Post # 1
We’re not ready to book a reception yet (heck, we’ll be lucky to set and a date and be ready this winter when I’m back in the States and realistically COULD!), but I’ve been searching my town online for locations…
We’re not a very traditional couple, and will hopefully be having a very laid back, playful atmosphere at our reception.
Our chapel is on a college campus, like ten minutes from both our parents’ homes (up in Suburbia), and across the street there’s a hotel/conference center that has a ballroom the right size (up to 300 for meals, we’re inviting around 200), price range, etc. for our reception. Their catering is, more of less, in our price range, they offer the general type of food we want, J has been to weddings there before and assures me the food is good (of course I’ll do a testing this winter), they provide tables, chairs, linens, dishes, set up, tear down, AV hookups and mics for the DJ, a dance floor, and pretty much everything else I can think of INCLUDED. The cost is just a smidge over our budget. They ALSO have hotel rooms that I’m pretty sure we can get for about $90 a pop with a wedding group, which would help if our Out of Town guests decide to come (about 30% of the guest list), PLUS they do free airport shuttle pick up and drop off, which would save us the trouble. And it’s walking distance from the ceremony, so people wouldn’t need to rent cars, or get lost.
Sounds perfect right?
Except… we’re not the kind of couple who wants a ballroom at a nice hotel. We’re the kind of couple who wants the children’s museum downtown (checked, WAY too expensive) or a funky art gallery or something else totally different… I’m not sure we’ll find it on our budget though.
Should I keep pushing and pushing and pushing to find something? Or just accept that the practicality of the ballroom is too big to be overlooked?
Post # 3
I voted for that first option but it has stipulations =)
If you do the reception at this ‘traditional’ location, you still have tons of freedom to personalize! It definitely will take a lot of stress off to utilize an “all inclusive” place.
Eclectic can be fun, but keep in mind that non-traditional can add a lot of costs, too. In a place that may not usually host weddings, you may be ‘on your own’ when it comes to outfitting the place for your event.
HOWEVER, if you feel very strongly about having it somewhere else…you definitely can and should keep looking! Do you have anyone there (in town) that could scout out some more places for you?
Post # 4
I agree, I didn’t want to have the run-of-the-mill hotel ballroom either, but once you start looking at options you realize that there is a reason why many people choose to go this way – it’s way easier and more affordable once you factor in all of the hidden costs associated with an alternate venue. Definitely investigate other options and see if you can make it work, but krissycake is right – you can totally mix things up to make it your own!
ETA: also, think of your guests – which option would be best for them?
Post # 5
You sound a lot like me 🙂 I ended up picking my site based on practicality and budget. It wasn’t necessarily what I envisioned, but it ended up being the perfect spot. I realized that my perfect venue (I actually found it) had too many elements that would drive me crazy in the planning process (since I would have had to recreate the space). I wasn’t willing to shell out the big bucks to do so.
You have to think about what’s MOST important to you. There’s a lot more to a wedding than simply the venue. You can do a lot to a traditional ballroom to make it unique. I personally think the convenience to guests, etc. would be a major plus. But, if at the end of the day, the site doesn’t sit right with you and Fiance, then keep looking. (You may look and look and end up with the ballroom – but, at least you know you’ve exhausted your options). You also may want to check with the venue and see if they’d give you first right of refusal with your wedding date. That way, you can have a temporary hold on the site, while you keep searching. 🙂
Post # 6
I’m SURE you can find an offbeat location that will match the spirit of your wedding. You have time. Keep looking for an art gallery…. the zoo…. an old theater…. etc etc, whatever makes you happy!
Post # 7
It sounds too perfect to turn down!! I voted for the first option, but make sure to do your research before you commit to it. You can definitely add elements to make it more “you” and definitely make it different/memorable! You could even bring in art and display it in the ballroom??? 🙂
Post # 8
It’d be hard to say take out a loan. . . but if you have time I’d say keep looking. In the end though you have a good backup if you can’t find something with a little more funk that feels extremely right for you. If you have to settle you probably could find ways to make it unique, but for now I’d just keep looking.
Post # 9
I say keep looking, but also look at ways to jazz up and personalize the place you have found. There are tons of ways you could decorate the ballroom and add your own special touch to it.
Make sure it’s something you can afford. You don’t want to start your marriage way in debt.
Post # 10
i guess i’m a selfish bride, because i picked keep looking. i also had something a little untraditional in mind, and i knew exactly what i wanted so it was hard to find, but after months and lots of tears (i was convinced my venue in our little budget didn’t exist), i found it and i’m so so happy we did. yes, our guests will have to drive a little farther than i’m sure they’d like to, but it’s the price you pay for the venue of my dreams.
Post # 11
I voted for the practical choice…but that’s ONLY if you can’t finad another option thats more you and great for your guests at the same time. Good Luck!
Post # 12
While the children’s museum sounds fun, definitely don’t take out 20k to rent it out… it’s NOT worth the years of debt.
I voted for the practical solution you mentioned above. What about having your wedding a little earlier & then heading out to a bar or some other off the wall venue for an after party??
I don’t know what you’re exactly looking for, but I thought I’d try to give you a different idea 🙂
Post # 13
Walk around and visit the locations (and any others you can think of). I found that stepping inside and walking around our reception location totally changed it for me. Try and picture what you could do with the spaces you look at and then decide. I think it really is worth it to get what you want and I understand not being the hotel-ballroom type (we aren’t either). Good luck and happy hunting!
Post # 14
Can you decorate the ballroom to provide the environment you are looking for? It just seems so perfect and All-inclusive venues are soooo stress free!
I think you can make your wedding unique and personal with the ballroom venue – its not the room it’s what you do with it that makes the wedding!
Post # 15
I voted for “keep looking.”
We live in a fairly major metropolitan area, yet most of the traditional wedding venues near us are really quite gross. Gaudy carpeting, gaudy chandeliers, blah blah blah, yawn. Nothing spoke to us. A couple of times we came pretty close to booking for a May 2010 wedding, but something told me to keep looking.
Then, by word of mouth, we learned of an historic house just across the state border. We went for a tasting and fell in LOVE with it. It’s perfect. It’s exactly what I’ve been hoping to find.
And what’s more, by having our wedding at the end of March instead of during the peak summer months, our per-person fee is $35 lower. Plus, we were able to negotiate them down $5 lower per-person. We booked that day.
Keep looking. You have time. We got engaged in August and are getting married in March. If you keep things simple — and it sounds like that’s what you want to do — then everything will fall into place.
Post # 16
I voted to keep looking! Are there any art colleges in your area? They may have a really cool gallery that you can rent out, also try museums owned by the state, usually they are more cost effective than renting from a privately owned entity. If you are quirky then I definitely say keep shopping around to make your wedding YOUR wedding with all of the quirkiness on showcase!!