Thursday, January 24, 2013

Say Yes To The Venue

Besides the food, the biggest choice you are going to have to make is the venue for both the ceremony and the reception. Do you pick two different locations for the ceremony and reception or do you select a location that can cater to both events?
                    And what do you choose?
                         Golf course?
                                      Rental home?
                          Where to go and
                     where to have this special day?

Golf Courses: 

These are always promising venues for both the ceremony and reception as they are incredibly beautiful and are already set up for large parties. They have their own cooks and usually provide a menu. However, they usually have a minimum "amount" for the food that you will order. For example, a golf course rental was only $2500. This price was absolutely nice because that included set up and decoration for both the ceremony and reception and included all the linens, plates, glassware, and silverware. However they were requesting a $10,000 minimum food purchase. That absorbed $12,500 of my budget already! Additionally, golf courses include security fees, corkage fees, additional required gratuity and you still need to outsource a DJ, photographer etc. So much money right? 

Here's the down low for finding a great deal: DO YOUR RESEARCH. Call and email many locations if your dream is to have your wedding at a golf course. Once you obtain an idea of what the venue rental fee is around your area, you can use this to help negotiate down the price.


GORGEOUS! The vineyards, the cobblestone wall work, the gorgeous interior. Wineries bring a beautiful 360 view for your ceremony and reception. However, like golf courses, these can become pretty damaging to your wallet. Not only do they have a facility rental but also most have a minimum cost to their menus and only allow you to use their catering. Additionally, you are required to use house wine and beer and require you to hire their bartenders. 

The down low for wineries: Use the winery as the place for your ceremony but not for your reception. Opt for a local restaurant or different party venue that can help you save some bucks by hiring a caterer and allowing you to bring your own beverages. 

Rental Home: 
Make sure that the house you are renting is licensed for weddings. Although renting can be quite hefty at the beginning price (e.g. the house I am looking at is $3500 for two nights + a $3750 party fee yes I just said party fee), the final price can actually save you more money. By renting a home, you can use the amenities that are included in the home. 

Renting a home allows you to save money by creating your own appetizers, salads, sides and desserts. You can outsource the main entree through a caterer but you can save big bucks by doing a lot of it on your own. So although the venue rental is a total of $7,250, outsourcing the catering should only cost $1.5-2K for about 150 people (rather than the $6-7 I was looking at previously) and then purchasing the appetizers, salads, sides and desserts will only take time invested in creating it and the actually supplies (which I would average out to $800-$1000). Plus the location I am looking at contains a commercial sized kitchen and outdoor pizza oven and BBQ area! 

If we decided not to cater, the total price for renting a home and buying and making our own food would cost approximately $9,000! Although this is still a lot of money, its still a major savings compared to all other locations. 

Wherever you decide to go, make sure you do your research and look at several locations. Research is key! 

Good luck and take your time :) 

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