Post # 1
My boyfriend of five years popped the question in early December (2019) and I’m slowly getting my ducks in a row! I’ve been looking over venues the past couple of days, and holy smokes – wedding venues are expensive! I already knew that but it’s crazy to see the prices in writing. Anyways, I finally found a venue that isn’t $4,000+ and it is BEAUTIFUL. It’s an old school mansion with tin ceilings and a very warm intimate feel. My only “concern” (I don’t know how else to phrase what I’m feeling/thinking) is that the venue is all inclusive and when I asked if this is negotiable the venue cordinator basically said it’s firm that they handle all the details. This venue has very good reviews so far but I am going to keep looking at it and possible other venues.
So my question is, what are the pro’s and con’s of having an all-inclusive wedding venues? For the Bees who used one, what did you love and hate about the process?
Also, how many bees fell in love and picked the first venue they looked at when planning? I feel like its somewhat like dress shopping – you just know when it’s the one.
I’m going to look at the venue in person and even my mom said it’s very beautiful and that we need to look at it.
Any insight and comments welcome!
Post # 2
I looked and debated between an AI and a “diy” venue. The AI venue seemed expensive off the bat. The pp cost was obviously high, but once we priced out tables/chairs/linens/lighting/vases/general decor it wasn’t that bad. There are soo many little things you need to consider with a “diy” venue it can get overwhelming.
If you have an AI venue they are normally VERY streamlined and organized. Theyve done this 1000 times. They know exactly where each table and chair goes. Flips are quick, set up and take down is a breeze, if something is missing they will notice it immediately and know where it is. They normally have a good set of reliable employees (ie waiters, bar staff).
Unless you have a specific vision in mind that isn’t something this venue does (for example you want a boho wedding where everyone sits on bean bags and smokes shisha and this is a ballroom with no smoking) it will probably still turn out amazing. I’m sure when they say that its non-negotiable they don’t mean you get 0 say in your “vision” at all, but they will be more rigid with vendors and whatnot.
All that said, the biggest downside I find with AI venues is the food. Sometimes they are really amazing, but most of the time I find it pretty standard and bland. This, and the price of the bar was why I ended up going with the DIY venue. HOWEVER since we were doing a semi-dw we ended up hiring a decor company the venue works with who ended up setting everything up for us lol. But i was very specific in my food requirements and we wanted a premium open bar. We definitely ended up paying more pp than the AI in the end, so I do have some twinges of regrets because the other place was stunning and would have been a bit cheaper with a whole lot less hassle.
Post # 3
When you say all inclusive, what does that entail? The venue I chose basically forced the caterer on us, if we wanted to bring our own caterer, then we’d have to pay $5k extra
Post # 4
I almost went with an all-inclusive. The plus side is they are able to handle the logistics of everything for you and you just give them your input on what you want…within reason. They probably have set vendors they work with with set limitations on what packages you can purchase within their all-inclusive prices. The place I looked at had a silver, gold, and platinum package. I liked some of the gold and platinum options but I wanted the overall silver package. I realized it was going to be too complicated to be set on the cheapest one because I liked so many of the other options of the other packages so I opted out of choosing them. Like jellybellynelly :
says, the food is also a downer with a lot of the all-inclusives.
Keep looking around but I would also ask more questions with this venue to see what they offer and go look at it so you get a better understanding of what their “all-inclusive” packages include.
Post # 5
Our reception was all inclusive, it included centre pieces, table linens, chair covers, DJ, a room for the night, food and the booze (not open bar, I’m in the UK and it’s not the norm). Some of the stuff I didn’t really care about (chair covers) but had I cared, it adds up quite quickly.
The downside – its a cookie cutter wedding. Your centre pieces will have been done 100s of times before. They won’t make it to Pinterest. Personally, nobody (other than other people getting married) cares about centre pieces. My friend got married in June (2019), I couldn’t tell you what she had as centre pieces. Can’t even tell you if it was a high one or low one. Individuality of your wedding is going to be very minimal. Personally I’ve never had a problem with the food at cookie cutter wedding, it’s always been nice but it wouldn’t rank in my top 10 favourite meals.
Pros – I turned up the day before our wedding, handed a box of table plans and favours (our way to inject individuality) over to the staff and came back the next day to for the reception. They have managed 100s of weddings. They’ll keep you on time and even if you end up late somewhere, they’ll adjust the times without anyone going into a spin. Your friends and family can enjoy the wedding, they don’t have to set up and clear up the wedding. For me, the staff at the reception gave me the timings – I didn’t need to work any of that out. The staff brought me sandwiches and drinks whilst I was getting ready. I packed my bags and they moved my stuff from my getting room to the honeymoon suite. They moved the cards and presents into our honeymoon suite. The staff member who was overseeing the wedding, specifically came and found me before the buffet opened and got a plate of food for me. We got up the next morning and the room had been transferred into breakfast, despite the reception not finishing until 1am. The DJ was someone they had used many times, so both knew each other’s schedules and timings. All I had to do was send a list of songs I wanted played and didn’t want played. It was easy and very stress free, which I’m really grateful for – even if my wedding was a cookie cutter wedding. I turned up, got ready and got married.
Yes, we also fell in love with the first venue we saw. We saw another hotel in the same brand (so same pricing) second but preferred the first. We actually have a habit of doing it with quite a few things though (cars, houses, honeymoon).
Post # 6
I completely agree!! If I could go back in time I wouln’t have put so much effort into our centerpieces and spending all that money on flowers for them. Our reception hall had vaces and candles we could have used free of charge and we opted out. Sad I didn’t go cheaper on them and spend the money elsewhere.
Post # 7
I did an a la cart type venue the first time around and I would 100% choose an all inclusive over that any day.
Maybe it’s because I realize how much people don’t notice decorations, but it’s just a pain dealing with all of those different vendors.
Post # 8
Our venue was pretty much all-inclusive and it was honestly the best. Way less stress. And actually cheaper when pricing it all out compared to a DIY venue. And I also had the “love at first sight” feeling when I saw it! Absolutely no regrets.
Post # 9
My second wedding was almost all inclusive. I had to do flowers and cake elsewhere, but they did everything else. I LOVED it. I loved them taking care of most of everything. I even used the florist they recommended because she was across the street and convenient, which helped when I needed her to come fix an error.
I’d totally do an all inclusive of I loved the place. I’d look at their pictures and reviews of course to make sure, but if that looked ok I’d do it.