Post # 1
Hi fellow wedding bee’s! After a year of being engaged, we finally picked a venue 🙂 it was one of the biggest rollercoaster I have ever been on (and the last one of its kind). I probably should have joined this board long ago to get some support.
How jaded we were when we first looked. With zero idea of budget and only a general idea of our guest list number we went to go look at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee. They have a beautiful central atrium that is a copy of the St Augustine fort (can’t remember the name). I love the idea of a non-traditional wedding venue, my Groom however wants a traditional hotel soiree. Hard to compromise eh? I figured this place would be it. He get the hotel and I can have a reception outside of a ballroom. Well come to find out it begins at $180 a head, eek! With about 125 on our guest list, this was creeping up to be quite a costly event!
We then proceded last year to look at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando and Ruth Chris (renting out the entire place). We were exhausted and began considering with the costs involved, lets just have something small with a few of our closest local family and some of our close not local family. And then that changed. Most recently we went to go look at Casa Feliz, Cypress Grove, Winter Park Farmers Market (which is freakin booked until April of 2014 for Saturdays), Red Tail Golf Club, Ritz Carlton, Waldorf Astoria, Grand Cypress, Bella Collina, and Mission Inn. ‘Phew I am exhausted just thinking about it. As you can see the venue budget fluctuated quite a bit. Which was stressful enough.
We were able to get an amazing deal at Mission Inn in Howey-in-the-Hills! While this venue is about 45min – 60min for most of anyone going there…we figured this was going to be the best option for us.
More to come, yay!! (btw if any bride wants to contact me about any of those venues, i’ll gladly share my experience)
Post # 3
Congratulations on both finding your venue and writing your first post! Welcome 🙂
Post # 4
@thestinger777: Wow! What an experience! Congratulations on finding the perfect venue and thank you for being willing to share this information!
I have seen photos of Bella Collina and it looked gorgeous. What was your experience with them like?
Post # 5
@thestinger777: I’m going to keep you in mind when I start looking at venues! I’m not engaged yet but live in Orlando and actually grew up 15 mins from Howey-in-the-Hills! Congrats on finding a venue!
I was DEAD. SET. on the Citrus Club for about a month but after reaching out to other venues, I realized I could definitely find something for a better price! Gaylord Palms for you was the Ritz Carlton for me! That gazebo is just freaking gorgeous & I would die if I got to have my wedding there! But that place is expensivvveeee =/ What would you say was your top 3 venues?
Post # 6
@Blush.Champagne: Bella Collina is absolutely beautiful! It is not like any place in Central Florida. Eventhough you see photos, you really don’t know what to think driving through the roads of Clermont to get there. Then…like the dark clouds part and this beautiful view emerges from the sky and you see a beautiful golf course with these million dollar homes sprinkled throughout (well like just a couple haha). Remember this is a million dollar idea that totally bombed.
It is like going to Italy without the expenses, so gorgeous! The detail in the clubhouse is amazing. This is a venue where you would have to want a mostly outdoor wedding or a smaller indoor wedding (less than 100). The outdoor spaces are magnificient and so many options to choose from. The indoor “backup” space is nice too, but it isn’t built for weddings in mind, so if you have more than 60 guests, they won’t fit in one room and you would have to split a group of 100 into 2 rooms. Think like a restaurant. I wanted a completely outdoor wedding, so this was ok with me. I just was hoping it didn’t rain in December 😉 I also loved that you were able to arrive 5 hours before your ceremony to get ready in their gorgeous bridal and grooms suite!
So why did we not pick Bella Collina? The In-Laws were crying about the drive, so that was a bummer and of course the cost. It was about 20-22k for 100 person wedding. We’d have to add another 1k to the alcohol package (they only offer 3 hours). I wasn’t too keen on the hors d’ouevres they offered either. It was like a vegatable station or a cheese and crackers or something else with dried fruits. I can’t recall the details, but I’d be happy to send the package’s to you if you give me your email. As far as them being willing to negotiate…eh it was like pulling teeth almost. I think they came down on some setup fee’s but nothing major. For 22k for that venue, do I think it is worth it? Yes! I didn’t want a hotel wedding and this was way more beautiful than any four walls a ballroom was going to give me. But the parties involved who were helping us out were not able to increase the budget for this particular venue, so we had to move on. 🙁
Hope that helps! Feel free to let me know if you have specific questions 🙂
Post # 7
Oh yea Ritz is expensive, we got a proposal from them and I think it was 25k add another 10k in other wedding costs and you have a nice little mercedes or bmw you could have purchased 😉 hahaha at least that is how we looked at it!
Top 3 … because I wanted a completely outdoor wedding…
Red Tail – VERY BUDGET FRIENDLY… you could easiliy have a wedding here for 100ppl for around 10k. Only issue here is communication. I would have actually picked them because they are closer to us and they have a nice outdoor area that has a covered roof. But because they did not respond to me in a timely manner, we went with Mission Inn. It didn’t instill confidence that they could handle my wedding smoothly if they couldn’t call or email me back.
Post # 8
Oh add we checked out Maison Jardin in Altamonte Springs too, another budget friendly venue!
Post # 9
@thestinger777: thanks for all the info!