Post # 1
I posted a while back about selecting a wedding venue, and after seeing 11 venues and spending too much mental energy, my fiance and I really just want to make a decision and set a date! We are debating between:
1. One venue that’s in the middle of nature, rustic, and the exact type of venue we love, but pricey because it’s with an “exclusive caterer”. We also want a more casual wedding, and this would be on the elegant side rather than the casual side. This would be $5-$10K more than venue #2.
2. Another venue that is a bit more suburban but still nice, in a space we like. The room feels small but they had weddings that fit more people than are on our guest list. Also there may be construction on the other side of the property, but we would be able to avoid seeing it. This would be $5-$10K less than venue #1.
So, what do you think? Option 1 or 2? Some people say “it’s your wedding and you remember it forever so go with your heart” but others say “do you really want to spend an extra $10K on an even that lasts just 5 hours?”
My fiance, my parents, etc do not have an opinion. They say that either one is okay. The extra money would come from both us and my parents, and we are okay spending the money, but I keep thinking there are other ways to spend that extra money.
Does anyone have advice for us?
Post # 3
For me, the venue is the most important part for my wedding, so I splurged on that and am trying to cut costs on other things. If you love the more expensive venue and it’s important to you, I say go for it.
Post # 4
Yikes, this is tough. Can you technically afford the more expensive venue? If you can, I would honestly go with that one. We got the venue of our dreams, and it was worth every penny. It just totally set the mood and we didn’t need practically any decor because it all spoke for itself. But, it was within our budget.
If the more expensive venue is pushing your budget a little more than you’re comfortable with, are you willing to cut back on other things to make it work? If not, I would go with the less expensive venue.
Post # 5
I voted for the less expensive just because it doesn’t sound like you LOVED the place. You said it was a little more formal than what you envisioned for your wedding, and 5-10k more is a lot of money. With the second space if you can have it be more informal like you want, fit all your guests, decorate how you want…I’d go for the cheaper and spend the money on something else like a honeymoon or put it in savings for the future.
Post # 6
I voted less expensive but still nice venue. I think you are right in that the money could be used for something else and you can still have your dream wedding. Plus your guests will love it more if you spoil them with the extra money than they would with the elegant venue. 🙂 But make sure you imagine the 2nd venue and still feel the same.
Post # 7
If the money is not an issue, and the venue has the vibe that you want for your wedding, I say go for it.
Post # 8
Are you doing the ceremony and reception in the same venue?
I think if you are just doing the reception there, then people are going to walk into the room have a good time and walk out. They really don’t see too much of the actual building.
Have you priced the difference between an exclusive caterer at the more expensive venue versus an outside caterer that you could use at the second venue?
I wouldn’t worry too much about the size of the place. We actually went with a much smaller venue. I am happy because decorating will cost less and be less stress. The room will be filled with love and people, rather than having 200 people in a room that fits over 1,000 people.
For me $5K -10K more is a huge range. You may need to tighten up the budget and figure out exactly how much the difference is. If you can swing the extra $5k and love it, go for it. I think $10K is a huge difference though, and I couldn’t see doing that.
Post # 9
Like Miss Chapstick said, I think it depends on if you can AFFORD the more expensive venue. It sounds like you’d be okay with it, but of course, I would never eeeevvver suggest going into debt for your wedding and $5-10K is a huge difference (to me). That being said, the venue really does set the tone and if the location is gorgeous on its own, you can save a lot on decor, etc. The venue was the #1 splurge for me too, closely followed by the photographer.
One thing to consider is trying to negotiate with the first venue. I was able to save 20% on our venue simply by offering to pay the amount upfront. Good luck!
Post # 10
Hi, thanks everyone for your fast responses!
The annoying thing is that Venue #1 is non-negotiable because this “exclusive” caterer refuses to negotiate on price.
I had priced out both venues, all the food, consideration for extra decoration needed in the less expensive venue, and it is closest to a $8 K difference all-in.
We can afford it, and do love the venue, but not sure if it’s worth the $8K difference.
We are going to have the ceremony there, in addition to the reception.
Post # 11
The venue is the most important consideration for us, so I understand your dilemma. However, it doesn’t sound like Venue 1 is the perfect venue that you are completely in love with while Venue 2 is horrible. Clearly #1 is better, but it does not seem $8,000 better. Even if you can afford it, I don’t think it’s a good investment.
I would just go with #2 or spend a little bit more time looking. If you’re paying the extra money, it might as well be for a venue that’s perfect rather than one that’s almost perfect. I’ve looked at a lot of venues in PA – which ones are these, if you don’t mind sharing? Just wondering if I have come across them before.
Post # 12
From what you’d said – I’d go with venue #2. While venue #1 sounds lovely – it doesn’t sound like it has everything you especially want.
FI and I ended up writing down the elements about the venue that was most important to us… that really helped (along with the bees!) and then compared that to our venue list – and, while I still am not 100% sold on our venue (I’d like it to be more formal/fancy), I was not willing to spend more money on the venue than we are. It has all the important elements that we wanted – and that’s what ended up being most important to me.
Post # 13
Good job on putting in the decoration factor into your consideration when pricing. We personally went with a venue because it’s already pretty and minimal decoration is needed (less work and better value). If after all that is factored in, it still comes to a big difference of $8000, I think I’d go with the less expensive one, as long as it is still nice. Also, you can even jazz it up even more to get the look you want. It sounds like the exclusive caterer is the part that is jacking up the price, and I think I’d rather pick my own caterer than use theirs. I guess, what I am trying to say is that $8k is a lot of money, and if you’d be happy with option #2, than why spend that much more money on option #1? You can use that money on something else that means more to you or just save it!
Post # 14
If you are happy with the less expensive option then I say go with that. $8000 is a lot of money to be used elsewhere!
Post # 15
We are going with the cheaper, but still nice venue so we can splurge on lighting and entertainment.
My thinking is we have a nice venue with great food, awesome entertainment, some mood lighting, and an open bar. With 200 of my family and friends, what could go wrong!
Post # 16
If you can afford it, go with the first one. Venue for our reception was really important to us, so we spent the most money on the reception itself (venue, food, booze, band).