Arizona Bridal Source
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P.O. Box 50622, Phoenix, Arizona 85076   (480) 921-7891


June 19, 2012

Share - Wedding Ceremony & Wedding Reception Site in Phoenix, Arizona - Wedding Reception Site in Phoenix, Arizona

Normally you will spend more money on your wedding reception food and beverage than on any other part of your wedding. Book your site as far in advance as possible. Your final decision on your site selection depends on your wedding style and number of guests. You may want an outdoor garden wedding, mountain views, cascading waterfalls, or a glass enclosed site with breathtaking sunset photo opportunities.

Call the site and check availability for your date, time of day, and expected number of guests. Traditionally Saturday evenings are popular, so you will pay a premium price based on inventory available. Normally a Saturday evening garden wedding in March will be more expensive than a Sunday afternoon wedding in August in Arizona. You may find more availability if you are flexible and are willing to change your wedding to a Saturday morning, Friday evening, Sunday evening, or during the week. Ask to see if you will receive a discount or have less of a minimum guarantee on revenue if you book an “off peak” month, day or time.

Understand what is included in your reception package. If you don’t understand something, ask questions to get clarification.  Get the price per person or the minimum revenue they are requiring in order for you to book their site. If you have the option of bringing in your own caterer and bartending service, make sure the services you hire are licensed and insured. Find out what the rental fee is for the room and if it is based on the amount of guests. If your guest count increases, this may be a financial consequence to you for additional tables, chairs, etc.  If you have handicapped guests, find out if your location has handicap access.

For menu and service options find out if the caterer has a set menu, or if it may be modified. Get a written cost breakdown and what is included per person based on your budget, the type of service, and the formality of your reception (i.e., valet parking, passed hors d’oeuvres, plated dinner, stations, buffet, open bar, champagne toast, wine pass with dinner, coffee service, wedding cake, tables, chairs, chair covers, linens, crystal, china, flatware, dance floor, heaters, umbrellas for shade, and tents for inclement weather). Will you have a guaranteed price if you book your reception and give a deposit? If the pricing will not be guaranteed, ask for a ceiling on anticipated menu increases, and get everything in writing. What is the tax and gratuity percentage? Gratuity is frequently taxed, which increases your budget. When is your guest count due to the caterer? What is the overage percentage the chef will prepare? What will the pricing be for kids, vegetarians, kosher, gluten free, and vendor meals? If you have leftover food, find out if you may take nonperishable food with you. You may want to check options for delivering perishable food to a nearby homeless shelter. How many hours do you have the site? When may your vendors come in to setup?  Will there be overtime charges if you go beyond the allotted time? What are the cancellation, refund, and change of date policies? Find out when the deposits are due and when the final balance is due. Once you narrow down your options, arrange a taste test with the caterer to taste the menu. Sometimes taste tests are free, other times there is a charge. Ask your caterer for options and flexibility.  Site personnel change frequently, so make sure you get all quotes and contracts in writing, as well as any extras you have negotiated.

Copyright 2012, Kim Horn, MBC™

To hire Kim as your wedding planner, call 480.921.7891 or text your name, wedding date, and wedding planner request to 602.418.9089.

Kim M. Horn, MBC™

Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 61 in the World

Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Phoenix and Destination Weddings

Publisher | Pres. |

AZ State Coordinator Assoc. of Bridal Consultants May 2003 – May 2012

2010 Annual Conference Chair (worked with David Tutera) – Assoc. of Bridal Consultants

O 480.921.7891

C 602.418.9089

F 480.829.6292


September 9, 2011


Kim Kardashian’s Wedding Ring. 

Expenses for your wedding add up quickly. Meet early to discuss and determine realistic budgets and who will be responsible for which expenses so there are no misunderstandings or hard feelings later. The following list indicates the traditional division of expenses. Normally the bride’s family pays for the largest share of the expenses. With the average age of couples getting married on the rise, financial responsibility has shifted from the parents to the couple themselves. The bride’s parents should have the opportunity to graciously decline offers of financial help. The question of who pays for what normally comes down to who is most willing and able to pay. When you are planning your budget, remember to be courteous, realistic, and communicate with everyone involved.

Wedding ring for the groom.
Wedding gift for the groom.
Gifts for the bridal attendants.
Personal stationery.
Accommodations for her out-of-town attendants (optional).
Attendants’ dresses (optional).

Engagement party (optional).
Bridal consultant.
Cost of ceremony (location, musicians, rentals, flowers, and decorations).
Entire cost of reception (food, beverage, gratuities, wedding cake, rental fee, rental items, decorations, music, and flowers).
Wedding gift for the couple.
Bride’s wedding attire and accessories.
Bridesmaids’ bouquets.
Flower girl bouquet or basket.
Wedding invitations, save the date cards, announcements, enclosures, and mailing costs.
Wedding programs.
Transportation for the bridal party to the ceremony and the reception site.
Engagement, wedding, and reception photographs.
Bridesmaids’ luncheon.
Gratuities for those directing traffic, valet parking, and checking coats.
Personal wedding attire.
Rehearsal dinner (optional).

Engagement and wedding rings for the bride.
Wedding gift for the bride.
Marriage license.
Gifts for the best man and groomsmen.
Groom’s wedding attire.
Bride’s bouquet and going-away corsage.
Mothers’ and grandmothers’ corsages.
Boutonnieres for all men in the wedding party.
Accommodations for his out-of-town attendants (optional).
Groomsmen wedding attire (optional).
Attendants’ gloves, ties, ascots, and vests (optional).
Fee for the ceremony officiant.
Bachelor dinner (optional).

Personal wedding attire.
Travel and hotel expenses they incur.
Wedding gift for couple.
Bachelor’s dinner (optional).
Rehearsal dinner.

Traveling expenses.
Wedding gift for the couple.

Wedding attire for themselves.
Any traveling expenses.
Wedding gift for the couple.
Showers given by maid of honor or bridesmaids.
Bachelor party given by best man or groomsmen.

Gifts of appreciation for parents or others who helped with the wedding.
Expenses of items desired which have exceeded the original budget.

Copyright 2011, Kim Horn, MBC.

To you have Kim Horn be your wedding planner, contact:

Kim M. Horn, MBC
Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 59 in the World
Publisher | Pres. |
AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants
ABC 2010 Conference Chair

O 480.921.7891
C 602.418.9089
F 480.829.6292

August 25, 2011


Each reception venue and chef has a “claim to fame” menu and service style to go with it.  After receiving repetitive questions from brides, grooms, and their parents, decided it is time to blog about it. 

Think about other weddings you have attended.  What did you like about the food?  What did you dislike?  Was there a particular type of food you still remember?  Was there a type of food you would care to forget? 

Many brides and grooms are confused over which style is the “best”.  Just because it is included in the package you received, it doesn’t mean you have to agree to everything in the package.  Negotiate what you want in the package.  Negotiate what you do not want out of the package.  This is where an experienced wedding planner comes to your rescue.  There will options for upgrades available at an additional charge. 

 Confirm whether the menu price point is inclusive (including service charge and tax) or exclusive (not including service charge or tax).  Many refer to this as “++”, or plus plus.  This may easily add 30% or more to your menu price point.

 A local TV station called to interview me on live TV about this “hidden fee”.  When the segment aired, did mention this fee is normally written in detail in food and beverage agreements.  Most of the time people do not understand what they are reading, or how it affects their price point per person.

 Sit-down – you traditionally pay more for service.  Guests are pampered at their table, and the chef creates a stunning plate presentation.

 Buffet – you traditionally pay more for food.  This is less formal, while this style promotes more socializing.  An organized system is necessary to reduce the standing and wait time at the buffet. 

 Food Stations or Action Stations – this is a modern and fresh style.  This gives you the opportunity to provide something for everyone.  This style requires space to set the various stations.  Many stations are themed, or carry a different style of cuisine. 

 Family Style – this is a seated dinner where guests pass trays of food to each other.  You need more table space for platters to be placed on the table.  You may want to use long rectangular tables for ease of passing trays from person to person and across the table. 

 French Service – waiters serve guests from large serving dishes, which is very luxurious. 

 Russian Service – waiters hold the platters while guests help themselves, which is almost as luxurious as French service.

 Ask your chef or bartender about preparing a Family Recipe – This would be an excellent way to tie in your family history, yet the dish or drink may not be perfectly replicated.  Which leads to the next topic, tasting.

 Ask your chef about a Tasting – Schedule a tasting with the chef preparing your food.  Ask your chef if this tasting is included, for how many people, or if it is at an extra charge.  Find out what you get to “taste”…it may be entrée only, where your hors d’oeuvres may be omitted.  You may not get a full cake, just a small sampling.  Make sure you schedule your tasting in advance.  Ask your chef for menu recommendations based on your style and theme.  Bring your camera, to take photos of the presentation and the food portions.  Plan ahead and ask to have your table set up with the exact table size, table linen, napkin fold, chairs, crystal, china, and flatware they will be using for your wedding day.

 To have your own personal wedding planner, contact:

 Kim M. Horn, MBC
Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 59 in the World
Publisher | Pres. |
AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants
ABC 2010 Conference Chair – worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891
C 602.418.9089
F 480.829.6292

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