- 8 years ago
We have two venues in mind, and we go around and around in circles about which to choose. We really need to book one THIS WEEK (okay, we really needed to do it last week, but we couldn’t decide). So… can I type some pros and cons? And you can give me your thoughts? Because I’m not sure how else to proceed.
FYI: J and I have talked this to death, and not gotten anywhere. My mom has zero helpful input (she thinks they’re both too expensive and we should use the community rec center and have the reception on a trashy old dusty softball field. Yeck).
A trendy, italian restaurant with a banquet space in the back that can hold up to 200 (we’re cut our invite list down to 170 and expect about 120 of those to come, which is a HUGE cut from our original 250!).
(pro) The space is GORGEOUS, brick walls with lights and a cute open window bar area, two levels with a sweeping staircase.
(pro) Because it’s a restaurant the food is great, they can do a cash bar (paid bar is out of our budget), waitstaff etc are included but (con) we have to do our own decor (and I’ve got no room in my budget to hire someone).
(pro) It’s downtown in our boring little hometown, which we love.
(neutral) Available our second choice date; the chapel is still available that day (or was last week)
(neutral) They only occassionally do weddings, so haven’t treated us like a very high priority, but they do seem to know what they’re doing. The owner seemed a little offended when I said we were looking for a more budget friendly option than plated meals.
(con – the big one) Out of our price range though – a very basic 2 hour finger food spread would cost us $25/person + gratuity and tax, which puts us about $900 over our food budget. This is a special deal that the owner has offered us. Their regular dinners start at upwards for $50/person. Having the reception here will LITERALLY mean we are taking out a loan to pay for our wedding, above the amount my parents have generously given us. We are both uncomfortable with the thought of starting our marriage with wedding debt, since we are both still paying school loans as it is.
(con) Only one stall bathrooms – one men’s, one women’s, would be avaiable, and they’re down a kind of long hallway.
(con) Parking downtown is kind of expensive and our guests would have to pay their own parking (plus it can be hard to find the lots/ramps – our downtown is not the best organized)
Ballroom in the hotel on the college campus where our chapel is. The whole room holds up to 300 people, or 2/3 can hold 200 (and is $300 cheaper on the room fee).
(pro) They do tons of weddings and are super organized, and I know I could trust them completely.
(pro) The hotel on site will book us a block of rooms at $86/night, a better rate than we’re going to get anywhere else in town, if we do the reception there.
(pro) Everything is included, linens, colored napkins, centerpieces (mirrors, vases, candles, candle holders, table number holders, etc. and they will set up flowers if we choose to DIY them instead of hiring a florist for no extra charge), dance floor, etc. Also included is a beautiful lounge area outside the ballroom with couches and fireplaces! I wish that area were big enough for us all, haha.
(pro – the big one) Their plated dinners start at $15/person (!!!) including salad, bread, etc.
(pro) Available on our first choice date.
(pro) TONS of free parking; also within walking distance of the ceremony, and IN the hotel (which offers complimentary airport pick up and drop off), if Out of Town guests don’t want to rent a car.
(neutral) Their food is supposed to be pretty good. I didn’t have time to do a tasting, but J and my parents have all been to banquets there and all liked it.
(neutral) The entire campus is “dry” so we wouldn’t be allowed (or pressured) to have any alcohol. We’d probably have an earlier reception here and an afterparty at a bar later in the evening, with people paying their own tabs, but we would like some dancing and general happiness at our reception!
(con) The room is blah. Like, maroon-ish brown carpet and white walls. I don’t get why, since the hotel is really modern and beautiful besides that one room. No windows either, since it’s in the center of the building. In a word, it’s ugly (and boring).
(con) The college campus in question is where J went to school, which is why we chose the chapel (plus it’s pretty), but he’s been to dozens of formals, dances, weddings in the same space, and says they all kind of feel the same. He’s just not enthusiastic about the idea of doing it there.
Every time we talk about it, our conclusion is that Venue Two is the logical choice, even though we both LOVE Venue One, and J ALWAYS says, “It’s fine, let’s just book it then. It’ll be less stressful for you and we can make it our own.” but he’s not really happy (I can see it in his eyes) and later he’ll bring it up again. We both feel like we must be missing some secret way of making the first venue work with our budget, even though it doesn’t.