Post # 1
I’m at the start of this whole wedding planning thing and I have a question that my fellow Bees could help me with. Do you think that it would be better to go with : looking for your own locafor a reception place : looking for your own location, getting a cater, and doing everything your way. Or using a hotet that has prices and packages. Where things all figured out and there isn’t much to decided upon.
I just thought what the hive might say. thanks! 🙂
Post # 3
I honestly think it depends on what you want. With everything included, you get a easily, hassle-free planning. But with choosing your own vendors, you have more control over the menu, pricing, etc – though you risk confusion and difficulty.
Personally, we’re doing a package deal – but we’re also planning from 4 hours away. It makes a BIG difference.
Post # 4
It’s totally up to you. If you’re someone who enjoys research and wants to be able to customize your wedding to the max, search everything out for yourself. If you’re a busy bride that doesn’t want to make planning your wedding a priority (and it does take over your life) I’d say go with more of a package.
I went somewhere in between. I got a venue that’s fairly full service in regards to providing tables adn chairs and has an in house caterer, but was able to source out my own extra linens, dj, etc.
Post # 5
I agree with afbacher. It totally depends on what you want and how much control you want over things and how far away your wedding is from where you are. It looks like you are planning from afar, so if I were you, I would go with the package deal.
Our wedding is local to us, so I didn’t do the package deal. I am a control freak, so I wanted to be in charge of choosing all the vendors and not have someone tell me who I had to use. I also think doing it my way has been and will be less expensive for us because I am doing all the research to find the best deals on vendors. I am also doing a lot of DIY to cut down on costs; although some of my DIY projects have cost me more than if I would have had someoen else do it for me, but I am getting what I want and how I want it.
Post # 6
thanks guys! i wil think about it. you have some great advice. We are looking at venues this upcoming week. I’m planning on looking at all options and making a choice then.
Post # 7
Odds are, you’ll get better food at an outside caterer than at a hotel. Obviously, that is a generalization and not ALWAYS true, but will often be true. So if food is really important, you might consider that.
Otherwise, unless you are the type of person who loves planning, organizing, and overseeing things there is a lot to be said for the package deal.
Post # 8
Also bear in mind there are a ton of options between those two extremes. Some places aren’t a whole package deal but have on site caterers. Personally, we’re having it in a restaurant so the food is a no-brainer and we can pick how to handle things like the bar and the cake and the music. The place has options for all of those but we are choosing to use them or not.
Post # 9
For us, a ballroom that had everything included was the PERFECT fit. We’re planning from out of state (out of country until 3 months before the wedding), and aren’t too picky about the details. So the fact that they did so much for us was great!
I can see the benefits of doing it all yourself though (and the potential for cost savings), if:
1) you’re local or have someone amazing to help you locally (mom, Maid/Matron of Honor, paid wedding planner…)
2) You have the time to comparison shop and know what you want and can draw a vision together creatively
3) You’re really particular about every minute detail
4) Making a million decisions is fun (not stressful) for you
5) You’re VERY organized and can keep all the contacts straight and make sure nothing drops through the cracks.
I’m not any of those things, so it would have been a nightmare for me!
Post # 10
It boils down to personal preference. Yes hotels are convenient because everything is included, but only if your preferences and choices go along with what they offer. If you want something different that strays from that to any degree, you will have to find a different venue and bring in your own vendors. There are wedding coordinators out there who will help you throughout the planning if you wish, as well as the much needed day-of, if you don’t want to do all the planning yourself.
Keep in mind that food is something that guests will remember long after the wedding is over, whether it was really good or really bad. But no matter what you pick, someone won’t like it, and in general, caterered food (from a catering company or restaurant) is often better tasting and quality (as well as less money) than what you will get in a hotel as your options.
Post # 11
I think it depends on what youre looking for. I would suggest figuring out the setting of where you want to get married first. Do you want a ballroom, mountains, lakeside, outdoor, garden, etc
Then try to find places that offer what you are looking for. Sometimes hotels or venues have different areas to choose from to have your ceremony and/or reception. If you find someplace that fits what you are looking for AND has the all inclusive package you might look into it. I would also suggest comparing it to other places and comparing it to how much it would be to do each vendor individually. Figure out what exactly is included in the package if thats what you are going with. Then figure out how many extras you will need to bring in.
Also – are you the type of person that wants someone else to do all the work or would you rather have control over everything? Personally I could not let someone else do all the planning because I like to have control over things and have things how I want them.
Post # 12
Try to look at a variety of venues in your area if you have time and draw up possible budgets for all options. Here are a few suggestions:
Traditional- Reception Hall, Hotel Ballroom, complete with everything you need- food, linens, silverware, etc.
Home- Reception at your house or someone else’s house, possibly a backyard wedding with rentals of a tent/tables/chairs/flooring, catering (DIY or professional).
Unique-in a garden, the zoo, art musem or a barn? Any favorite places that are meaningful to both of you?
Restaurant- there are many restaurants that are in historic homes or beautiful locations. Restaurants that do not specialize in weddings are often cheaper, but still have the same ammenities a traditional location will have like a chef, linens, tables, place settings, etc.