The Art of the Minimum

Listen up! Before you begin that venue search, this is something that you MUST know! Without it, you may go into a deep, dark hole of sadness as soon as you realize that the venues you thought you could afford, are no longer affordable.

The word we are discussing today is MINIMUM.

To start, here is a basic definition of the word in terms of wedding planning, before we dive into more detail and logistics.

Minimum: the dollar amount or number of guests you are required to spend/have present at your reception in order to reserve your date and time, it is set by each specific venue or vendor

I know that may be a little confusing without any context, so here is an example so you can better understand it.

Let's take Jenn, for example...

Jenn wants to get married on Saturday June 1st and she is inviting 100 guests to her wedding. The venue she absolutely loves costs $50 per person (inclusive of tax and service charges). And with a $6,000 budget, she is well within her budget so she is ready to book her date.

Unfortunately, the venue will not allow her to book her wedding.

It is not because they don't like her and it is not because the date is already booked. It is because she doesn't reach their minimum for that Saturday!

Where the minimums come into play

Let's say, for example, the venue has a minimum of 150 guests on that Saturday in June. That means that no matter what, she is required to pay for at least 150 guests, regardless of how many guests are invited or how many come.

Or on the other hand, the venue may have a $10,000 minimum for that Saturday which requires her to spend at least $10,000 (generally before tax and service charges) if she is going to book that date.

So regardless so whether or not she can afford their pricing and packages based on the number of guests she has invited, you can see that no matter what, Jenn will not be able to afford this venue within a $6,000 budget on that date!

The Good News & The Bad News

The Bad News: You may think a venue works within budget when their specified minimums don't allow that to happen.


The Good News: Ask the venue if the Friday before or the Sunday after have lower minimums (as they generally do) or if you really want a Saturday, there may be an off season Saturday with a lower minimum!

But regardless, every venue has this number set and even many florists, caterers, and other vendors have set minimums designated for certain days and months of the year! So before you get ready to book, and before you even tour a venue, ask what their minimums are to ensure it will actually work within your budget!

Happy venue shopping :)