Post # 1
I’m hoping maybe someone here may have an idea to help me with my situation.
My husband and I got married in a private ceremony in St Lucia on May 18th. We want to have a reception/party here for family and friends. The problem is that we have a small guest list (between 60-70 people) and that may even be pushing it. Everywhere I call has a minimum of 100 people, some even want 200! I don’t even know that many people. We live in Northern New Jersey. Has anyone had a small reception like this, and if so, where?
We were also thinking of maybe finding a nice restaurant and having it in a back room or something. But I was really looking forward to something a little more formal and traditional since my wedding was anything but!
Post # 3
@Pixie26: Find a restaurant you like, and ask what their minimum spend is for a buyout.
Post # 4
@Pixie26: Remember to check alternative venues- art galleries, assisted living facilities (many have gorgeous dining rooms), private clubs (do you have any family or friends whose memvership entitles them to book a facility)?
Post # 5
Our small wedding is at a non-traditional venue, it’s a professional club that has a beautiful turn of the century mansion. Top floors are offices but the main floor (dining room and front parlor) they use for different functions (mostly retirement parties). We rent it for the day, bring in any caterer we want, and we don’t have to worry about minimums or time limits.
Post # 6
I don’t think any of my family members have any kind of memberships at any clubs. A lot are extended family that my mom is insistent on inviting, even though I have never met them.
Using a non traditional venue is a great idea. I’m looking and seeing that some hotels like the Sheraton offer banquet style receptions and the minimum people required is only around 20.
Post # 7
We had 60 – 70 people at our reception. We had it at a fire hall which is advertised to hold 300 people, but the way we set it up, you really couldn’t tell. I think a lot of bees think a fire hall is tacky and cheap, but it is actually pretty common in my area. We then used a caterer that they had recommended.
Maybe check fire halls, Elks/Moose/American Legion, Masons, etc. I don’t know if it’s a regional thing, but some of those places around me rival traditional banquet halls. They also tend to not have a minimum head count and are smaller to begin with.
Post # 8
If you find a private club you like ask anyways even if you’re not a member. Sometimes they can get someone to “sponsor” you if needed. Have you looked at any Bed and Breakfasts? County/Town park rentals, small theaters? A lot of theaters don’t have performances in the summer and usually welcome extra income. Start looking around, even if they don’t advertise space rental, doesn’t mean they don’t do it. Sometimes the smaller places are really bad at advertising. Any private high schools? Some of the ones around here are gorgeous and are used to holding alumni events so they have resources for a wedding. Look for places that normally cater to businesses, they have space that’s free on weekends and nights. Let us know what you find!
Post # 9
We are having a small wedding [75 or less], and ran into this same problem.
We ended up looking into historical buildings & community buildings.. some parks have them for rent. They are also VERY cheap.
Post # 10
Thanks everyone for your great suggestions. I never thought of trying a bed and breakfast or a historical building. But I think I will do a search for some and see what i can come up with!
Post # 11
We bought out an entire restaurant for the night for our small wedding reception.
Post # 12
@Pixie26: Some restaurants are formal and they usually let you decorate the backroom the alternate ideas are great too.
Post # 13
I 2nd the restaurant reception.
Post # 14
We are having our 60-70 person wedding at a historic site/museum. There’s a beautiful historic building for the ceremony that looks like (but isn’t) a cathedral, and another pretty building/hall for the ceremony, with a kitchen. We can decorate starting Friday morning, have it all day Saturday, and remove all our stuff and guest cars (if necessary) by 9am Sunday morning. We get help with set-up and clean-up. All this for $1500! Unbelieveable.
Check out museums and historic sites!
Post # 15
Thanks to everyone for your replies. We have decided to do a cocktail reception at the Sheraton. It’s very elegant and is able to cater to our small party 🙂