Post # 1
I was recently engaged this past July and my fiancée and I are trying to do the impossible: plan a wedding in the Chicago metropolitan area for under $10,000. Fortunately, there are a few things working for us:
* We’d like to have the ceremony in the northern or western suburbs.
* We have ~2 years until when we’d like to have the wedding (September 2014)
* We may also be able to have the ceremony and reception in her aunt’s backyard (although her mother and her father’s family do not get along — and the aunt is a sister of her father)
Some things that aren’t working out for us:
* She wants to have a lot of her extended family there – making the guest list easily ~150 people
1) In case we cannot have the wedding at her aunt’s house – where would you suggest for a venue?
2) If it’s at a place that lacks a dance floor, chairs, etc. Where can we get these inexpensively?
***Also, for an outdoor wedding, who will do a tent for cheap?
3) We’re thinking of buying our own alcohol ourselves. Know anyone who will bartend for cheap?
*We’re having our friend marry us with our own vows.
*We’re not having a wedding cake (or maybe a small sample cake). For dessert we’re having cookies an ice cream. (Also does anyone have suggestions on good and cheap ice cream caterers?) I think we found one for cookies
* We’re probably having a buffet of catered Thai food for dinner
Please let me know.
Thanks for all of your help!
Post # 3
As far as reception goes, my fiance and I recently booked with Meridian Banquets in Rolling Meadows. They were by far the cheapest and had the best packages. Another thing to consider is cutting the guest list. I know it sucks, but you gotta do what you gotta do. My finance has a really really big family, and we ended up cutting it to aunts, uncles, and 1st cousins (no kids). That helped tramendously. If you don’t want to cut the guest list, her aunt’s backyard is really the best option. Also, if you are planning on doing low key, why not ask everyone to bring a chair! Chances are everyone has a lawn chair. You could also enlist the help of family members in cooking for the party, have that be their wedding gift. If you guys like beer, kegs would be cheaper than hard liquor or bottles.
There’s a lot to think about and research, but you’ve got two years to plan! =)
Post # 4
Good luck! I looked at a lot of venues in the North ‘burbs. With your budget it’s going to be tight. I do remember that the community centers were usually cheap. I really liked the Kenilworth Club and it might fit into your budget. Their website is really detailed and listed prices. I also liked the Wilmette’s womens club, but I can’t remember their pricing.
ETA: For ice cream, look at Coldstone. I know they cater but I have no idea if they are cheap or not.
For chairs, tables, etc rentals…they are not cheap anywhere around Chicago. Sadly there are only a few companies that do this service. It can cost you a couple thousand to rent tables, chairs & linens. The cheapest option I’ve heard of is some people can rent chairs through their church. Otherwise BBJ or Tablescapes is your best bet.
Post # 5
Good luck with your wedding planning! Nice to see a groom jump in headfirst.
As far as venues you would probably do best going for an all inclusive banquet hall like Venuti’s, Poretta’s, the Seville, Fountain Blue, etc. My friend got $99 out the door(tax and tip included) for her wedding.
Maybe check out doing brunch at a restaurant as well. Maggiano’s is around $25/pp for brunch with no alcohol.
You could go a la carte and rent a site and cater in food/alcohol. Check with park districts as their space tends to be the cheapest. Not sure where you are located but the woods by Morton Grove have great big spaces that they rent cheap all day, we use them for vb tournaments. I would avoid renting a tent as that alone can cost well over $2000.
The biggest thing(since you are planning a wedding in the 2nd most expensive city in the US) is to cut the guest list and think about no alcohol. Sucks but if you want to stick to that budget…
Post # 6
Congrats! I just got engaged in Aug and we are waiting till Aug 2014 also. I have found it close to impossible to get 160 guests under 14,000 just for venue after gratuity, taxes, and everything. However there is a place called Byron Colby barn in GRayslake that looks awesome but was too small for us. But there you rent the place and then bring in your food.
Post # 7
Norm! I totally know you! Ask Brendan for my email address and I can help you guys find a place