Post # 1
I’m on the budget to end all budgets and I’m starting to run out of ideas for places to look at, mostly for the reception. Specific places in Georgia, Alabama, and north Florida would be great, but even general ideas are awesome too. Right now, my guest list is sitting comfortably at 32. FH says he doesn’t want to elope, so that’s not an option.
Post # 3
That’s a HUGE area you have open there. Any specifics to narrow it down, or are you really open to anything in 3 states?
(I lived a long time in 2 of those, so I could help on a few specific places, but they may be too rural for you)
Post # 4
What are you looking for in terms of what’s important to you in a space? What is inexpensive (or what’s your budget)? What sort of places have you looked at and ruled out and why did you rule them out?
Post # 5
A small group like that should help your options!
Community rooms – library, park districts, schools
Restaurants with private rooms, usually you just have to pay for food & bev
Churches – some will let you have it there even if you aren’t affilliated
What have you already looked at?
Post # 6
@ProfessorGirl: Rural is totally fine. I kinda like it actually, even though I’m from the suburbs. They make for some gorgeous pictures. And I’m definitely open to looking in all 3 states. If it comes down to it, I’d even be willing to go north.
@futuremrsk18: I’d like someplace I can have the ceremony and reception both at or at least within a few minutes drive from each other. A view would be really, really nice. Preferably beach, but I’m getting less picky about that part. My whole budget is about $2,500 not including my dress or photography, so most of it can go towards the venue.
@NAvery: Mainly hotels on the beach and private house rentals. A couple of the hotels haven’t gotten back to me yet. I’m crossing my fingers for the Hampton in Orange Beach, Alabama, which so far looks like it’ll be in budget, but I need a backup plan.
I’m planning to do a brunch reception too, if that helps at all.
Post # 7
Hmmm… I would say check around in North Ga where you have amazing mountain views – Woodstock and up to Young Harris. You might be able to book something in Brasstown Valley within your budget for so small a group.
In West GA, there’s the Pine Mountain, Roosevelt State Park, Callaway Gardens area. Roosevelt State Park in particular could be great.
I lived in ATL until I was 10, but then my family moved to rural south GA. Not so much for views 🙁 but there are some gorgeous lakes and the Flint River has some great venues along it.
This will sound totally off the wall, but Opelika, AL has a very cool, historic downtown with some very cool venues (restaurants and clubs). I lived there for a while.
I went to a lovely garden wedding while I lived there, I remember only that it was west of Auburn. While looking for the name I stumbled on this list of Alabama gardens: http://www.ilovegardens.com/Alabama%20Gardens.htm
A more general possibility is to check college campuses – many of them, esp. private schools, have chapels where you can have a service, and then there are dining and conference facilities for a reception. The food cost is way under what you’d pay a standard caterer, but the quality for receptions and such is still quite good.
Post # 8
@ProfessorGirl: Great ideas, thank you!
Post # 9
If you go to the Georgia state parks website, you can see a list of the parks that have group shelters for weddings. These places have kitchens, restrooms, and AC in some really gorgeous parks in Georgia. We’re actually looking into getting married at the group shelter in Watson Mill State Park. The prices vary based on the size and they’re all over the state. There’s a couple of places in Savannah that are really nice for cheap. Hope this helps a little!
Post # 10
@killakoala: It most certainly does! I’m partial to the beach and there’s several state parks right on the beach. Plus breakfast catering seems to average about $10 a head. Not bad at all.
Post # 11
Look for anywhere that has a meeting room. Community centers, small town halls, churches, rotary club, etc. Also, we’re having our welcome dinner at the hotel where we’re booking rooms and they’re giving us the room for free and letting us bring in our own food and drink! It’s a Best Western. The real key is to pick a not super fancy hotel that doesn’t have it’s own catering.
Post # 12
@JenGirl: I looked at churches last night and all of your other suggestions, and they all want ~$1,500. Ridiculous. But then again, nothing around here is small or cheap.
I think I’m going to go for the Savannah area. I found a venue that may or may not work (hopefully it does!), but found out that the catering prices in that area are surprisingly realistic. From an email I got, looks like Pensacola may also be an option.