Post # 1
So I am at a loss on where to find more reception locations…. Maybe I’m being just too picky, but I am completely out of ideas of where to look. We want outdoor but with “facilites”, I am not a porto-potty kind of girl. And we are trying to find a venue that is $700 or less. We are active duty Navy and this is as good as our budget is going to get…. Suggestions??
What I have thought about:
City Parks – no booze allowed
Hotels – Not what we are looking for/ out of our budget
Museums – Shockingly expensive
State Parks – all are beach oriented around here and then we are back to the booze
Civic Centers – Are city owned…no booze (that comes up a lot…)
We are in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Post # 3
Another thing to consider is if there are any restaurants in your area with patios or gardens. That way, you could still have the outdoor aspect while having a building nearby, and you might not even have to pay for room rental as long as you have enough people.
Post # 4
@cwharrison: Same problem here, but we’re retired Army (hubby had to medically retire), and we’re trying to do the renewal thing. We did the Justice of the Peace thing almost 10 years ago, and we’re just now getting around to doing the actual wedding thing with friends & family. I really thought places like Shifting Sands or other military clubs would have affordable venue options, but I was really suprised to hear otherwise. I’ve got basically the same budget as you. I’m waiting to hear back from Hunt Club Farm to see if they’ve got any affordable options. It’s definitely NOT a traditional venue, but at this point, I’ll consider pretty much anything. Darling Husband is a traditionalist, but with our budget, the whole DJ/catered affair thing isn’t gonna happen (thankfully he was a DJ on the side, so he’ll just put a playlist together & hit ‘play’. He’s not happy with it, but I’m not happy I have to wear a color dress that makes me look like the stay puft man). I did find Marchesa Italian Deli will do some cool antipasto platters for reasonable rates, and it seems that many delis will do similar deals/options. Have you tried checking with the Mariner’s Museum (they have outdoor options & some tables/chairs available for no extra cost) or the VA Aquarium? Depending on how many people are in your party, you could possibly get away with one of the smaller venues. If you’ve got 30 people or less, there’s the Renaissance room’s ‘Garden Room’ (outdoor “Oasis”). Again, I’m waiting on cost info from them, so I apologize if they’re crazy expensive. My dream wedding was going to be at the Huntington Rose Garden in Newport News, but as we now live Southside, I’ve got to keep it on this side of the bridges.
Good luck, and please let me know how it goes!
Post # 5
@cwharrison: Hi again!
Don’t know how much this will help, but I found that the ‘dry dock’ (doesn’t sound appealing, but it was redecorated 2 years ago and it’s beautiful now!) at Scott Center Annex in Portsmouth may be an option for you. Their lowest package is $990 for the use of the gazebo/grounds & their small reception room (I think it’d seat close to 100), complete with pretty crystal chandelier, catering and beer/wine for two hours. My Darling Husband got close to excited when he heard that (he doesn’t drink, but his buddies do), but the offer is only for two hours, which he doesn’t think is long enough. Apparently, they’ve got the same cost & setup at the Sandbar behind Portsmouth Naval Hospital. I was told the venue overlooks the waterfront & the fleet parked out there.
I checked with Hunt Club farm- they wanted more $ than everyone else I’d spoken to for doing NOTHING! I would have to set up, decorate, supply the food & drinks & purchase a 1-day banquet/alcohol license, and break everything down & clean up when we’re finished. In return, they’d rent me 6 big round tables, 3 banquet tables & 50 chairs, along with the use of their property. They wanted $3000 for this!!!
Are you having any luck on your end?
Post # 6
I did some comparison “shopping” for a charity banquet, and I looked for unexpected venues to try and keep our costs down. I found a winery that may be the location for our at home reception, and we also found some excellent deals on a country club. I also explored some really nice VFW halls. Not all were that great, but a couple of them were nicer than some of the generic banquet facilities in the area – and at a far lower cost.
Post # 7
Found some more for you! There’s a Fred Heuette Center in Norfolk that’s available for around $300 for the day (from what I’ve been told). I’ve heard it has lovely gardens, and the venue is very small, but people often have tents set up on the grounds. Just a warning- Bill (the guy running everything) can be a little gruff, and from what I’ve heard, there’s little to no a/c in the building, so be sure to bring your own fans!
The Planter’s Club in Suffolk runs $200/hour (weekend rates- weekday rates are cheaper) with a minimum of 4 hours. You can use your own food/caterer (they have a large, available kitchen there), get a ‘banquet license’ to serve alcohol there for the day.. you can make it the way YOU want your day to be instead of having someone else run the show (can you tell I’m tired of arguing with caterers? *lol*). There’s a beautiful view of the Nansemond river behind the club, and the grounds are set up for weddings back there, or you can do it all inside, if you’d rather.
We’re finally set on a venue at a campground in VA Beach. It’s definitely not the ritz, but we’ve got a lot of creative friends who’re up to the challenge of making the area beautiful, I’ve found THE DRESS, and am holding my breath that The Photographer I want will be available to do our wedding that day! Also, with a cheaper venue, we can spend more on food, decorations, and getting some great photos with the people we care about.