Post # 1
- Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center
We’re only just starting the process of venue searching…and it is really surprising to me that a lot of venues require you to have their own catering and cake . I didn’t realize, is this very common? I was really looking forward to going cake tasting to different bakeries with Fiance. And as for food, our families are South Asian as well as have dietary restrictions, so we were kind of planning on having majority Indian food. I know that there are large banquet halls that specifically cater to South Asian weddings, but we were kind of hoping for a golf club or somewhere with a view of something pretty, but these often don’t allow outside food 🙁
Any tips? For background, we are looking for a venue accommodating 250-300 people in suburban Chicago (western suburbs preferred).
Post # 2
i find it pretty common for venues to have their own catering.
unless you just rent a hall or outside space where you can bring in your own catering.
do you have any upcoming bridal shows you can attend in your area?
or find a catering company you like and see which venues they have worked with.
Post # 3
I would try reaching out to the caterers you like, and then asking them which venues they have worked that. That might help speed up the venue search. But in general, yes most venues (especially nice ones) will not allow outside catering.
Post # 4
If you use a venue like a golf club that probably has their own restaurant, I think it’s pretty common that they will insist on catering your wedding, including the cake. If you go somewhere like a botanical garden or one of those “wedding factories” (i.e. a beautiful country estate that is basically just rented out for weddings all the time), you can probably pick your own caterer, though likely will have to use a list of approved vendors. We got married in a botanical garden and could choose from a list of about 12 “approved” caterers and cake makers.
Maybe rather than starting by looking for venues, you could work backwards by reaching out to some Indian caterers you like first and asking them to suggest pretty outdoorsy venues where they’ve worked before?
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
When I was researching it depended on the venue. The initial country club we booked last year didn’t allow outside food (kind of a bummer, food was mediocre), cake or alcohol. The golf course we recently booked in the same area provides catering (which we don’t mind since the food is really good) but allows cake to be brought in and doesn’t charge a cutting fee. I like tiffanybruisers idea above. 😊 That sounds helpful for your situation.
Post # 6
As a PP said, work backwards. Find a caterer and see who they have worked with in the past.
This is very common. Most venues want you to either use their in house catering, or preferred caterers.
For our venue, if we use a vendor outside of their preferred, we have to pay the venue 20% of that bill.
Post # 7
most country clubs insist on using their own caterers. I have better luck with garden, outdoor venue (that has indoor areas too), and government space – like preservation society buildings.
Post # 9
You can pretty much (99%) cross of any place with its own restaurant or serves food. Unfortunately they will usually only rent out the place with a minimum of F&B and of course you’d have to use theirs.
Even a lot of hotels wont let you =/ I’ve only ever been to 1 indian wedding that was in a hotel, and it was in a very ‘indian’ area so they did serve indian food, but the venue cooked it. All the others have been at specific places caterered to/for indian weddings.
I like the idea of working backwards too, great suggestion by PPs. Also, if you join your local wedding FB pages you might be able to post the query there and get some answers from local peeps whove had weddings in the area.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2017 - The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek
You could also look into parks. We’re renting a lodge owned by our county parks and rec, and it’s perfect for what we want. We’re using all of our own vendors.
Post # 11
look beyond the standard “wedding venues.” I was in a similar position as you & really didn’t want our venue dictating everything. We found a historic building that doesn’t often do wedding receptions and I could use all the vendors that I wanted 🙂 search for alternative venues. Maybe a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Oak Park, IL? I know there’s one that has gorgeous weddings. A beautiful church with a big yard for a tented reception? A park? A museum or public library? Good luck!
Post # 12
i’d say it’s about 50/50. if you’re looking at clubs, hotels, or inns, then it’s likely they have their own caterers. if you want something where you pick your own caterer, then you need to look for a different kind of venue – barns, parks, halls, historic mansions, etc.
Post # 13
- Wedding: June 2016 - Biltmore Estate
I am not South Asian, but my husband’s family is. We had an Indian wedding in addition to our American wedding. I know that my in-laws found that many places that said they would not allow outside cake and food would allow so with some negotiation (either just asking or paying the venue an additional fee). I also know that some places will be willing to alter their menus to make some South Asian dishes (we considered having our American reception location do this). Feel free to PM me if you have questions!