(Closed) Reception Dilemma

posted 10 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
3 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

I actually think that your guest will more remember the "bad food", than the look of the ballroom. Can’t you style up the other room with some decoration? Candels? And all this stuff?

I can understand you that you wanna have your perfect room on the other side I would rather be able to pay more drinks for my guest.

Post # 4
596 posts
Busy bee

my personal preference is for a nicer venue.  with a nice venue, you spend less time worrying about how to decorate it and pretty it up.  the atmosphere is what the guests will notice first and deliver a "wow" factor. 

however, i hesitate to advise you to pick the expensive nice venue with unimpressive food.  it absolutely sucks to know you’re spending a lot of money for a lackluster dining experience! is it possible to bring in an outside caterer?  is there any way to dress up the cheaper venue so that the layout looks better?  draping and lighting effects can really enhance the look of a room.

Post # 5
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I am a small budget bride and I say go for the great food.  Yes, you can have the look, but think about people saying how just OK the food was – because you know you have that one friend or friend of the family or even family memeber who will come up to you (probably at the reception) and mention that the food is just OK.

You can rent get so many thing sto make the room so pretty and they aren’t all that expensive – have you thought about white lights all over and lots of candels and things like that?  Summer is a great time because there are so many fresh flowers for not that much money and maybe you could do nice center pieces and make everything pop that way?

But in the end – you need to go with that you want and with what you can afford – have you looked at any other "ballroom" venues?  Maybe you can find some other place that has the look and the food for a price in between??

Good luck!

Post # 6
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

I am also from the school of remembering food over venue.  I can tell you which weddings I’ve been to had horrible food, but I’ve never really considered any venues I’ve been to to be "shoddy".  Weddings provide great atmosphere in virtually any setting! 

If I were splitting up my budget, I’d want to put the most into entertaining the guests rather than setting and decor.  So if you can cut corners in venue and splurge a little more on food and drink, that would be great!

Post # 7
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

I vote for affordable restruant.

Post # 8
112 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Ditto affordable.  In addition to what everyone else has said, remember that the restaurant reception is also a little more unique so in addition to having good food & drink, it might be more memorable simply b/c it is at a restaurant.  I don’t think that you are being a bzilla.  If so, then I must be the worst b/c I can’t seem to commit to much of anything.  I had to remind myself that there are really only a few things that matter, having a good time and my guests having a great time.  Forget about the rest b/c I don’t think that anyone else will remember either. 

Post # 9
7 posts

I would definitely go for food and bar over venue… Those things really help people have a really good time.

I was struggling myself with this question recently, and I thought "but we need a great venue for great pictures!"… but then I looked around, and the best pictures I saw were of people, not of venues – and you can tell when the people are having  great time. I also realized that I could have my photographer take me to various venues for pictures, and go with a more low-key venue.

Just my two cents, good luck with your decision! 

Post # 10
2434 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

I say great food with smaller pricetag.  If the savings is significant and your financial situation doesn’t get worse, you can always spend some extra money to spruce up the venue.

Unless it’s a very unusual ballroom, it’s probably going to look like numerous other venues at which your guests have attended other weddings.

The small place might feel different and more intimate.

 Good luck!

Post # 11
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 1993

Regardless of which venue you choose, I’m sure your guests will have a great time. However, I think they might enjoy themselves more after a delicious meal and free drinks rather than "okay" food and only a free drink or two. I agree with the above posters; the people make the atmosphere!

Post # 12
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I agree that if you can, you should put more of your budget towards an overall enjoyable experience for your guests (in this case, the more "cozy" banquet room), rather than just selecting the location that would look the best (in the ballroom). 

My Fiance and I actually chose a smaller room that already had a character, rather than picking this beautiful big ballroom. We agreed that the ballroom, while elegant and grand, and technically a "blank slate" for whatever we could dream up, was also going to be a lot more expensive for us to "dress it up" and give it character. So although the blank slate was good, it was just going to be soooo costly to get it to look like more than a bare room. 

I think guest remember the "experience" the most! 

Post # 13
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

If you go with the cheaper venue you will have some extra money to spruce it up.  Plus you want your guest to have food that they can enjoy. 

Post # 14
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

No matter what you’re venue looked like, in the end people will remember the food you had. We had a low budget wedding and our reception building was nice but even now people still talk about how good the food was. I say go for the lower price with better food, decorating can go a long way if you do it right.

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