Post # 1
Ok, we’ve all heard of dress regret but what about venue regret?
A little background: My fiance and I don’t have a whole lot of choices with our wedding venue. We have 375-400 guests, our families want traditional Vietnamese wedding food, we need to provide liquor bottles for each table per tradition, it’s disrespectful not to have plated meals (no buffets!) per tradition, and we’re on a budget. There’s very few Vietnamese/Chinese banquet halls in Dallas that can hold that many people. Never mind that I would much rather have a cool urban loft or a modern ballroom with huge windows overlooking the cityscape… All those other places, while gorgeous, don’t fit our needs and I know we would be unhappy if our families were unhappy, so those just aren’t options. However, if I can still keep our families happy but have a nicer, more unique venue, that would be perfect!
A few months back, we booked with this place called Kirin Court. It’s on the shortlist of places in our area for Vietnamese-American weddings. Here is what it looks like.
- Pros: Great deal with lots included (liquor!, linens, chair covers/sashes, $25 of flowers per table!). Meets all of our venue requirements. On the nicer end compared to most Viet options in Dallas. Fits 400+ guests.
- Cons: Not that nice or unique. Tons of friends and my sister have had their weddings there (out-of-town family will be seeing the same venue again). Florist included in package has reputation for being flaky and not doing exactly what the bride was promised on the day of the wedding.
Then one of my coworkers got engaged and she’s been so giddy with wedding planning and looking for venues that it made me reevaluate it. That’s when I came across JS Chen’s, a place that I’ve been to twice and I didn’t even consider for a wedding because it’s really not on the typical list of Viet weddings in our area. In fact, I’ve never even been to a wedding here (and trust me, I’ve been to a lot and seen almost all the options). Here is what it looks like.
- Pros: Meets most of our venue requirements. Much nicer and not a venue I’ve seen any weddings at. Food is comparable price/quality. Nice enough where I wouldn’t need chair covers/sashes. Would get to use a different florist.
- Cons: Nothing extra (liquor, flowers, linens, etc) included in fee except for food. Only holds 310 guests, so we’d need to cut down the guest list. Would lose $1000 deposit on Kirin Court.
What do you think?? Should I keep the first one or lose the deposit and go for the second one?? Has anyone else done a venue change after putting down the deposit – any advice??
Post # 3
Oh man…that’s a tough one! I definitely like the look of the second one better, but that’s a lot to give up to get it. I have no idea which one I would choose….but good luck!
Post # 4
I had venue regret. I booked a reception hall and paid a deposit and then Fiance and I fell in love with another place. I never thought that would happen to me cos I usually think things through thoroughly before committing myself. In the end I chose the 2nd nicer hall but it has caused me to cut down on my guest list. So i say choose the 2nd one!
Post # 5
#2 is more unique but is it really worth giving up all of the extras? What are your priorities? I would prefer to keep things as easy on myself as possible so I would go with #1 but that is just personal preference.
Post # 6
I think the second one is MUCH nicer. If you can afford to change, I’d go for it for the photography alone. The first one looks like a generic hall, and the second one has atmosphere. You’ll miss out on decorations, but you won’t need as many, either.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ
I think one of the other pros/cons is that you know what you’ll get with the first venue. Have you read/heard any reviews about the second? Your friend is in the planning stages, but how close is she to the wedding (i.e. how much interaction has she had with her venue so far). I’d just be worried about the unknown.
I DEFINITELY think the second venue looks less generic and like the look of it better overall. Maybe do some research online and see if you can find reviews from people who’ve had their weddings there. Personally, I’d also factor in how much the deposit was on the 1st venue, and if the 2nd place has my original date open (if not, am I willing to change).
Good luck! 🙂
Post # 8
2nd one looks much nicer as opposed to the 1st one. I would just cut guests (300 is already a lot!) just so i can have a venue i wont regret
$1000 isn’t much compare to the enormous cost of a wedding.
Post # 9
@bells: Was cutting down the guest list a challenge? Do you regret it? My dad wants me to keep #1 to have more room and not cut down the guest list… in fact, he wants to invite MORE guests! But that’s definitely not happening!
@bellagio: You’re right, and I haven’t been able to find anybody who has had their wedding there. Again I think it’s because it really isn’t on the list of the places that Vietnamese people have weddings. It’s kind of new so it hasn’t made it on the radar yet. BUT I have been there before for dinner — the food is good and I love the atmosphere. Oh and I’ve already called and yes the 2nd one has my date open!
Still torn so would love to hear more opinions and advice — please keep them coming! Thank you so much.
Post # 10
Stay with the first one. Keep your flower request simple and in season. Ask the florist his/her choice of what would look best. That way you aren’t super invested in the flowers and if they are not just what you wanted, it’s not a big deal. The reason the florist probably changes from the design the brides want, is they probably are requesting flowers out of season….Let your florist take the lead, ask “What is your opinion?”
400 people is alot of people. Place #1 knows the drill. The people feel comfortable as they know where it is, how to get there, where to park. It’s like going home and I don’t think they would be bored at all. there is comfort in familiarity.
Make it your own by the choice of linen color and chair sashes. Concentrate on your dress, jewelry, tux’s, music and wedding favors to give it your special touch.
If you want a little nicer bouquet for yourself and the bridesmaids, supply the satin ribbon and pearl pins if he doesn’t use these generally. Have the bridesmaids put their flowers at the edge of the head table in front of their seats, saving costs on a centerpiece for the head table. In this way he can spend the money elsewhere and make your bouquet more lush. Tell him to make every table different, if you prefer which allows him to be creative within his budget and if you’re not fussy about flowers it’ll be more lush just because he’ll use what he has.
Find a great loft for yourself and husband and put your energies into the home you make together after the wedding and reception. That’s where you will live. The reality is that with this many people, you gotta do what you gotta do.
It will be a happy day because no one is left out. The folks are happy. You married the man of your dreams. The world is a nice place. It is only a day. A marriage is forever.
Post # 11
Personally, I am VERY budget oriented, and I would keep one, but my priorities are different. I rather spluge on other things, so if Venue is in your top have to haves, go with what makes you and your Fiance happy.
I also have to say, I dont have the problem in my area with generic places, but in case you stick with the 1st, you can always dress it up to have your style, and no one is comparing yours to other ppls that have had theirs there.
Post # 12
#2 looks more elegant and would be the better deal, IF you hadn’t already put the deposit down on venue #1.
You said that you are on a budget, can you afford to lose that $1,000? And cutting the guest list from 375-400 to 310 is a huge step. Will you be able to decide who you need to cut and stand behind your decision? If you’re able to eat the deposit, and feel comfortable slicing and dicing on the guest list, I say go for number 2!
Post # 13
Keep the first one! It’s not worth cutting the guest list and losing $1000.
Post # 14
I’m from a traditional culture too. And getting married in TX nonetheless. However, I was lucky enough that I have two other siblings marrying this year so the guestlist is not crushing for my wedding. I went with a much smaller venue. Instead of 400, I went with a 220 capacity and that’s still too big for me. Obviously, you can’t do this. I understand the familial obligations that come with weddings. If I were you, I’d go with the venue number 1. Take your pictures outside, somewhere nice and then come in for the reception. For me, weddings are a place to have fun, relax with folks I haven’t seen in a while. Eat, drink and be merry. I don’t come to be ‘wowed’ by amazing chandeliers etc. And you’ve put money down. Maybe 1k is not a lot for you but for me, that’s a chunk of change. I wouldn’t give it up. And I don’t think venue 1 is bad at all.
Post # 15
I agree with bRooklynRocks: and other PP, people will be familiar with how to get there, if they are from out of town. I know that everytime someone gets married in my family some of the stress is figuring the hotel to venue directions. Plus that’s alot of money and they do know the drill at the first place.
Post # 16
That’s a toughie.
I definitely like the second one better by look. It still retains some of the Asian characteristics without the cheesy atypical Asian Banquet Hall look.
Here are questions I would ask myself to make a decision:
1. Is the guest list finalized? Is it closer to 375 or 400? How many of these are OOT? That makes a HUGE difference on your RSVP count. If you’re more at 375 there’s probably a huge probability that your YES will be right around 310 if not less.
2. You say #2 holds 310. Is that the MAX per code? Or just how many seats/tables they have? Is there a “stage” with opportunity to put more tables up there if you had to rent them?
3. What’s the price difference between #1 and #2?
Basically what I’m thinking is yes, you would lose out on 1K deposit. But if it will make you LOVE your venue and losing the 1K won’t cripple your budget. And if #2 is cheaper in the long run you will get that 1K back. Or even if it’s the same the less guest# would even out the 1K deposit lost as well. Makes sense?
4. If you had to cut the guest list how would the parents feel about that? Is it possible to cut the list?
I hope it works out for you!