- 8 years ago
- Wedding: June 2011
Reception Venue Crisis – Need advice
***Sorry this is so long, I needed to vent and put it all out there – thanks in advance for your help***
We have been having problem after problem with booking our reception venue. Internal events take priority until exactly 1 year in advance and we’ve had to change our date 4 times now before even being able to consider setting things in stone. It’s starting to be too stressful because on top of this, conflicts are starting to come up between available dates with the ceremony venue and the photographers. Because of this we’ve decided to drop the reception venue which although it is heartbreaking to not have it there, I’d rather not feel like crying about it.
So now comes the hard part, we really want a venue that is a little different/unique but still has enough of a wedding feel. There aren’t a lot of venue options that are cost effective and allow us the flexibility to bring in caterers of our choosing and our own liquor. I’ve done a TON of research and here are our options. We’ve love to get some feedback from people to help us make some decisions. Please help!!!!
Just a bit of info about us, our guests and our vision. We are both early 30s, I have lived locally for my entire life, Fiance has lived locally for about 12 years. We have 90 family members between the 2 of us. He has no family locally so they all have to travel; most of mine are local with a few travelling. We plan on having 150 guests. We originally did not want kids at the wedding, but since 2 of FI’s wedding party members have kids and have to travel, we decided to make the rule that people who require travelling to our wedding were allowed to bring kids but people who live locally could figure out a babysitter etc. This left us with about 12 kids and babies on the guest list, plus a few teenagers.
Here are our reception options:
Option A – Nice boathouse venue on the water about 30 minutes out of the city with big glass windows to see the view. Will fit our guests for a sit down dinner, but will be tight. A friend just got married here so our weddings will be in the same place a year apart, however only about 10 guests overlap. Has a separate room for kids to keep them occupied and an outdoor patio to access some fresh air, however any smokers must completely leave the property (there aren’t many smokers, but my dad is one of them). The biggest issues I have with this place are that it’s not exactly what I want but its double the cost I was originally anticipating. I don’t like that I will likely have to move tables out of the way to accommodate a dance floor. And, I don’t like that it’s somewhere where I know someone else got married because I’m worried I will always be comparing to that.
Option B – Cool art gallery right in the heart of the city. Is less expensive than our original venue, but would require more decor. It’s a large space, but not layed out in a way that would allow us to have a sit down dinner so we’d have to do a cocktail reception instead, which can be really pricey too. However, I think that the balance between not needing as many tables/chairs/linens/dishes etc for a sit down might balance out with the additional cost of decor. Negatives – It only has one bathroom which means we’d likely have to rent a second bathroom (portable). Cannot have candles/open flame because it’s an art gallery and fire settings are really sensitive. (Could use LEDs instead and have great ideas for this, but I’ve already bought a ton of candles) It’s not really a great environment for kids, I know the teenagers could deal with it, but it’s kind of tough to bring little kids to a cocktail party and expect them to behave. We also aren’t sure if a cocktail party feels like a wedding and we aren’t sure if it’s TOO non traditional for us.
I guess the thing is that when I am at the venues I prefer the art gallery for its uniqueness. I think I am also just a little cranky that the rental for the boathouse is so expensive; it’s gone up a thousand dollars since my friend booked it, there’s no discount even though I am University alumni etc. But I think what’s worrying me the most is not having a sit down dinner and feeling un-wedding like and less formal somehow. I feel like it’s a cool party but not a wedding somehow. Has anyone been to a cocktail party type wedding and can you give me some feedback on it. Anyone have any opinions or thoughts. I am still working to get some details on a few other venues but there aren’t a lot of options L