Post # 1
I have been cautiously optimistic that I might be able to find a hidden gem venue that would offer everything I need for a great price. I have a hunch that my best bet might be completely out-of-the-ordinary places that normally do not host weddings.
I was actually thinking a (k-12) school building might be a really great option. Where I live there are some really stunning old inner-city schools, and some lovely private schools. My reasonig is: the pricing might be extremely reasonable; a full commercial kitchen is on site and might be available for our use, which would allow us to partially self-cater or expand our catering options; most likely ample parking; and if we marry during a school holiday or in the summer, they might allow us to have flexible access to the space for setup.
I’ve also been thinking about small town halls or municipal buildings, remote and/or little-known organizational halls (masons, etc), and churches. My church and our family’s churches do not have any spaces I think would be appropriate for a reception.
Has anyone found any venues like this? Or have any related ideas?
Post # 3
@FutureMrsMCT: I encourage you to scope out non-profit places. For some tax reason, they are really cheap. I think it has something to do with the amount of revenue they can make off renting their space out? At any rate, we rented out a children’s museum for our ceremony. They had done a few weddings, but not many. They didn’t advertise as a wedding venue. It can be a risk because of a lack of experience…you might not get the attention you would get from a typical venue during the planning process. But, it worked out great for us. :). Good luck!
Post # 4
@FutureMrsMCT: Funny you mention this – I’ve literally just posted for thoughts on a school that my FI and I are looking at (his old school!). Have a look at that thread and see what you think…
Post # 5
@FutureMrsMCT: Look at professional organizations! We LOVED our venue, it truly was a hidden gem: http://raom.org
They normally hold continuing education classes and retirement parties for members, not weddings, but it was perfect for us. It had a full kitchen, but we had Wegmans cater and we hired 3 servers which took a little more coordination but kept costs down and we had really good food and wine/beer. There was a Steinway piano we used for the ceremony and they were really accommodating, let us move stuff in on Friday for a Sunday ceremony. They even set up all the chairs and tables (included with the venue). Of course I have to share a couple of pics to show how beautiful the venue was 🙂