Post # 1
I need the help of the highly informed bees. Will we be able to have our reception in DC proper or very closely outside (we are looking for a modern city feel) for $65pp?
My initial feeling is no, but I am new to this wedding planning thing.
Post # 4
how many people? i’m guessing $65pp should include food, hors d’oeuvres, and bar? does it need to include the venue fee too?
Post # 5
I agree that it’s hard to say without knowing how many people, and if you’re flexible in terms of nights of week, times of day, what kinds of food you serve, etc. I think that it would be doable, but not necessarily at a “traditional” venue at on a “traditional” Saturday night. It also would make it easier if you were flexible on what kinds of food you served, what kinds of alcohol you served, etc.
Just to give you some example numbers, I got married at the Tabard Inn in DC. I spent a little over $90/head for food and drink for a Saturday night wedding with a full meal, appetizers, and an open bar. However, I could have done it at the same place to closer to $65/head (pre- tax and tip, at least) by changing the meal to the afternoon or by having heavy appetizers instead of a full meal, restricting the bar, and/or skipping the appetizers with the full meal. My venue’s base price for just the meal (no appetizers, and bar paid for by consumption) is $55/head for a full dinner in the evening, but $38/head for a lunch reception or $25/head for a “cocktail reception.”
You’d also want to take venue fees into account. If you can find a cheap caterer, you’d want to make sure that you’re not pairing them with an expensive venue that eats up the difference. Good luck!
Post # 6
We are looking at 145 people. The $65 per person would have to be all inclusive (rental fee, food, bar, cake). We are flexible with times of day. We are open to Friday and Sunday (but prefer Friday). The kinds of food we serve is flexible but we wouldn’t want a casual meal, BBQ or potluck anything like that.
@doingathing: thank you for the details. Was there dancing there? Or only a meal?
Post # 7
Tabard can’t hold 145 people.
I have no recommendation because I didnt really look many places, but I know Tabard can’t handle that many people, unfortunately.
Post # 8
@NJmeetsBX: We are ending up paying something around $70/person (for 125 poeple), but only for all food, non-alcoholic beverages, personnel, serveware, and linens. Our caterer allows us to provide our own alcohol, which we haven’t bought yet, but FH’s parents will be covering that and I think finding a caterer that will allow you to provide drinks is a big plus. Many caterers I have found do allow that. Since our venue is a historic home, we must pay an additional fee for the venue as well- I’m not sure what you mean about rental fee- just equipment or venue as well? Also, for a cake, we are going with cupcakes… $1.65/cupcake versus $6 or $7 a slice…. and you can still get a small tier or have someone make you a small cutting cake.
This area is REALLY expensive, I am from Ohio and planning a wedding in Alexandria, VA… but I think I have found some relatively good deals and hopefully you can find exactly what you want for what you want to pay. I will say I’ve had to compromise on a few things, like spending a little extra for tasty food, and attempting to DIY other things instead, but it’s all about whats really important to you!
Post # 9
Where’s your wedding going to be? I’m from NYC and chose to get married in NoVa beause it was SO much cheaper. I was looking at around $200pp in Brooklyn. 🙁 Ridic!
Post # 10
have you looked at the washingtonian wedding guide? it was my favorite dc resource. i think almost all of my vendors came either directly from there or through referrals from vendor they list…
if you want the per person cost to include a venue fee, you’re most like looking for a hotel or restaurant, right? in their listings for hotels, only tabard inn and the inn at little washington come up in your price range, but they have smaller capacities than you’re looking for. if you look under their category for rehearsal dinner spots, it says maggianos in friendship heights has a huge ballroom and prices are only $38 and up. or old ebbit grill might work. there are other options listed too if you’re doing a standing room style reception…
Post # 11
We are having our ceremony/reception at Hollin Hall. It has a nice outdoor garden, a historic mansion, and also a church/chapel all on the property, giving you lots of options for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Where and when is your wedding? Ours is going to be July 30, 2011.
Post # 12
Try looking at some all-inclusive sites, like the Grand Atrium in Tysons or the Atrium at Treetops in MD. If a place doesn’t list their prices on the website, just email them – 90% of venues have emailed me back with a cost sheet within a day. The DMV has a lot of historic properties that seem cheap to rent (only $1000) but then you have to supply a tent, tables, linens, china, etc – so watch those additional costs. Also, if anyone in your family or extended family belongs to a Country Club, those can end up being a pretty good deal.
Good luck! I’m pretty much in the same boat as you are, so feel free to PM me if you want to swap venue ideas!
Post # 13
@NJmeetsBX: Whoops, I did not keep up with this thread! As jindc said, the Tabard Inn cannot hold 145 people. It’s a tiny venue that can only hold a max of about 60, unfortunately. For other bees who may be interested, though, you can have dancing at the Tabard Inn! We used two rooms, and had the ceremony/dancing in one and dinner in the other.
Post # 14
I am getting married on Quantico Marine Corps base in the Officer’s Club in a couple of weeks in Virginia and our venue is $86 pp. This includes: the venue and equipment, cake, food, DJ and 3.5hr open bar. It is going to be REALLLLY hard to find what you want included in the price for $65 pp. If you cut your guest list down tremendously, you could probably get away with that in a restaurant… but I really doubt it. When I was looking for places I went as far south in Virginia as Fredericksburg and Culpeper, through DC and even up to Columbia, MD and everywhere in between. If a place was VERY cheap, there were usually reasons.. and not good ones!
Are you or your FH’s parents military or retired? Or uncle or grandparent even… The different military installations in the DC area have some BEAUTIFUL officer’s clubs you can rent out.
Or you could consider renting a county facility. Montgomery County, MD has a lot of really pretty buildings you can rent out, but you usually have to supply everything else, and catering can get very expensive. I would say for a caterer alone, you are looking at $50+ pp not including linens, tables, chairs, etc (or limited amounts of these).
Hope this helps!