Post # 1
Just got engaged last month and already people are breathing down my neck to find out when our wedding will be. I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t even know where to begin! My fiance and I plan to pay for our wedding ourselves….. and we have a budget (mine is about $10k more than his, but that’s because he’s just wrong). Our dilemma…… his entire family lives in South America and half of my family lives in Europe. We don’t anticipate a lot of them flying in….. maybe – at the very most – 5 or 6 total. We only expect to have a wedding of about 70 – 80 people – and we definitely want a Saturday evening. I’ve found, where we live (Ft. Lauderdale), that’s basically a recipe for frustration. Most places only want to deal with you if you’re having a 150+ person reception or 25 and under. Our “small/medium” size doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. To add insult to injury, I like really nice (read: EXPENSIVE) places….. Vizcaya, Villa Woodbine, Deering Estate, etc.
Other places I’ve looked:
The Hyatt Pier 66 Pier Top – gorgeous, but may be too modern
The W Hotel Ft. Lauderdale – LOVE the Grand Ballroom, but we won’t reach the minimum required ($20k for food/drink) and they won’t divide the room on a Saturday night (even though it is able to be divided).
Atlantic Hotel – too small
Pelican Grand – nice rooftop ceremony site, but not thrilled about the tented outdoor reception site
The Addison – love the venue, but in love with the dining room which has a high minimum – not crazy about the ballroom. They’ll make a deal for us for October 1 (4 months from now), GREAT PRICE, but right in the peak of hurricane season which absolutely terrifies me
I’m really running out of ideas. I’ve debated a destination wedding somewhere like Italy – probably end up costing the same, but we’d only have about 15 or so people.
Anybody else out there (in S. Florida) running into a similar problem and have any ideas? Ideally, we’d prefer a Ft. Lauderdale/Broward location, but for the right place, we’d be willing to go as north as Boca and as far south as Coral Gables.
Post # 3
ughhhh i spelled ADVICE wrong – see – i’m losing my mind already and the planning has just begun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post # 4
Would most of your guests be from Florida?
Have you considered having the wedding in South America where his family lives?
It probably wouldn’t make a great deal of difference to those who would fly in from Europe.
Post # 5
90% of our guests would be from Florida. We have a couple coming in from S. Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Half of my family is here, so we hoped to stay local. We’ll definitely fly his parents in – our treat, but aunts/uncles/cousins are on their own – otherwise we’ll be broke! That’s why we don’t forsee a lot of them coming – flights run $1,000+. The other half of my family lives in Italy which is why that got thrown into the running.
Post # 6
I don’t live in S. Florida but I have relatives in Hallandale and Palmetto Bay and I’ve visited many times. Have you looked at Fairchild Tropical Gardens? I considered having a Destination Wedding in Florida and I think that place is just beautiful!
Post # 7
What about the Biltmore in Coral Gables? I went to a few weddings there when I was living there and I kind of remember there being different rooms to use.
Or the Loews on South Beach? They have a smaller ballroom that has great city views.
If you can go north, I think the Westin Diplomat in Lauderdale has a few different spaces.
It’s been about 5 years since i lived down there, sorry I’m not of more help!
Post # 8
Have you thought about getting a coordinator. Spending the money up front might save you some money in the end, and they may have connections with venues that fit your style and your guest count.
Post # 9
I highly recommend giving Events on a Budget a call. They have a service called wedding in a box. It’s pretty much where you tell them what you want to spend and they give you a total price (taxes and all included) to take care of EVERYTHING from venue to food, decor, photo, video etc. But they can also do as little as you want.
They are AMAZING. They just did our wedding & everyone said it was the most well run wedding they’d ever been to. Several people even thought we spent at least 2-3 times our budget.
I think their blog gives a better representation than the website: http://www.eventsonabudget.blogspot.com/. I’ll post a few pics of their work.
Post # 10
All photos from http://www.poirierweddingphotography.com/ (who I also highly recommend. Awesome work for unbelievably prices, very flexible w/ package options, and very nice couple)
Post # 11
I ran into the same problem with the hotels in the Ft. Lauderdale area. The Addison was my dream venue but their minimums were way too high for Feb (even for Oct too ). Either way you should check out Stonebridge Country Club in Boca. The pics online and on their site do NOT do them justice. I’m working with Kim who is a DOLL and they don’t have any crazy minimums for months/days and we actually had lunch there when we toured the venue and the food was phenomenal! Their prices are reasonable and they were able to fully customize a menu for me as well. One last thing, I’ve been going to a lot of bridal shows and meeting with different florists, etc. All of them had nothing but great things to say about Kim at Stonebridge and the service they provide. One vendor actually called the Addison a wedding factory and warned they nickel and dime you for everything!