Post # 1
So I paying for the entire wedding by myself. I am currently searching for a place to have a reception and I think I am in a bit of sticker shock. What is a "reasonable" amount I should be expecting to book a venue? Also, is it cheaper to go with a place where they let you provide your own caterer or to pick a place where they bundle it all up in one package for one lump sum?
Post # 3
It’s so hard to say, especially considering that what may be reasonable to one person is not to another. My feeling is that you are just going to have to do the footwork. Make phone calls and ask lots of questions. Don’t be afraid to tell vendors what your budget is and ask them what they can do to fit within it. Timing can be key too, have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday instead of Saturday or have an afternoon reception. There are a lot of ways to skim some expenses. Good Luck!
Post # 4
I agree with RIbride — the best thing to do is just call around and see what you can come up with. One thing to beware of is not to lock yourself into a great venue that only has out-of-budget caterers available. A lot of times venues will give you a list of approved caterers, so definitely check those out before you sign on the dotted line.
As far as rental fees go, I’ve seen places with no rental fee (just catering, etc.) all the way up to places that have $4000+ rental fees just for the property for the day. It depends what you’re looking for and what’s included. Also, it can’t hurt to get creative and think about using any available connections to work something out. We’re having our reception at a golf course, for example, because I worked there during college and the owners offered the property to us for free. We also considered having a home wedding because that would have been free, too, but when you tack on the "from the ground up" costs (tent, tables, chairs) it would have been cheaper to have it at a venue who inlcluded those things in their rental fee.
Good luck, and welcome to the Hive!
Post # 5
Also…beware hidden costs, i.e: is the dance floor extra, do you need any special permits, security, catering fee for your particular venue. All of these things can add up…trust me, I learned the hard way!
Post # 6
We too are paying for our wedding (a little help from the rents). Our reception is at a marina/yacht club outside. The rental cost is $800. This includes a lady to help get everything in order, tables, chairs, linens, place settings. We have to bring in our own caterer and their list of approved caterers is very broad. We do have to rent a tent and dance floor and either rent or purchase lighting. It’s actually adding up quickly but we knew that going in and especially with a tent rental!
Post # 7
My best advice is to be careful with the venue you choose — it’s the most important decision and it affects every aspect of your budget. Do a lot of looking at what other vendors you’ll need to hire, how far they’ll have to travel (and how much you need to pay for travel), and so on to get a good picture of all the related expenses before you decide on anything.
Another thing to be wary of is overextending yourself on account of your venue. It may seem tight but do-able, untill a lot of the unexpected expenses start adding up. I went with a less expensive option, and am so happy I did.
Post # 8
Pricing varies depending on where you’re at and what type of location it is. We rented out a huge building at our state fairgrounds and it was $300 for the day, which included a "move in" and "move out" day so we really got it for 3 days. Of course we had to rent everything but it turned out perfectly for us. I would try to check out places not everyone thinks of, like park halls or a nearby university, they usually have great ballrooms. We actually have a nice church at ours thats always being used and we have huge ballrooms available for receptions. Money was a big factor for us because we paid for everything but the catering, thank goodness my parents paid for that. Good luck and just do lots of research before you commit,
Post # 9
We worked backwards when we were in the early stages of planning. We decided how much money we were comfortable spending, then allocated budget based on that. Real Simple, theknot, Martha all have similar suggestions for what percentages to assign (like $60% for the reception, X% for attire, etc.) so it might be helpful to take a look at those and adjust based on your priorities.
A lot of restaurants don’t charge a rental fee as loong as you meet a food& beverage minimum. And as someone else mentioned, make sure to ask about extra costs like: cake cutting fee, linens rental, etc.
Post # 10
Ours is at the church, and we’re able to do it all free, but one thing I’d suggest is to pick up a copy of the book Bridal Bargains. My cousin got it for me for Christmas and it has saved me a TON of money. There’s even a guarantee in the front that if it doesn’t save you at least $500 on your wedding they’ll give you your money back. It’s awesome, and has some cool reception suggestions.
Post # 11
I would see what your city has to offer. I know in austin they have buildings in parks that you can rent out for pretty cheap.
I would do a restaurant where the food cost covers the venue charge. Also the nice thing about them is you don’t have to worry about decorating as much, but they will charge you for the dance floor.
Also check out places like http://www.lmra.org/Facility.aspx?pageid=5.