The budget breakdown - Venue

by - July 09, 2014

What's been your biggest budget blow out?

For me it has to be hands down the Venue - well the food & drink to be specific. I've spent my time thinking...How Much?!?

So I share with you my breakdown, in as much detail as possible. The quote from the venue arrived via email, when I put together the actual invitation list the number increased from the quoted 68 to 84 day guests eeek - that's an extra £960 straight off.

Guests work out to be £60 per head and that gets

  • Canapes on arrival
  • Cocktail on arrival
  • A drink with the meal & prosecco to toast
  • 3 course meal
  • Tea & Coffee
  • Evening Buffet

This is pretty good and I've heard of other getting it for much more & for much less. I guess it will depend on your food choices.

Excel will become your reliable pal but be warned it doesn't lie - damn it!

Here's my spreadsheet to keep track of everything...I had to begin coding.

Column # represents Adult (1), Child (0) and Infant (2) - this made guest count so much easier

Once we had the whole guest list, we counted out the amount of invites we had to send. This figure will be the same for the Thank Cards when it's all over -worth the column space.

Finally comes the menu choice, again this has been coded with each choice assigned a number and as the green circles highlight, the number given by the guest gets totalled up, making it easy for my venue coordinator. Also a neat record of what everyone is having because no doubt come October they will forget.

The replies column for those interested is just a quick visual reference so we can see who we have to chase come saturday.

From here on in it gets a little complicated, I have multiple sheets

If a guest declines then I simply delete any information from the cell, this then alters the final count. This is linked to another sheet which holds the venue quote from the hotel.

Each cell is affected by the quantity of extra adults given us the accurate venue total.

Phew! I'm off to get a coffee because that is enough excel cells for one day.

Have you set up a spreadsheet?? I know Sharlene has - she has twice the amount of guests as me and her sheets are huge. Perhaps you're a pen 'n paper gal or guy. Either way you have to keep on top of this because the food and drink is responsible for such a big part of the budget!

Any questions drop them below and if you're a technophobe and the thought of Excel makes you cross eyed perhaps I can give you a helping hand and send over a blank template with the coding already in that's one less stress off your shoulders.


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  1. Wow! That is impressive! I've made 1 spreadsheet in my entire life, they scare me. Haha with all the formulas and what nots. I should problem do one for my budget. Hmm. I think you did a great job though.