Post # 1
Hi Bees I need your expert opinions.
We were originally slated to have our wedding at the church’s reception hall. My FMIL is a member of the church and suggested we should have it there; she thinks it is nice. I, however do not, but I wasn’t gonna fight about it cause I *thought* I didn’t really care about it that much.
But then I found this BEAUTIFUL reception hall that is farther away from our church and in the city. Here are some pics:
I wont even bother showing your pics of the church reception hall, cause well it’s plain and just ok. It would need some serious decoration to look nice.
ANyway the church reception hall will run us about 1500 for 8 hours (we can come set up the day before) and the monastery would run us 4000 for 8 hours (must do all set up and clean up in this time frame) and will be about 45 minutes from the church. Each venue allows you to being you own caterer and alcohol.
Since our budget is pretty bare bones in all categories, photography would have to take a big hit in order to accomodate this venue. So I ask: would you rather have a cheaper uglier venue that would need a ton of decoration, but be able to hire a top notch photographer……..OR a nice, pretty venue but have to skimp on the photography?
If any photographers can chime in, would it matter to you at all?
Post # 3
I went with the venue and skimped on the photographer. I figure I would rather be in a beautiful venue and have the experience that I want rather than be in an ugly one with extra nice pictures IN the ugly venue.
Post # 4
I would go for the better photographer. The pictures are what will last, and although a good photographer can make even the ugliest place look interesting and beautiful, a bad photographer could make a wedding in the Sistine Chapel look awful.
Post # 5
Hmm I think this depends on how important the photography is to you. 45 mins drive time between venues will also eat up a huge amount of your photography time, so that’s something to consider. photography was my #1 priority, so my personal opinion would be to go with the cheaper venue. But it really depends on what you want, you know?
Post # 6
I wouldn’t recommend skimping on photography. A year later, I still love looking through our beautiful photos. And I know several brides who want to cry when they look at their pics because they skimped and the photos are disappointing.
Is the church hall ugly? Or just plain? If it’s just plain, then you can decorate it exactly how you want it and it will look beautiful in photos if you have a great photographer.
But…that monastery is GORGEOUS!! So that would be a tough call for me.
The commute from your church would also be a concern for your guests as well as photography time. Could you do both the ceremony & reception at the monastery?
Post # 7
@Theresa90405: thanks! The church hall is plain and not full on ugly but definitly plain. We can’t do both the ceremony and reception there b/c we are having a Catholic Mass and have to have it in a church.
Post # 8
I personally would have it at the church reception hall. While the monastery is beautiful, a 45 minute drive is a lot of time, and $2500 is a big increase. In a few years if you think you would be upset that you didnt have it there, then spend the extra and take the drive, but remember, you’re not the only one driving. That long of a drive could mean that some people go either to the church or to the reception. I know that could happen regardless, but is less likely if it is all at the same place. I’m fighting with photo budget too, and as much as it is insanely stressful, what I’ve found is the closer to the wedding you book the photographer, the more likely they are to give you deals. I didnt choose to wait to book, but 4 months out, the better photographers without booked jobs are cutting costs. So if you do choose the more expensive venue- maybe just postpone finding the photographer. Its risky, but it could help.
Post # 9
I’d not skimp on the photography. Over the years to come, when looking back at your photos, the ones you will treasure will be the photos of PEOPLE, not the venue. I have never, ever heard any bride say “gee, I wish I hadn’t spent so much on photos” but plenty of brides have lamented cutting corners on photography at the expense of something more fleeting.
Post # 10
Thanks guys; this is all great advice. 🙂
Post # 11
@Aubergold: I vote cheaper venue. the pictures are forever and most of them honestly do not get the venue but capture your faces and reactions.
and UHHH WELCOME BACK 🙂
Post # 12
@panterapeach: thank you. haha, you saw I snuck back in here all stealthy. I missed you guys!
Post # 13
Definitely pay for a better photographer. I’ve heard too many horror stories about not hiring a top notch photographer. Today I just heard about the photographer that ran out of battery during the ceremony. For Reals! Really!!!
The majority of my budget is going to photographer and our wedding dinner. Since I’m about capturing the moment and we love to eat, I spending accordingly. BTW, I’ve been too a ton of weddings and the ones I had the most fun @ weren’t always the most stylish. It was about celebrating by dancing the night away. Only twice did I want to take the centerpieces home. I rarely have eaten the wedding cake since its too sweet for me. I rarely eat dinner cause I’m socializing and dancing the night away. My suggestion is to plan a great party in a decent venue w/ a top notch photographer to capture the event.
Post # 14
Yea, seems the only negative to the church hall is that it’s plain. Positives are cheaper, closer, easier set up/clean up, and overall logistically more practical. I personally couldn’t justify the difference.
Post # 15
I say go with a less expensive venue, you cant re-do your photography, and a photographer’s job is supposed to capture the best! =)
Post # 16
Hard to say, because as some others have mentioned, the logistics of the church are also better.
Talking JUST about cost though, I would say a less expensive photographer is not always a bad thing. There’s a HUGE range of photograhers..from brand new to middle of the road to crazy expensive and experienced.
We went with a younger photographer vs. some of the more established ones in our area…saved a significant amount of money…and could not be more thrilled with her work. AND we got our pictures back while we were on our honeymoon. I love every single picture and am so so so so happy with our decision.
Even as someone who is usually very “you get what you pay for” in other areas of life….I disagree when it comes to this. Lower price does not always mean lower quality.