Post # 1
I’m new to the area and have been looking for a venue for our wedding November 11,2012. I’m a military fiance and the FH is deployed, leaving all the duties to myself! I’m freaking out and am in need of much help!!! I’ve thought of hiring a wedding planner but WHY pay up to 1k for a service i’ll be much involved in anyway?
Any suggestions for venues near the water for up to 100 people for up to 7K??? I’ve been looking at the most recommended/fancy spots (Don Cesar $$$$, Sandpearl, Grand Plaza, Sand Key, Hyatt regency,…etc) which are pretty pricey. At first FH started off with 50 guests, in which a costs at these locations would be completely fine. However, after realistically looking over our guest list we’ve adjusted the # to 100.
After thinking, I’m open to ideas…I still want the reception to be classy and nice, however if doesn’t have to be at the top of the line hotel. I’m open to unique ideas but I prefered venues near the water. If we found a perfect venue otherwise not by the water…i’ll live 🙂
I just need recommendations/help from those familiar with the area for weddings in Nov. I know hotel venues take care of everything which I like but i’m willing to do what I need to do to get cost down!
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
Hi there! I’m getting married this November in Tampa, so I did some shopping around.
It sounds like you know this, but cutting your guestlist is the easiest way to save money.
Are you looking for a ceremony and reception spot or just reception?
We looked at out of the box locations, an orange grove, the Sunken Garden, the Florida Aquarium, and wineries. Keel and Curly Winery has a pond, and the celebration area overlooks it. I think it might fit your budget.
Key is going to be finding a place that does require you to use their caterer. There are lots of places to cut costs… does the $7000 include your dress, rings…?
Also, you mention using a hotel because they take care of most things for you… just fyi, a lot of venues these days come with a cooridnator who can be extremely helpful, and I’m telling you this as an out of town bride, so keep your mind open– unless your dream is a hotel ballroom, and in that case, go for it!
Post # 5
Thanks Ladies!! Greatly appreciate the help and advice. Eventhough I have researched here and there and read plenty of boards, this is all new and overwhelming. Yes I know, guests are the most expensive cost 🙁 We were only going to start with 50, that way we could have the most personal and glamorous wedding that we could with our budget of 15k( with some room for more but no more than 20k). But as we went through the list, our families and their guests alone were 50! We hadn’t even reached our very close friends! So we have decided to look into increasing the guest list, if we could afford it, still achieving our wants and dream wedding.
The ceremony and reception will be at seperate locations, we are catholic so we are required to have the ceremony in a church and we choose to do the reception at another location. Thus any of the venues would be for reception only; place more appropriate for dancing, lots of food, and partying :). I am open to doing something unique (museums,gardens, historic parks) however that would require booking a lot of outside vendors and the planning for that scares me! I could do it, but I don’t know if I could accomplish it????? I’ve never spent $$$ like this for anything but college (we haven’t bought a house yet) so I don’t want to ruin this special day because of my poor planning :/ The church alone is going to cost 1,500 ( I am trying to book Sacred Heart, a gorgeous, known, and of course $$$ location.) I was hoping to spend 7500 on reception+ venue alone but after shopping around, I feel like I was dreaming. Most places (hotels) start their buffet prices at 80/person and some don’t include the alcohol! Is 8K enough for the rest? (Dress, DJ/Band, invites, hair/makeup,photographer,rings etc.)
Where did you end up choosing Ms. Gremmlin? What was your budget? GAHHHHHHHH I’m looking forward to the day when everything falls into place…or is that never???
Post # 6
I ended up deciding against a wedding in the St. Pete/ Clearwater areas because it was just so pricey for the atmoshpere I was looking for.
This might not be what you’re looking for, but I really liked this place (though my Future Mother-In-Law would have been really upset if we went this casual) http://www.postcardinn.com/weddings-events/
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I chose the Florida Aquarium. Our total budget is about $15000, and we budgeted for 75 people, but only about 60 are actually coming. Lots of these places have “packages.” For instance, the Aquarium includes (chivari) chairs, tables, linen, cake cutting, champagne, bar… in a package. Ours is $64 per person. We’re having the ceremony and reception there. We’re getting married and hold the reception in the Coral Reef room, which has a floor to ceiling fishtank backdrop– so minimal decor is necessary. We also have a coordinator assigned to us, who we work with specifically. The downfall for us was the catering- we must use their caterer, We decided we’d deal with that. We chose th Aquarium because it’s our dream venue and it would be easy to plan from a distance. We worked with their preferred vendor list for the photographer, but branched out for the DJ and baker. I’m not so into flowers, so we’re just having them for our ceremony. All that said, for 70 folks, the “wedding package” with plated dinner the total is about $6000, plus $1900 to rent to Aquarium.
Sorry, that’s a lot of information!
It’s only recently all fallen into place. We’ve been concerned about paying for it (we’re doing it ourselves), but we’ve figured it all out and are now really happy with our decision, all drama aside.
My point is there are TONS of options where you don’t have bring everything in. Look for beautiful settings where you need little decor. You do have time, so just visit all the places you can think of. Getting in to these places for free was awesome too 🙂
Post # 8
OH don’t worry about the abundance of information!! It helps!! I have been looking to spend 130/person at some places so getting info from you bees on here has shown me that 60+/person is completely do-able!!!! Your budget is very similar to mine, thus I’m happy to see that you are making out just fine for the other items for your wedding. It surely gives me hope! thank you!
Post # 9
I’m getting married in tampa on the 5th of Nov. 2011!!10 more days!!
My recommendation is the Columbia Restaurant in St. Petersburg! Their Prices are super reasonable & it has gorgeous ocean views!! Check it out!
Here is a link:
I was going to do the columbia in ybor city & it came out to be about $22 a person (mind you, thats just food & drinks & location, tables & standard white linens.) So that would leave you plenty of room to splurge on other items like chivari chairs (btw, anywhere here in tampa, these would run for about $7 a piece + 200 delivery fee, i got mine from Brelex Rentals in Miami for $3.50 + 200 delivery fee.) Its really an incredible deal!
Also, feel free to PM me for vendors!!
visit my facebook page, I have some vendors there!
I make personalized wedding hangers & I know MANY vendors 🙂
Good luck & welcome to the tampa bay area!! 🙂
Post # 10
The Rusty Pelican is a beautiful weddig venue. They also have packages.
Post # 11
Hi! I’ve seen your reviews on the Columbian and I can agree, their food is amazing, we went to St. Pete with family and we were all very impressed. My Fiance is puerto rican/columbian THUS we love SPANISH food!! My mother is filipino, (the philippines was colonized by Spain for awhile) and a lot of the cooking I grew up with is centralized around this culture.
How flexible are they? do they have different packages? Can you have your cake made by someone else and brought there? How does alcohol work? As this is a restaurant, how do they do dancing for the reception or a DJ/band? Is there room for that? You said you ordered chairs and that would be something I would love to do….how does that work, do they set up or are you responsible? and cleaning up/take down of the reception? SORRY i’m so NEW to this all!!!
I was thinking about the clearwater location, since we wanted to be by the water. Well this could turn our to be a great deal if the prices are similar from location to location…I could do SO much more with my wedding on a 15K budget! Also, how much is it per person for dinner? I noticed you were doing a brunch ( I think that was you, not sure)
Post # 12
Davis Island Garden Club, Clearwater Sailing Center, St. Pete Community Center…totally do-able on that budget. St. Paul’s is in downtown St. Pete and much closer. It’s not a cathedral, but still gorgeous!
Post # 13
Totally bummed:( wanted the Columbia in Clearwater but they only seat up to 70 ppl and it’s not a private room. I liked the ybor location due to its private facility but I wanted a location near the water. The st. Pete is in the pier and I doubt they have a private room, we ate there once and it’s only on one floor of thepierre so I doubt they can fit close to 100 people….do you bees know of another near the water location/restaurant that could work?? I will look into your suggestions g8torbride.
Post # 14
Anyone ever do or heard of Starlite Cruise weddings? The price seems manageable, just want to know if anyone had any experiences. Thanks!
Post # 15
I attended a wedding on a Starlite cruise and it was lovely. The view was great, the officiant did a phenomenal job, and the food was out of this world. I have never before in my life gone back for seconds on a buffet at a wedding (you don’t usually want to), but I went back for 2nds on salmon! The bride/groom seemed stress-free and everyone had a good time. Plus, with the boat, no one worried about staying too late/leaving early.
Also, my first wedding was at the Florida Aquarium, so more than happy to share my experience there.
Post # 16
I think I may have the answer to your prayers! I am getting married on the beach in February and having our reception at the St. Pete Beach Community Center. http://www.spbrec.com/facility-rentals/ Yes, it is a community center, but it is beautiful, on the intercoastal and CHEAP! I, too, wanted a place on the water that takes care of everything, but the budget was more of a priority.
We chose to go this route and get a coordinator who also is really affordable. Check out Sue from Suncoast Weddings. (It used to be called Allen Weddings) http://www.allenweddings.net/home.html She has LOTS of experience, great reviews and has been nothing but amazing for my fiance and I. Again-she is affordable!
My FI’s mom is a former caterer so she recommended a company she used to work with. They are the most affordable we found anywhere and obviously came with the highest of recommendations. Another friend booked them after we did! Check out Spotlight Catering. http://spotlightcatering.com/weddings.htm $43/person for cocktail hour, full dinner, open bar, china, linens, and service charge! You really can’t beat them. AND…the food is excellent!
I was really overwhelmed in the beginning, too. I hope this helps. Good luck!