Post # 1
I am in the process of trying to find a wedding venue and coming up a little short. I have looked at some beautiful places (metro Detroit area), but have found that they all have a little bit of what I want but aren’t really me. I never really pictured a big beautiful wedding, I just want the day to be about my FI and I, but with a fairly large guest list (approx. 150), a lot of what I am left with is more of a banquet hall and really the cost is more than I can stomach or really feel like my parents or my FI can or should spend on one day.
Enter a wonderful solution, my Aunt and Uncle have a large property with an enormous pull barn. The pull barn has honestly been used more for parties than actually “barn” uses so it is extremely clean and can be decorated beautifully. They have offered to let me have the wedding there. Ideally, I think I would like to have the ceremony in the barn and rent a large tent for the reception off the back of it. We would have it nicely catered with everything else we want at a fraction of the cost. I also think that it would be a perfect setting for photos!
The only problem is that there house is, well…north of just about everyone. When I say north, I mean only about a 45 minute drive for most guests and a bit more for others, but I guess I am just worried that it will take away from everyone having a good time at our wedding because of the drive after. I think they may want to leave earlier, not have as many cocktails and dance, ect…not that I want everyone to be a lush at my wedding, I just don’t want the drive to be a downer. I would have less of an issue if there were accomodations nearby we could offer to our guests, but really the closest accomodations other than small (and frankly dingy) motels are in the area most guests will be coming from. Its mostly rural driving to get there and back.
I have played with the idea of hiring a couple people, maybe aquantices or family friends, to offer as a sober ride home. Have them take our guests and their vehicles home. The logistics of that I just can’t work out though, and I can’t figure if it will be worth it. I was also thinking about investing a little bit more into transportation and keeping the party bus later for the bridal party, since we really won’t need one to go from ceremony to reception.
I guess I just need input on if any others bees have faced a similar situation or if you guys have any alternative suggestions. I know I worry too much about making it convenient to other people, but honestly, I want to make sure that my guests have a great day just like me! So far this honestly seems like the best solution to what I am looking for if I can just get my brain to work with me here!
Edit: If you also have opinions on restrooms for such a venue that would be awesome. I don’t feel like 150 guests should go in and out of my Aunt & Uncles all day. I heard they have upgraded port-a-jons. Tacky? Any other ideas? The logistics are a killer for me…
Post # 3
If you’re saving money on the venue, can you afford to put on a couple of buses there and Back? i’d happily drive 45 minutes to someone’s wedding, but being the lush that i am I enjoy having a few drinks, and would enjoy a party bus!
Post # 4
@PoppyRose: I would have to look into it. My head just gets caught up in the organization of it all and I get discouraged (i.e., would they drop everyone at home? Should we bring them there so they don’t have to come back for cars?) I like to have a few (or a few more)drinks at a wedding and generally will get a nearby hotel room even if the wedding isn’t too far, just so I can enjoy myself without having to worry about getting home.
Post # 5
If you love the venue and can totes see yourself getting married there, I would wholeheartedly throw my vote in to just do it. This day is about you and your fiance, like you said, and if you both love this location than there really isn’t much else to sway you. A 45 minute drive is really nothing to worry too much about. I don’t think I’ve ever driven less than that for a wedding anyway. If you wanted to be super generous, providing transportation would go a long way, but in my mind, good directions and a few taxi cab numbers is all you will need. I say go for it! It sounds beautiful. (And it being free is super awesome!)
Although, I’m making my family and friends drive three states away to see me get married, so…
Post # 6
Before you make a decision, you should look at the price of the tent, transportation, and fancy port-o-potties. Tent rentals are expensive. For my wedding, I went with a venue that was cheaper, and completely dismissed one that seemed FAR more expensive up front. In the end, because of all the rental stuff, it would have been cheaper to have gone with the more expensive one. Like $2000 cheaper.
What other venues have you looked at? What is included at the venues?
Post # 7
If it were mI, I’d arrange a pick up point at some kind of central location with cheapish, convenient parking, and maybe near some hotels. Then I’d stay that the bus(es) will be picking up at X time, and will collect everyone from the wedding at Y time and take them back to the drop off point. That way anyone who wants to have a drink (or a few, I’m with you!) can do, and gpcan find themselves a hotel, and people who are driving don’t feel like it’s a long drive.
Post # 8
Post # 9
@zimme1sm: Is it a lot of family? Larger groups of friends? I’m sure most people will arrange to carpool with a DD on there own so that those who want to be able to drink and not worry about driving will be able to. That’s what my friends and I have done in the past when we’ve had to drive a bit to a wedding.
Are any of your guests ourdoorsy? I’ve also been to weddings where you can set up camp and sleep at the venue in a tent afterward!
As far as nicer port-a-potties, yep. They definitely exist and they certainly arent “tacky” if you think of the alternative of the less expensive ones. It would be a nice gesture to keep traffic out of the house all day. Also, more convenient for guests if the house and the barn aren’t necessarily right next to each other. For example: http://www.jaysportables.com/Trailers.html
EDIT: To mirror what some PPs have said, doing everything on your own CAN end up being just as expensive if not more so than renting out an “all-inclusive” venue. The last wedding I went to, the bride and her family did everything themselves, brought it a tent, chairs, tables, linens, everything and multiple family members did comment that if they had to do it all over again, they wouldn’t have gone that route.
Post # 10
@PoppyRose: A pick-up point wouldn’t be a bad idea. I think that is something I would absolutely like to look into.
@peachacid: I will certainly be looking the cost of everything before I decide. I know that adding everything up could end up being much more costly in the long run. So far we have looked at Pine Knob Mansion, Indian Springs Environmental Discovery Center, and the War Memorial in Grosse Pointe. Nothing wrong with any of these venues, just not quite what we are looking for. Pine Knob and the War Memorial both have broken up rooms which we don’t really want and the EDC and the price of their caterer are nice, but again not what we are looking for. For the most part everything is included, with some places needing to make additions, driving the cost up quite a bit. I guess I just don’t want to spend a lot of money on something I am not crazy about. The list of venues you sent are great, and were all taken into consideration, though we have decided to have our wedding outside of the City of Detroit because we have heard a lot of complaints from family about weddings in Detroit(mostly older guests). I don’t feel terribly connected with the city so I really had no problem trying to keep it to the suburban venues.
@SkyChick: Most would be family, and some friends. FI and I, and some friends are outdoorsy, I’m just not sure I can see many people going for camping after a wedding.
@Fanciful: Thanks for the input! I feel like I need to be a little more assertive with making myself and FI happy in the process.