Customs and Traditions

Baptist Budget Wedding... Need major help

Okay, so my family wasn't blessed with lots of money. So my wedding budget is MAXIMUM $6500. I know that there's no way to have a sit-down dinner, so I'm planning on having a saturday NIGHT wedding (like, ceremony begins at 7:30 and reception ends at 10-11pm) with just appetizers or dessert and coffee... The main problem is since I live in such a big city (Houston), wedding venues can charge whatever the poop they want to and get away with it. So basically for me it's come down to using my church as a ceremony and reception venue, which is fine, but they have SO MANY RESTRICTIONS. Here are just a few No dancing AT ALL. No alcohol or even drinks that RESEMBLE alcoholic beverages (so sparkling cider is out). If the guest list exceeds 150, we're REQUIRED to use the in-house catering (which is fine, but no dessert/coffee, which is what i really wanted), the music selection has to go through a committee for approval, the photographer can only take pictures from the back of the chapel during the ceremony, and she only gets an hour and a half before the ceremony. And, my fiance is Lutheran and he wants a pastor from his church to officiate, so that just adds a whole nother burden to the load. So, after that long rant, I'm asking the following: Does anyone have any alternate ideas for ceremony/reception venues that are really inexpensive? I would just get married at city hall and get it over with, but my FI and I would love to have our entire families there, so the minimum number of people we can have is 100 (we have big families). Anything would help. Thanks :)

Re: Baptist Budget Wedding... Need major help

  • Have you looked into community centers? Are there any nice restaurants with banquet rooms that you can look into? Usually these buildings are owned by the City or County and allow you to bring in your own food and alcohol. I think you could have a great wedding that includes dinner for your guests for under $6500. Would you be willing to look for a venue in a smaller surrounding town or suburb?
  • What about a Sunday Brunch wedding? I'm getting married in Dallas and we are saving a ton on the venue alone for just doing it on a Sunday. Google wedding venues near Houston and see if you can find something that way. I found several places to look at that were very inexpensive but not advertised on main wedding websites. Also try asking on the Houston board and see if any of the ladies there have any ideas.
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  • This Baptist thing is EXACTLY why my DD and her now DH ran off to the courthouse to get married a few months ago.  First, have you tried the local Unitarian Universalist church?  That may be an alternative--the minister at the UU church can customize a service for you, but they're all accepting.  And usually their fellowship halls aren't that expensive to rent.  You could always go with a weeknight wedding-it would probably be cheaper, and might cut down on those attending.  (win-win!) 
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  • I'm glad I live in a small town. My budget is $5,000.00 (or less if I can) and I see no problem staying under that.  I also suggest checking out community buildings which is what we did so that we could have the food we really wanted. 10/10/10 Bride!!
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  • Any sort of community hall, VFW hall, fire hall, etc should be able to accommodate you for a low cost. How about a park? Could you have an outdoor ceremony with both pastors and a tented reception with cake/punch? I also agree that maybe an afternoon wedding or Sunday brunch would go over well.
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  • Go to FI's Lutheran church. I work for the Lutherans. They drink and dance and the ones I know are generally fun people.
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  • Thanks for the replies! My FI and I did discuss a wedding during the week (at night), and I think it'll be perfect because it's the week before Christmas so our friends will be home visiting from college, and it'll be late enough in the evening for my friends with careers to make it in time. And yes, Lutherans are fun :)
  • When is the wedding? you could have it at a park or a family yard and you can still have a great wedding with just that amount of money. Why not just have the wedding at the church then have the reception somewhere else? Also churches really don't need that much decor so that will save you lots too. Try going to the budget board if you need help with any of that. HTH
  • my bad didn't read your last post ha ha then it would definately be a no on the park idea lol sorry
  • What about if you did do it at City Hall, have everyone there, and then go to a nice dinner after with everyone? I know someone who did that and it was really nice and intimate.
  • Another option, since you mentioned your friends would be home for break: have the ceremony at your church and do a quite cake and punch recpetion for everyone at the church, then take the younger crowd (and any older folks who mgiht be up to it) to a restaurant or bar with a kitchen (for snacks at least) for a party party later. Two low budget parties to satisfy everyone and keep your wallet happy. I'm sure Houston has some awesome local spots that would work great for an after party enviroment.
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  • Ooopse, missed an edit. I meant QUIET cake and punch reception for the church.
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  • what StarJay said. That is an awesome suggestion. DO it earlier in the day, have cake and punch, and then you can go get comfy in a less formal dress and the younger crowd can go party together elsewhere. There are tons of spots in Houston that can handle a crowd. SPread the word casually, saying that "we will be partying at ____ after the reception, and you are welcome to join us" so they don't expect an elaborate spread, and they know they are paying for their own drinks.
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  • Look for a hall to rent...we r getting married in a suburb of philyy, the hall is only 475 total and we have access to their tables, chairs and kitchen area.....Masonic halls do this
  • I meant Philly, if u r Baptist and you want those people in that walk of faith at your reception you will have to balance everything you want with who your guest are. Maybe have the full reception without alcohol and dancing and then those guest that would enjoy that have a separate party following the first at a different location. I don't think it will please them that you r doing that either though but at least they couldn't say you aren't showing respect! So do  Hor doerves and punch at the church( surprised they will let u serve food in the church?) , unwrap the gifts from these people, plan a special music section, religous wedding  and then a more traditional reception at the hall with alcohol and dancing. My personal email is [email protected] if I can help further...was raised along the lines of Baptist!!
  • Outside ceremony and reception? I have no other ideas sorry.
  • There are actually a lot of options...even if you want a sat evening wedding (although the options are more limited). My suggestion is to send your request (RFP - request for proposal) to a bunch of places that would accommodate what you want (this will mostly work for restaurants and  hotels) - with ceremony/reception at the same site. Ask them to get back to you on what they can offer for $6500 (or whatever you are able to spend on just the ceremony and reception) - most places will actually offer you more than you expect. If you are flexible with the dates and times, you will get even more options. You can search online for a template RFP to send.
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