Money, “How much is this Reception gonna cost?”

Wedding at the Palmer House Chicago

Simple, yet elegant table setting!

I have not said anything about ceremony planning.  I am leaving that up to you.  Some Brides have dreamed of getting married at their family Church or Synogogue.  There is a cost to those places and it depends on the facility.   The cost can run anywhere from $300 to over $1000.   Check with you Minister or Rabbi for the COMPLETE cost of using the facility.  Ask them if there are any restrictions, get everything in writing!

Well we have to get down to it.  How much will this cost?  We have chosen two unique venues in Bloomington;  Bloomington Center for the Perfroming Arts and the Davis Lodge at Lake Bloomington.  We have our budget set and we think it is pretty generous.  We just watched the latest “My Fairytale Wedding” and we know exactly what we want.  Now all we have to do is figure out if we can afford it!

You have the questions to ask and you went through them all so now you realize there are costs involved other than just the rental of the space.

Let’s start with BCPA  Capacity 400

Rental Cost $2000.00 + $300.00 Liquor Fee  + $75 for use of the dishwasher  This cost only includes the rental of the space,  tables, folding chairs that is it.   Find out what you are getting when you fall in love with a place, once you know what it costs you might not love it so much.  You have to bring everything else in.  You will need chair covers for the chairs, they are not pretty.  They do provide some rentals of linens check out the PDF for exact costs.   If you want the facility for a rehearsal you will have to pay for time $75 per hour.  If you require more set up time the day before it is $75 per hour. 

Davis Lodge   Capacity 200  So right off the bat we know this will not work due to the number of people we want.  (That may change once you start adding things up)

Rental Fee $250 Note:  There is no alcohol unless you go to the City Clerk and apply ro alcohol yourself.  This is time consuming and there is a $300 fee.  You must have a Licensed Bonded Bartender.  This may be worth it as it is pretty and reasonable to rent.  Another Note:  If you want the rehearsal and any set up the day before it will cost you another $250.  They do include tables and folding chairs, so  you will need chair covers.

Now we need Caterers.  Caution!  Before you hire a caterer make sure of a few things; 

You need to know that each venue has a kitchen, equipped with refrigerators, freezer, stove and microwave. 

Remember those questions?  Here are the questions you will need when talking with the catering company.

  • Is there a fee for tastings?
  • How many people can I bring along with me to the tasting?
  • What is the staff to guest ratio?
  • What is the staff dress code? Formal or casual?
  • If buffet style is offered, are servers provided or will it be self-serve?  Is there a plated service available?
  • Is there an extra charge for buffet servers? If so, how much?
  • Do you have a liquor license?
  • Is there an extra charge for bartenders? If so, how much?
  • Do you provide cake cutting/serving service? Is it part of the basic package? If not, what is the additional cost?
  • Do you provide the wedding cake, or should I hire an outside baker?
  • If you provide the cake, is there an extra charge? If so, how much?
  • Is the champagne toasting service included or is that an extra charge? If an extra charge, how much?
  • Does the headcount include wedding professionals at the event (photographers, DJs, etc.)?
  • Are there special prices for feeding our DJ, band, photographer and other wedding professionals?
  • Are there special prices for children?
  • Here is an added question YOU MUST ASK!  If you have to rent all that stuff it really jacks the cost up.

  • Do you provide linens, china, silverware, glassware,  is it included in the price, if not what is the extra charge?
  • Don’t forget the Tax  9.75 % and  18% Gratuity (also called a Service Fee)
  • Check in tomorrow for the Cost of catering information

    Here are some Catering Vendors we have had experiences with

    Station 220

    Nelson’s Catering (Springfield)

    CJ’s Bloomington

    J Gould’s (Champaign)

    Medici Normal Illinois


    2010 Margaret Moore,
    Want to use this article in your E-zine or website? You can as long as you include this complete statement:

    Event Planning entrepreneur Margaret Moore with Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs publishes this weekly e-zine. Get your FREE  “My Dream Wedding without the Nightmare”  at

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