Post # 1
I found out yesterday afternoon that the building in which we were slated to have our reception is closing its doors this Sunday, April 12th. Our wedding is less than 5 months away on August 22nd. This came as a huge shock to myself and FI as we were forwarded the online Newspaper link and had to read it ourselves instead of hearing it from them or before the public was made aware. We scrambled around all day yesterday afternoon (while we should have been working) calling other venues and hoping and praying that something that was "us" was available. I live in central Wisconsin and, unfortunately, there is not a lot of options available or to choose from.
When we had originally shopped around for Reception halls there were 4 on our list to choose from and only one of those was booked 14 months out (when we got engaged). Now, of course, our "other" options which we didn’t choose (whether it be cost, overall atmosphere, food, and location) are not available. We have been strongly against having our reception in a typical hotel as everyone around here has there reception at 1 of 2 hotels and we didn’t want our wedding to be ordinary. We opted for a historic building that has tons of character and charm… awesome food, dark woodwork and hardwood floors, high ceilings with stained glass windows and a beautiful chandelier. It was on the 2nd floor of a restaurant without an elevator and could only accommodate 150 people (much the drawback to many around here) but it was us.
Now we don’t even have the "everyday hotel reception" options available. I am considering moving the date until next summer 2010 but we have over $4000 worth of deposits down on this date. I don’t know if vendors would be sympathetic of our situation and allow us to change the date without losing money. I don’t want to wait another year but this is very imporant to me as I have now spent MONTHS of my time and my everything into planning this affair… now my vision is gone and my desire is gone. I would be happy with 3 other places but, again, not available.
How would you react? Would you go as far as changing things? My FI thinks I am crazy and that I am "getting married just to get married and not for him," but how can I help it? Some of the places we have to choose from are awful and I could not see myself there. I know that on the day things will be out of my control, but is it to blame me for not having control of my reception site?
Post # 3
The first thing I would do is check with the vendors to see if they would be open to moving your date. Explain the situation to them so that they understand you aren’t flaky, this was something completely out of your control. You mentioned that all the other venues are already booked for your date – I don’t know if you already looked into it, but would you consider having your wedding on a Friday or a Sunday? That way you wouldn’t have to wait for a whole year, assuming that those days are available.
I think you’ve been doing the right thing – doing a lot of research and exploring all the various alternatives. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to get married in an awful place.
Best of luck – I hope it works out for you!
Post # 4
So sorry to hear about this sucky situation. Lukily, this happened 5 months out instead of 2.
Are the other 3 places available the same weekend (like Friday or Sunday)? Have you discussed your options with the vendors? They may be sympathetic and apply your deposit to another day. With the crappy economy, I have found many of my vendors to be much more flexible. Im not vary familiar with Wisconsin but have you looked into less obvious choices, like a loft or private club? You may be able to get the more ecclectic feel but looking at places you would typically rule out.
Also, try posting this on the Wisonsin board. Ladies more familar with your area may be able to point you in some new directions.
Post # 5
I think the Friday/Sunday idea is a good one.
Also- many contracts include a clause that you can change your date without losing your deposit (as long as they are available on that day). Check your contracts. If you do have to switch vendors, perhaps you could do something to prevent you from losing all your money (like use the photog for a day after shoot or family portrait session, buy potted plants from your florist with your deposit- stuff like that).
Also- perhaps some of your vendors know of places you haven’t found or thought of? Maybe slightly further away or untraditional? My vendors were really helpful with recommending people and solving problems (even the DJ).
Have you been able to get in touch with your original venue? Are they just closing or selling the business? Will it reopen?
One idea- would the owners of the original venue let you use the space if you bring in your own caterer? Perhaps they will let you ‘rent’ the space?
Sorry you’re dealing with this. Good luck and keep us up to date!
(PS- posting to the Wisconsin board is a good idea)
Post # 6
So sorry to hear that!! Its awful! How about renting a beautiful large tent? Alot of brides use them in Va and they are fantastic….youcan even get heaters for them if its cool.
Good luck to you!
Post # 7
What a crummy thing to have happen – but on the positive side at least you’re 5 months out and have a bit of time to figure things out!
Some great ideas have already been mentioned… on top of those, do you have a family/friend with a big enough yard to rent a tent and do it outside? Are you able to add to your decor budget and really do up one of the ‘generic’ places that just aren’t you.
I’d be hesitant to change the date – how many of your guests already know the date and have potentially made plans for travel, accomodations, etc. Having a wedding that is very ‘you’ is important, but don’t forget about everyone else who may already be counting on that date… and potentially losing $4k in deposits is a lot!
Post # 8
I am so sorry! This must be so frustrating and disheartening. I like all the other suggestions that have been stated before. The only thing I would add has to do with your fiance. Maybe you could explain to him that you can’t wait to get married to him, but that you want the wedding to be representative of the two of you as a couple because this is such an important day in your lives?
In any event, good luck! and keep us posted.
Post # 9
Okay bees…time to put on our thinking caps!
I’m thinking like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City-and places around here that we looked at for having our reception" ’cause there ain’t much in rural SW Georgia"
How about your local library? Community garden? State park with great views, dock(s), gazebos, pavilions? The courthouse? (meaning as a reception venue-some of the older courthouses around here are simply amazing and available for rent as they are no longer functioning courthouses). I’ve always like the building my bank is in-lobby is huge, marble floor, it has a second story that I thought would look terrific draped in little white twinkle lights and greenery with lilies in it. Hummm…some churches have pretty nice reception halls, do you live anywhere near a historic district and you could have it at an older home or B&B and expand out into the garden? Do you have any museums? There is a florist here who’s place of business is gorgeous (an older home) and the grounds are so pretty that people get married there. Tents are expensive, but depending on your budget, maybe not prohibitive for you-definitely an option to consider because they can be as formal as you make them. How about a local farm? I’ve seen some beautiful pictures of rustic chic weddings that are very pretty. Do you live by any body of water where people rent party boats or large river boats? My sister lives in Jacksonville and she has been to a couple of weddings where they had the reception on the river boat on the St. Johns River.
I’m out of ideas, but maybe something will spark your imaginiation.
Post # 10
Oh my goodness, hugs to you! It’s been a week since this topic was started so I really hope you are finding an awesome venue to book! The same thing happened to my sister, luckily they got their reception deposit back. I hope you get your back. My sister and her husband went from a very cool, historic old mill to a "run of the mill" banquet hall but their wedding still was the most fun wedding I’ve ever gone to. Sometimes it’s not the place, but the people. 🙂
Post # 11
Tenmylove- how are you making out?
Post # 12
my fi and i actually had to move our date out a year and our vendors were all okay with it. just explain to them the situation and you most likely won’t lose any of your deposits. you will run the risk of higher rates with some of your vendors, however.
Post # 13
Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of updating but thanks for all the great suggestions! We did spend LOTS of time and energy making sure that we could find the "RIGHT" spot. We finally ended up with something (after 35 venues first told us that they were already booked) – we thought outside the box and are holding it in the lobby of what used to be a bank (about 50 years ago). My mom is a well-known businesswoman in town and was able to find some historic buildings downtown that were either not in use/or only in use during the week and talked to the owners and we finally found one that is willing to do it for us.
I think it is going to be a MAJOR headache – already we found out today that we are going to have to foot the entire bar tab as the state of WI does not allow public buildings (w/o a liquor license) to serve alcohol unless it was prepaid. I know the whole cash/host bar is a controversial topic but here in WI (at least in this area) it is EXTREMELY uncommon for weddings to buy all drinks (usually only beer/wine/soda/champagne is purchased). We are going to have to have a limited bar otherwise I ran numbers and it would be an additional $5k at least to add to our budget.
Other than that (and having to rent all tables/chairs/linens/etc.) I am really happy with the ballroom we found. I do feel like my wedding styles kind of clash now – we are getting married at an outdoor preserved garden and I have been very cautious to only stick to certain color schemes throughout the planning process. In the historic building there are a lot of blues, but oh well 🙂
What is really neat is that this buidling was used in parts for the upcoming movie, Public Enemies, which is due out this summer (with Christian Bale and Johnny Depp). Oshkosh (where we live) was used in a lot of the filming so it is cool to know that our reception area was used in a movie – especially one that already has a lot of Oscar buzz!
Watch the YouTube clip and look at 0:44 and 1:49 in the trailer to see the site! (the ballroom is bare and the counter Johnny jumps down from is just a prop for the movie – don’t worry, it’s not in the middle of the floor!) :
Thanks for the support!!!
Post # 14
Oh that’s good news! I hope it sets you back on the creative track 🙂 I can’t wait to see how it turns out!