(Closed) So frustrated! Reception halls catering and event minimums.

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
5496 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2010

I don’t have the catering minimum, but the hotel has a 120 person minimum starting in May-luckily they had one April date left for us! We are having 63 guests.

There isn’t another caterer you can use? Only this one?  Hope it works out!

Post # 4
Member
1566 posts
Bumble bee

I think minimums are fair – the venue is trying to make a profit, after all! We are having a smaller wedding and couldn’t even consider several venues we loved due to the minimum. We always expected that we’d need to do a Sunday event and did end up finding a gorgeous venue with an appropriate Sunday revenue minimum. 

We also encountered the exclusive caterer restriction at venues, which wasn’t fun, but we did end up finding a venue with an exclusive caterer we really liked. Out of curiosity, what are these specific dinner choices you’d like that no one has?

Post # 5
Member
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Have you considered a restaurant reception? This is what we’re doing for our 50-75 guest wedding. The restaurant has a minimum bill requirement, but the room max’s out at 80, so it won’t be unreasonable.

Post # 7
Member
191 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m having the exact same problem and it really is very frustrating! We are only having about 75 people but almost all the venues that I liked required a minimum of 125 ppl through May-September and that’s frustrating to me because I wanted an outdoor area and my whole idea was to have a light summery wedding. It really sucks and I still don’t know what I’m going to do so I’m sorry but I don’t have any advice, just wanted to say that you defintiely aren’t the only one facing this problem.

Post # 9
Member
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Have you thought about looking at less traditional venues?  Places like civic centers or old theaters generally have less rules.  Most of the off-the-beaten-path venues have fewer rules and cost less as well.  We found that traditional venues in our area cost twice as much or more as non-traditional venues.  Plus we can bring in whatever caterer we like, no problem.

Post # 10
Member
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think overall you may have to realize there may not be a perfect venue out there for you.  You need to decide what is most important to you.  Do you want the dual space but maybe not the BBQ?  It stinks but such is life.

Post # 11
Member
2703 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

my venue had a minimum spend amount, but no minimum limit on the number of people

Post # 12
Member
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I came across this problem too and I agree it is frustrating. I am doing an outside wedding ceremony in a beautiful public garden (free) and then having the reception in a hotel banquet room 30min drive away.

I know this isn’t ideal but it was the only way we could get the wedding we wanted as all of the dual venues (outdoor and indoor space) had a min requirement.

Would this be an option for you guys? Hotels often have smaller banquet halls as well as larger ones and so they do not have minimums for the smaller halls. Because of being in a hotel we also got the all-inclusive option (including hotel for the night of) which ended up being VERY cost effective 🙂

Good Luck! Just be creative and keep hunting and you will find something you will love!

Post # 13
Member
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

My venue has a 125 person minimum for the room we are using, which I am hopeful we will hit. Since we’ll pay for it anyway…But I found that was common.

If you and your Fiance have very specific thoughts about what food you’d like to serve, perhaps looking for a venue that doesn’t offer catering might help?

Is there a park somewhere in the area that you might be able to set up a picnic? Or do you know anyone with a yard large enough for a tent for your reception?

Post # 14
Member
1940 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I found that some places were more relaxed about minimum for Friday night vs. Saturday night events if you specifically ask them.  I’m not sure if it’s where I’m located/ where I actually looked/ or if that’s common elsewhere.  

 

Also, I found a place that had a minimum (that we would never meet) and when I discussed that with the owner, he basically said that we would have to pay for the minimum number of people (150), but if we only had 70 guests, all the money that would have gone for the food etc for the 80 guests that weren’t actually in attendance would go toward extra things we wanted (i.e. extra hors d’oeuvres, ice sculptures, etc.).  Basically they would still get their money for the event, but we would have a bunch of extras “thrown in” (although we were really paying for it).  Maybe something to consider.

Post # 15
Member
2681 posts
Sugar bee

Minimums are common, especially for Saturday nights at popular venues.  Can you try talking to the caterer that they use and see if they can do a custom menu for you?  You may not like what is on the menu they offer, but they might be able to come up with something just for you that you love.  It doesnt hurt to ask…

Post # 16
Member
1403 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I agree!  A lot of venues expect you to cram a lot of people into one small room.  What I’ve found is that hotels and halls have guest mininums and food/beverage minimums.  However, restaurants usually don’t.  I ended up booking with a restaurant that allows us to use their enormous banquet hall if we have anywhere between 20-200 people.  Not to mention their banquet hall was much less crowded than those run-of-the-mill rooms you find at hotels.

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