Monday, May 16, 2011

Walt's Rules part 2: Minimum Expenditures

Last time I posted about the rules I mentioned that we're planning to do a Wishes wedding.  What does that mean for us in terms of rules?  Lots.  Lots and lots of cross figuring and tabulating and math and stuff. 

Wishes weddings have a bunch of minimum expenditure rules.

There is a total amount of money you must spend on the day of your wedding depending on what day of the week you choose and the time of your events. Like most wedding type places, it's most expensive to get married and have your reception on a Saturday night.  That's why we're not doing that.

We have a thing with twelves.  My birthday and Prince Charming's are both on the twelfth.  Our kids' birthdays are either twelves or fours or both.  It's weird, but that's how we picked the date.  No, it's not December 12, 2012.  I have a feeling that date is going to be booked pretty solid.  No, our date is November 1, 2012.

So, our date is a Thursday and that makes our minimum wedding day expenditure $12,000.  We can reach that number through our venue choices, food and beverage, photography, floral, transportation and entertainment, basically anything Disney provides on the actual day of your wedding.

With one exception, if we choose to have an in-park photo session the cost of that contributes to the minimum expense whether it's the day of the wedding, before or after.  And who wouldn't sign up for that?  You get to go into a Disney park (or two or three or four) before it opens and take gorgeous wedding photos.  Look. Click on stuff in the lower left corner.

From the DFTW website, Tamu Tamu Courtyard in Animal Kingdom
After you've considered the minimum expenditure for your date, then you move into the realm of minimum food and beverage expenditures per guest.  This amount varies based on the time of your ceremony.  For example, if you're getting married at 8, 9 or 10 in the morning, your minimum expenditure per guest is $75.  That may seem high for what is likely a brunch reception but this is Disney we're talking about.  The catering prices tend to be a little high.  That said, I've seen the photos of all types of receptions and you get beautiful food that tastes good and there's plenty of it.  Lunch is $100 per guest and dinner is $125.  Minimum. Yes, you can (and we likely will, if I know us) spend more.

So that's two sets of minimums down but there's still one to go:  some venues have a site-specific amount you must spend for your event.  Of course, one of the locations we're considering is like this.  Their minimum expenditure is $3,500 but that doesn't seem like it would be hard to hit based on the minimum per person amounts and the number of people we are hoping will attend.

But lets throw a wrench in the works!  Meals and beverages for children are priced much lower, depending on your selections, and whether the meal is sit-down or buffet. That can throw off meeting the minimum requirements. Especially when, like us, a third of the guest list is children!

Disney also charges tax on some components and a huge service fee on other components and both on some components.  It makes budgeting a real headache but, in my opinion, it's all worth it to have the fairy tale.

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