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Official introduction and a question (little long)

Hey ladies,

So, I've been on this board for a little while, but at that time, my boyfriend and I were only talking about getting married.  Well, last Saturday he officially proposed and gave me my engagement ring, so I thought I would just introduce myself briefly, and ask a question about reception locations.

First, my names Rachel..  My fiance and I have been together for 8 1/2 years (high school sweethearts), and are both students finishing up school (bachelors for him, masters for me).  Right now we're both a little clueless about work.  I'm getting teacher certified, but am worried about being unemployed.  He didn't get into grad school and doesn't know what the heck to do with life now (he's an art major... incredibly talented but not very marketable).

So... PERFECT time to get married, right?  Haha.  Well, we're still trying to figure out how long we should wait.  Originally we were thinking June 2011, but we're now leaning towards pushing it back to May or June 2012.  Which sucks.  But we may need that time to, you know, get REAL jobs, ha.

Anyway, we may still start looking at reception venues so that we can start getting an idea of what our budget should be.  We're still a little clueless at this point of what a wedding would REALLY cost.  And we have plenty of time to save.  We will have probably have around 75-80 guests.  And we're most likely having a Saturday evening wedding (which I know is the most expensive)

We want a downtown location, and the 3 we like and think may be budget-friendly (but not sure) are Alden hotel, the Grove, and Crystal ballroom.  I know the Grove's prices (roughly) but I'm unclear on Alden and Crystals.

Obviously, I need to go to these places for an accurate proposal, but I was just wondering if anyone thought I was way off base for thinking Alden or Crystal ballroom were reasonable (reasonable to me would be less than $10k inclusive of everything, full sit down dinner, linens, OPEN BAR, etc.).  If you think I'm way off base here, then I might not waste my time even checking them out. But if that sounds reasonable, I'll go ahead and get a formal proposal from them.

Anyway, sorry this is kinda long.  Thanks for any info!



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Re: Official introduction and a question (little long)

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    Eboix518Eboix518 member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Congrats!

    Your price will also differ according to how big your guest list is. I know Crystal ballroom was in the realm of 30K for 300 for rental, food, open bar.

    Nail down an approximate guest list and you will be able to put together a better number

    Nevermind I saw you said between 75-80 guests.

    Also check out Hotel Derek
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    edited December 2011
    ditto hotel derek. also look into zaza. its in the museum district.
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    monkeysipmonkeysip member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Thanks, ladies.  I thought Hotel Zaza would've been out of my price range.  Its gorgeous though!

    Hotel Derek's pretty, but what I really like about Grove-Alden-Crystal B. is that they all have a balcony type thing (for Alden its the "veranda"... but I just like the indoor/outdoor feel).  I always wanted some kinda of feature to bring a little bit of the outdoors in, be able to get some fresh air, etc.

    I couldn't tell just from the pics whether Hotel Derek had anything like that.  

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    tyboydtyboyd member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Hello, welcome, and congrats!!! I had the Grove's pricing on my laptop. They actually do like a food minimum. All you have to do is call and they will tell you all the minimums.

    My venue is downtown. Bella Elegante. www.bellaelegante.com Their prices are great and they are all inclusive.

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    Eboix518Eboix518 member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Not sure if the Magnolia and the Icon have what you are looking for

    Also Courtyard on St James might be an option

    ZaZa has smaller ballrooms that could be an option for you
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    monkeysipmonkeysip member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    @ ty,

    Thats a good point about the food minimum.  That might make it pricier if I need to meet a minimum at the grove.

    Bella Elegante has a gorgeous ballroom, but it doesn't seem like it has any outdoor feature.  

    @ Eboix

    Courtyard at St. James is nice.  I thought it was on the pricier side.  Maybe I should check it out.  Good point about the smaller ballrooms at Hotel Zaza, guess I should check them out too.  I love the museum district!

    Lots of things to think about!  :)

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    KAnde818KAnde818 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm getting married at the Alden Hotel and they do a food and beverage minimum of $13K (before the 8.25% tax and $22% service fee). They have alot of add on costs too. $750 for the ceremony. $300 for the dance floor. $150 for bartenders... they add up quickly.
    PersonalMilestone
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    Eboix518Eboix518 member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_texas-houston_official-introduction-question-little-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:121Discussion:0807b3ef-325d-4f3e-a251-4efadfbd48a8Post:b51ca324-baa9-4acb-8e17-8530d5ece707">Re: Official introduction and a question (little long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]@ ty, Thats a good point about the food minimum.  That might make it pricier if I need to meet a minimum at the grove. Bella Elegante has a gorgeous ballroom, but it doesn't seem like it has any outdoor feature.   @ Eboix Courtyard at St. James is nice.  I thought it was on the pricier side.  Maybe I should check it out.  Good point about the smaller ballrooms at Hotel Zaza, guess I should check them out too.  I love the museum district! Lots of things to think about!  :)
    Posted by monkeysip[/QUOTE

    My sister had her rehearsal dinner at Courtyard and it was for at least 50 people - always worth checking out. Good luck!
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    monkeysipmonkeysip member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    KAnde818-- Thanks for letting me know about the minimum.  We won't be having a ceremony there, but from what you're saying it seems like it'd be closer to 15,000 for the whole costs.  That's definitely out of our budget, so I probably will cross them off the list.  Definitely a lovely venue though!  


    Those dang minimums might be what breaks my budget, lol.  I really liked Magnolia ballroom (not Magnolia hotel), but their food and bev min. is at least 10k, plus they add on a bunch of other costs.  So I cut them out.  I guess I need to start calling Hotel Zaza, Crystal, Grove, and Courtyard St. James for minimum info!  




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    Mandan5Mandan5 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I got married at Courtyard on St. James place.  It was beautiful and the people were great to work with.  My wedding ended up having 75 people which made meeting the food and drink minimum a bit challenging.  I think for 2011 the minimum was $8500 for the Garden Room  That only includes food and drink...not taxes, service fees, rental prices, etc.  You may be able to negotiate it down before signing a contract if you really like the venue.  If you want any more details on Courtyard let me know.  Good luck!
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    edited December 2011
    Rachel,

    I'm getting married at Hotel ZaZa this September in the Ultimate Ransom Room.  They set a food and beverage minimum but don't have a rental fee for the room as long as you hit the minimum.  Its a beautiful venue and their prices (I feel) are reasonable.  Let me know if you want more detailed information on pricing, packages, etc.
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    edited December 2011
    You can also use the Knot website to search for venues by price point.  My budget is kind of tight, but I found that most of the venues with two dollar signs ("$$") would work for my budget.  
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    tyboydtyboyd member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_texas-houston_official-introduction-question-little-long?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:121Discussion:0807b3ef-325d-4f3e-a251-4efadfbd48a8Post:b51ca324-baa9-4acb-8e17-8530d5ece707">Re: Official introduction and a question (little long)</a>:
    [QUOTE]@ ty, Thats a good point about the food minimum.  That might make it pricier if I need to meet a minimum at the grove. Bella Elegante has a gorgeous ballroom, but it doesn't seem like it has any outdoor feature.   @ Eboix Courtyard at St. James is nice.  I thought it was on the pricier side.  Maybe I should check it out.  Good point about the smaller ballrooms at Hotel Zaza, guess I should check them out too.  I love the museum district! Lots of things to think about!  :)
    Posted by monkeysip[/QUOTE]

    Ooops, I didn't know you wanted an outdoors space. But Market Street Park or whatever it's called is right across the street. And yeah, The Groves minimum, from what I remember was like $6000 or something. You can PM me if you need any other help with other vendors. <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" />
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    monkeysipmonkeysip member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Wow, a lot of good info.  Lots of stuff to think about.

    I contacted Courtyard St. James and Hotel Zaza for proposals.  I'll see what they say first.

    I'm sure I'll have more questions on each venue once I start looking at them.  For now, I'm just trying to narrow down what venues could possibly be in the budget.

    Thanks again!

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    edited December 2011
    we were looking into doing our lunchtime reception at the grove... the vista room (upstairs and private) has a lunchtime minimum of $4500... totally doable. the primavera room (the bigger of the two downstairs rooms) has a minimum of $2500 at lunch, and the green room (adjoining the primavera) has a $1500 minimum. the latter two can be combined if you meet the minimum for BOTH rooms at the same time. there's no cake cutting fee or anything like that. they can cordon off the deck outside and maybe even work with discovery green to put chairs on the lawn if you wanted to do your ceremony on the steps. unfortunately, there isn't really an inclement weather plan.

    we were planning on doing our reception there from about noon until 3, but they had an event booked in that room starting at 530, and they told the vendors they could come in between 2 and 230 to start setting up. a little disappointed they won't call to have them reschedule and delay by just *one* hour. we could do both the downstairs rooms, but i'd like a little more privacy. so we're taking our $6k elsewhere.
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