Post # 1
Hi everyone…newly engaged and over the moon 🙂
My fiance and I want to have a wedding but we would be paying ourselves and we don’t have much money. I want to do something extremely budget friendly but nice. I would love an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception at the same venue with about 80-90 guests. I would like to spend no more than $10K for the whole thing. Is this possible in the DC/MD area?
Any sugguestions for venues and/or vendors or ideas in general would be appreciated.
Post # 3
@purple_orchid: Welcome to the Bee! Yes, it’s totally doable, but you may have to go for a drive. My first wedding was in the DC area at a B&B. It was beautiful and amazing with utterly delicious food. However, it was a bit of a drive, over an hour from DC. We also had a Wednesday night wedding, so that cut down on costs a lot. For the kind of wedding you described, I would highly recommend a B&B or winery.
Have you thought about a Sunday late morning ceremony with a lunch reception? It would cost less. You could cut out a full meal altogether and go with an appetizers and dessert reception.
Post # 4
if you do an “off season” wedding, prices are generally less. i see that you have september up as your wedding date. so you should be safe. i know that weddings between april and august always cost more.
HisMoon has a good point. if you did a sunday lunch reception, your costs would be lower. i know that our original plan was a sunday wedding, and the costs were less than a saturday wedding, purely because we were choosing sunday.
Post # 5
@HisMoon: Thanks that is an interesting idea to consider. I am a little sticker shocked, but maybe that would help. Would you mind sharing where your wedding was held?
Post # 6
@colorofmyheart: THanks for the advice. This may seem like a silly question but I am new at this. Did you have drinks/dancing at your lunch reception? I’m not sure if people are less likely to dance during that type of reception.
Post # 7
@purple_orchid: we haven’t gotten married yet, we changed our plans.
however, to answer your question- i’d not have as many drinks at a lunch reception. maybe just do beer and wine if you want to do lunch? and sure, people will dance. i’ve been to lots of afternoon events where people danced.
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Just to note, September is the MOST popular month for weddings in this area. If you really want September, you need to get a move on. I don’t want to scare you, just encourage you to not dally, as that month really books up quickly.
Also, be open to non-Saturday options. Many places have Saturday minimums that make things difficult. Friday and sunday minimums are usually much more reasonableS
Now for venue recommendations….. Hebron House in Howard County, MD; Inn at Brookeville Farm in Montgomery County, MD; The Comus Inn in Montgomery County, MD; The Tidewater Inn in Talbot County, MD (over on the Eastern Shore); and Linganore Winecellars in Frederick County, MD all come to mind.
Post # 9
@purple_orchid: Sure thing. My wedding was at Antrim 1844 in Taneytown, MD. Working with Keith, the coordinator, was awesome and fun. The food is amazing.
Another option is to have the wedding on a river cruise boat. You’d get some pretty iconic places as backdrops for photos, and it’s definitely off the beaten path. To be honest, I don’t remember what the costs are like, but I remember considering them when I was planning back then.
Post # 10
@purple_orchid: In my experience, no, it’s not possible to have a wedding of that size for under 10k in this area.
Restaurants seemed to have the cheapest per person prices but with a group of our size, most didn’t have room for us to have a sit down meal and dance floor without a buyout. Brunch/lunch buyouts are cheaper but with all of the other wedding costs would still put you over 10k. You may want to consider a cocktail reception at a restaurant so that you could get a private room.
Also, most restaurants didn’t have an area where we could have the ceremony so renting a ceremony space, or having the ceremony at our church and then paying for transportation, was an extra cost.
You may want to look into parks department facilities in Farifax and Prince Georges county. Both have beautiful spaces where you can have both the ceremony and reception for a relatively low cost for this area and you can bring your own caterer and alcohol, which really keeps costs down. These facilities book up really far in advance. I don’t know if you could keep the budget to 10k with those but you could definitely do it for under $15k.
If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message. We’re expecting ~85 guests and are also paying for the wedding ourselves so I did a lot of research on this before booking our venue. We decided to have a lunch reception on a Saturday in Alexandria. We’ll have beer and wine (not a full bar) and a DJ…so I’m expecting people to dance!
Post # 11
You can definitely do it! Try MOntgomery county and PG county parks and planning they have some great venues that are very reasonable. Catering is going to be the biggest killer, but your price bracket is more than doable. I spent 15K on 125, and I splurged on food in Silver Spring.
Post # 12
I don’t know if anyone mentioned Quiet Waters park in Annapolis already. My friend got married there last year. They did their whole wedding for $5000. They didn’t do anything really fancy, just a short ceramony outside and then a long reception in one of the buildings on the property. They kept the price down by not having any flowers or decor. They went the iPod route for music. Very simple, but very them.
Post # 13
@purple_orchid: You may want to take a look at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant. Here is the link – http://www.mountvernon.org/visit-his-estate/plan-your-visit/mount-vernon-inn/private-events
I had my wedding and reception there. They have an outdoor garden with a tent over it for weddings. If you don’t want amplified music, you can get away with just renting out the garden and enough rooms for your party. The food is amazing and all of our guests really liked Mount Vernon. Also you can choose to do drinks by consumption or open bar. We did ours with beer and wine. The catering managers there are very easy to talk to and great at running the numbers. They have events there all the time and they’re pretty good about letting you know if something will work in your budget.
Also if you or your fiance is connected to the military, you should look at one of the Officers Clubs. Fort Belvoir and Fort McNair both have Officers’ Club. You can have your reception there if you’re a dependent or if you’re a DoD Civilian.
Post # 14
@purple_orchid: Yes its possible. try doing a lunch reception where most of the food is the same as dinner but $10-25 less. And maybe a private restaurant room or a small restaurant you can rent out for lunch. I’m having my reception at Darlington House in their private party room. It comes with chairs and linens and cost about $40 per person for lunch/dinner plus their min to spend is easy to meet.