(Closed) Planning an Engagement Party for 20-25 people – rooftop

posted 4 years ago in Parties
Post # 2
Member
9442 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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akshali2000 :  we do this for milestone birthdays and it’s not too hard. Call around to a few places you like to see if they can accomodate you and if they have a catering menu (so you aren’t ordering a million tiny app plates off the regular menu). Ask what restrictions they have on decorations. Ask if you’ll be able to have a fully private space or just a roped off section if that matters to you. I really don’t think you need a party planner for something like this. We’ve been able to do this for a few hundred dollars in Boston, although we don’t really go nuts on decor. Especially if you start after dinner time and make it just a cocktail party with some snacks it doesn’t need to be terribly expensive. It will also allow people to mingle more than a dinner. 

Post # 3
Member
566 posts
Busy bee

Just curious, will your friends be flying in for this? Many people wouldn’t travel for an engagement party.

Post # 4
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742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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akshali2000 :  DC on a Saturday night? That’s rough and going to be costly. I used to live out there and now live in St. Louis. For 30 people I was quoted $3,000 for the space and $1,000-$3,000 min food and drink order for almost every place we called for our rehearsal dinner. I can’t imagine how much more it would cost in DC. We didn’t do this, but had both our friends over to his house when we knew we were serious. 

Post # 6
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9442 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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akshali2000 :  oh and don’t mention it’s for an engagement party or you’ll probably get higher quotes. The second some vendors hear anything related to a wedding the price skyrockets because they know they have a client who is going to be more particular and take up more of their time. If you can keep it simple, make decisions and stick to them, and not freak out if the shrimp skewers come out 2 minutes behind schedule then there is no need to pay the wedding premium. 

Post # 7
Member
10306 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

If you have alcohol you either need to serve a meal or have heavy appetizers. Not what you asked but just an FYI

Post # 8
Member
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I think this sounds like such a fun idea! Just call and email some places that you like. Don’t be afraid. You might be surprised at the costs. And ask for Friday nights as well if lots of your invitees are local. 

Maybe there are some restaurants or venues that are not rooftop but on a higher floor with city views? Open up your options if the rooftop locations are too pricey. Your friends will be happy to attend either way. This sounds like it will be a very happy event!

Post # 9
Member
2869 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

One of my friends looked into something like this for her husband’s 30th birthday a couple of years ago.  Just to give an idea, for a downtown rooftop, Saturday night, the total was close to $5,000.  For the couple of places she looked at, you had to rent out the whole rooftop so that’s part of why it was so expensive.

What she wound up doing, and what my husband did for our engagement party, is have it at a restaurant without a rooftop and got a small, private back room.  She had soda and beer for free and if someone wanted a mixed drink they paid cash at the bar.  I think she said it was close to $800 with everything.

Post # 10
Member
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Montego Bay, Jamaica

That sounds SUPER expensive. Would you consider reserving a room at a nice local restaurant instead? Then have everyone order whatever they want and you guys pick up the tab. You could decorate the table ahead of time too!

Post # 11
Member
184 posts
Blushing bee

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akshali2000 :  Im not from the DC area or else Id love to help! It sounds like it will be a beautiful night! Congratulations on your enagagement – please let me know how it goes 🙂

Post # 13
Member
729 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Montego Bay, Jamaica

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akshali2000 :  some restaurants will have a separate room for parties that size. You will have to call and ask! Sometimes you can reserve the whole patio, etc

Post # 14
Member
462 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

In my experience with restaurants with and without rooftops is that they charge you three main things: space, food and drinks.

Space is usually a fixed price that depends on things like: how popular the spot is and where is it located. Usually, if the place is a hot night spot it will be expensive. This is because they will probably charge you an estimated on what they would be gaining if you hadn’t host your party there -meaning: closing a space or with limited menu options. 

Food. Unless you rent an event room, chances are the restaurant/bar will ask you to cater with them (otherwise, you will need to find your own catering which could be cheaper or not). This will probably be a heavy choice, because you will need to guess just how much your guests will eat and if the food will be enough for the whole event. Appetizers might sound great, but if the party is meant to start at 7 and last past midnight, some guests might get very light weighted by then. A dinner would be much better -imho- and the restaurant/bar might offer a set of dishes that include entree, appetizer, main dish and dessert.

Drinks make for the most part of any restaurant/bar profits. That being said, most will pressure you for an open bar…but open bars can get pretty expensive really fast if you’ve people who enjoy their liquor. Cash bars are a better option, but many think of them as tacky. Having the option to bring your own drinks into the venue may be the best, but again, most restaurant/bars won’t allow it. It will be up to you to see how much are you willing to spend on drinks.

 

My advice is to call around and start a budget.

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