Post # 1
I am just getting started looking at venues. It seems to me like this is impossible to do without also considering the caterer as well, since so many places require you to use their in-house catering. If I decide I definitely want to choose an off-site caterer, that would knock quite a few places off my venue list.
In your experience, does going with the in-house catering cost significantly more than finding your own off-site caterer would? Or are there some good deals out there for the venue and food all rolled into one?
I would LOVE to be able to go with a family style or plated option rather than buffet, but I’m not sure if I will be able to do that more easily/inexpensively with an in-house or off-site caterer…
I am 99.99% sure that whatever we decide, we will be providing our own alcohol, so that expense isn’t factored into this question.
Thank you so, so much for any advice you have for me!
Post # 3
Anyone?? I could really use some advice! It might be a stupid question but I am new to planning and don’t have anyone to help!
Post # 4
I am having a small wedding, so I our planning would be very different.
id say it depends on what your flexible on more, food or venue.
a lot of places do great deals, but be carefull some places will cater for 100 or 150 and if you have 110 guests they will still charge for the 150.
If your worried about the pennies how about you do buffet desert and just have a more formal main?
not everyone will want desert, and it means after the meal, everyone will talk and mingle
hope I helped, as I said small wedding plans haha 🙂
Post # 5
@Rabbit56: forgot to add, outside caterers in my experience would cost a little more, you would also have to query about servers because because that could add the cost up too. We didn’t ask, but the lady sure wanted to stick it on the bill!
if you fall in love with your venue, I’m sure you would find a caterer to match, weddings are huge business, they will bend the rules if you want them too!
Post # 6
In my experience a plated option is more expenssive with outside catering. We booked an outside catering company but we are having buffet style. I encountered many venues that had the options you are looking for at reasonable prices; plus it included other things such as linens, cake, oh and drinks :/
What type of alcoholic drinks are you going to purchase? Many venues said they allowed beer, champagne, wine, but no hard liquor.
Post # 7
The best way to approach finding a venue is to start by creating a guest list. It doesn’t have to be exact, but get a rough idea of how many people you’ll have. The number of guests plays a role in which venue is right for you.
Next. what style of wedding are you planning? If you want something vintage, then a woodsy barn or park shelter might be ideal, but a ballroom would be pointless.
Figure out how much money you want to spend on food and alcohol. The cost of your own caterer vs in house varies. If you’re thinking BBQ catered by an area food truck, it’s very different than filet mignon.
At this point, don’t limit yourself on what venues you look at. It may be that a place that has in house catering will suit you perfectly and that they’ll let you bring in alcohol or cut you a great deal. Also, be aware that someplaces where you bring in a caterer, only let you bring in one of their “preferred” (translation, expensive) caterers.
Start searching online. Ask friends and family. Do a broad search and narrow things down from there. You can worry about buffet vs plated or family style as you narrow down your prospective venues.