Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Advice on Venue Searching

So I've been engaged about a month and I've begun my hunt for a location. I have no clue what to think though! I've looked at several places in the area I want, but they all seem so expensive. Is that normal? I'm not sure what a good price range would be.
I also am wondering if you absolutely HAVE to choose a package they offer or do they let you pick and choose from what they offer? Undecided
Any advice on picking a place would be fantastic. Thanks! 

Re: Advice on Venue Searching

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    Overall, it seems to me that an "all-inclusive" venue such as a banquet facility is going to cost you less in the long run.  I get the impression that's true in many locations.

    DH and I had a strong preference to do something else, so we rented out a pavilion in a public park on the beach.  It cost a bit more to bring in all the catering from outside, but we figure we got what we paid for because we had the freedom to choose everything from the chairs and linens to each item on the menu, and the food was delicious.

    In our case, we just happened to find the right venue and the right caterer, so we booked them immediately.  The venue was less than five miles from the church, had everything we wanted and could accomodate our crowd.  The caterer impressed us with his professionalism and style, so we signed him on.  It was just a good fit.

    Definitely get some help from your local board, though.  Those posters will have a good idea of what you can expect to find in your area.
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    You might want to check out some of your state and local parks...they often have shelter houses and lodges you can rent at a very reasonable price.  Also check out historical houses and sites, as well as some restaurants in the area.
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    ITA with garcia1........budget first, based on your guest list. If you have a budget of $5000, and 100 guests, the cost is $50 per person before you add everything in...........figure out flowers, chapel/ceremony venue, rentals, dress, DJ or band, photographer, all the rest, then deduct that from your total budget. What you are left with is the cost per person for the reception.

    "Overall, it seems to me that an "all-inclusive" venue such as a banquet facility is going to cost you less in the long run.  I get the impression that's true in many locations."

    I TOTALLY agree with this (now that it's too late). I was catatonic when I saw prices of $30-$40 per person at banquet halls, but with the rentals and food costs for our venue (that does not supply them), it's costing us more. We love our venue (historic village), so in the end it's what we want. But it is NOT cheaper.

    Hope that helps. But your local board would be the best place to get info.
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    i think part of making the venue hunt manageable is to have a very clear idea of what you want.  DH and i had very specific needs for our ceremony which cut out most of the options in town, leaving us with about 5 to choose from.  (we wanted something that would be big enough for our 250 guests, was not a hotel - so it would be cheaper, where we could hold the ceremony and reception at the same place, and would allow us to bring in our own alcohol and our own caterer.)

    we still had a terrible time confirming the venue, but it was a lot easier than having to choose from a gazillion options. 

    if i were you, i'd get really clear on your requirements, then restart the search. 

    also, as a former event coordinator, my suggestion is that if you are at all concerned about budget, that you NOT to go with the all inclusive option if you can manage it.  hotels will gauge you for rental and food prices because you're forced to go with their prices, which include all kinds of surcharges and hidden fees.  the good thing about the all inclusive option is that you don't have to worry about many of the details.  if  money had not been an option i would have LOVED to go with an all-inclusive.  but we could not afford it, so did not. 

    if you can handle the coordination and stress of finding your own vendors you are better off, as you can shop around and avoid some of the wacky surcharges that larger venues will add to your bill or convince you are necessary. 

    good luck!
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    Look into restaurants for a venue. You get the most for you money, way better food then a caterer, and a cool kitchy venue where you can save on decorations.
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