(Closed) Venue splure or save?

posted 12 years ago in Money
Post # 3
3579 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Ohhh thats a tough one – have you found vendors for everything else that you know will come in under budget?

Both venues seem really nice – i would choose the less expensive one remember the guests won’t know if you had a better choice and there are many areas that may also come in over budget!

Let us know what you decide!

Post # 4
6980 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Do you think that if you got the more expensive venue you could take money out of your decoration budget to make up the extra cost? Or would you be willing to sacrifice something else? 

I haven’t booked a venue yet but here is what I am thinking: Venue is pretty hugely important to me. It makes such a huge impression and sets the tone. If you love it and you can do it, I’d say go for it!

Post # 5
67 posts
Worker bee

I noticed that you commented the food is suppose to be nice. It is very important that you have a tasting first before signing a contract. You have to live comfortable after the wedding also keep that in  mind. FMrs.Martin Great points with the other vendors, create a spreadsheet with estimates for each vendor and know your limits.

Post # 6
1038 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think you just need to evaluate what is more important to you and allocate your wedding funds based on that.  For me, the venue was by far the most important part of the wedding and that is where the majority of our spending is going.  Percentage wise, it takes up a huge part of our budget, but I have been doing a great job so far in cutting costs on all the other things.  It is possible, I promise! 

Check out the book Bridal Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields.  It has so many great tips on ways to save money.  I’ve used it a lot to find ways to get great deals on other wedding items, since so much is being spent on the venue. 

Post # 7
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I think it depends on what your comfortable with. Our big splurge was our venue. We gave ourselves a 2 year engagement so we’d have time to save for it. We have had to cut back a lot in other areas-flowers, guest list, no favors, bar options-time, etc.. We both are still happy with our choice though. I’d take a step back and think, can we really afford this? If you can afford it by scrimping other places, will you still be happy with the overall look?

Post # 8
150 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@Tulip61110, you are exactly right. It’s about figuring out your own priorities and allocating your money accordingly.

Reception venue was, for me, really the most important thing. More important than dress, more important than photography. I want my guests to have a great time in a great place that has great food. We’ve secured a really iconic building in central London that actually came in lower than our other choices and exactly fit our budget for that part of the wedding. But I would have been willing to scrimp elsewhere to get the perfect place, because it was the top priority for me.

Post # 9
793 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Agh, we are going through the same thing right now…So I have no advice, but can def. sympathize!!

Post # 10
24 posts
  • Wedding: June 2010

I was in a similar situation about 4 months ago, and opted to reserve the more expensive venue. Glad we did. The background for the reception pictures were worth the extra cost alone. To offset the expense, we are nixing the wedding favors and cutting back on the ceremony flowers. Good luck!

Post # 11
21 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

i blew my budget for the perfect venue.  At the end of the day, I didn’t want to walk into my reception and be disappointed and think “I wish I had gone with X”.  That wasn’t worth any amount of money. 

Post # 12
343 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I think it’s all about what your priorities are. My FH and I had a list of things that were most important to us, and the venue and photography were at the top of that list, so those were the things we splurged on. We blew right past our budget with those 2 things, but I LOVE where we’re getting married, and I wouldn’t want it anywhere else.

Post # 13
276 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I agree it’s about the priorities and if you have your heart set on a venue, personally, if it is even within reach, given that you are willing to compromise on other items, I say go for it.   We went with the reception venue I loved, and took into account that it would need less decor, I’d do candles instead of florals everywhere, we’d do lighting but I’d cut out some stationary items, we are doing it all in location so there’s no need for transportation, extended the cocktail hour and cut the bar….

Marriage is about compromise and I believe it starts at the planning of the wedding.


Good luck!

Post # 14
29 posts
  • Wedding: November 2009

Please scrutinize the contract(s) very carefully before you choose. I’d hate to see you choose a budget-busting venue, only to find out too late that they’re going to nickel-and-dime you on every little thing ON TOP of the venue charge. (tables, chairs, linens, corkage fee, cake cutting fee, extra for required security, you must use our bar service and they’ll charge you 4X more than anyone else would for each drink, etc etc etc).

If you choose to go with the budget-buster you need to be absolutely certain that they won’t present you with any surprises later.

Post # 15
46 posts
  • Wedding: October 2009

Do you like the second choice or do you hate it? By The Way, the first choice is not perfect, because it’s $$$$! But, if it really is perfect, then you already know your answer 🙂

We had to choose between venues. Site A exceeded my budget (groom was blown away and wanted to expand the budget) and Site B was within the budget. Site A had dramatic bay views, beautiful space, no added decor needed etc. Part of unique but corporate hotel, service was going to be above and beyond. Required florist contract, but shuttles and cake contracting available, easy one stop shopping. Site B was a vineyard boutique hotel, more intimate and cozy, less capacity, known for food and wine. But ballroom really needed decor! I wanted B, Groom wanted A. We went with B and we’re both so glad we did. Site A was the “over the top” wedding option, so it might have been perceived as slightly pretentious or embarrassing. Site B was beautiful but it was more discreet, it had personality and I don’t think the guests would wonder how much it cost, it could go either way. We were all Out of Town, and as it turned out, our guest count was much smaller than anticipated (we would have been too small for Site A ballroom) and it was foggy that day (no view for all that money at Site A!!! Huge risk for this venue!). Truth be told, my compromise with groom was we’d have the rehearsal dinner at one of Site A’s smaller restaurants, so we’d have both venues somehow. We added a lot of extra vendors and upgraded “stuff” in the last few months of planning, and I’m not sure if we could have done them (funfun!) if we had already shot ourselves in the foot with the more expensive Site A. My experience is, there’s a lot of fun in embellishing. And there’s a good chance we would have gone overbudget anyway. If you’re going to go over budget, you may get more with your money if you start with your second $$$ venue than the most $$$$ venue. If you’re like me and might not always be as disciplined as you intend, you may decide that you don’t need a certain vendor today, but 2 months from the wedding you may decide that it would be a good idea to throw it back in. If we had picked Site A, it would have been very elegant, but it would have included a lot fewer details, and might have been less fun for me to plan because I would have had to skimp. Site B, I probably did overcompensate for not picking Site A, went overboard on embellishing Site B, but it included more personal details and choices that I spent too much time on, and it was fun. Skimping on Site A or embellishing Site B MIGHT have ended up costing about the same. But personally, I probably would have blown the budget at either venue, so it is better to exceed with the less expensive venue than to exceed the venue that already costs too much…

Not knowing your site, I don’t know how close of a choice you’re making. I really liked my Site B alternative and had a list of pro’s and con’s. Site A was more impressive and I had decision remorse after we signed the contract. In the end, our wedding was perfect! We both loved our Site B wedding, great party, no remorse, couldn’t leave, must go back for 1st anniversary. I really think you will be happy with your wedding no matter what, I think a bride can make any venue work. 

here’s a tip: negotiate contracts with both venues, see how far down they’ll go with their site fees and the cake. maybe you can get one venue to throw the cake in for free or waive cake cutting fees so you have the option to find a separate baker.

Post # 16
1144 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2022

can you post pics? So we can see how awesome they are?

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