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Texas-Dallas and Ft. Worth

Budget friendly venues and vendors

My FI and I are are both college students and as such have little money. I looked at the knott search suggestions but everything that came up was pretty high in price. Is there any one who has found decent places for decent prices. We are trying to keep everything including the honeymoon under 10,000. I already decided that if it is cheaper to make than buy that I'm going to make it. However there are certain things you just can't make. Help!
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Re: Budget friendly venues and vendors

  • KCloth20KCloth20 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We're in the same boat! We are going with Winfrey Point at white rock lake- it's $180/hr for non-residents on weekends and $110 on weekdays (we are going to have our wedding on a Thursday to save on almost everything) 
  • edited December 2011
    I just searched google for pictures. It's gorgeous! Thanks so much. Who are you using for photographers?
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  • angelsong21angelsong21 member
    1000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Cassie, definitely check out our Vendor Sticky at the top of the main page of this board.  If will tell you who everyone has used and its a good starting point. 

    I would recommend getting an idea in terms of how many guests you are going to have before you begin narrowing down any venues.  I would also make spreadsheets and calculate costs before making a final decision.  Winfrey Point can be a great budget venue but you have to remember they provide absolutely nothing -- no tables, no chairs, no linens, plates/utensils, serving ware, etc.  All of that you have to rent and pay to have brought in since Winfrey Point is entirely DIY.  When we put pen to paper on it, we honestly would have been spending almost the same amount as the all-inclusive venue we went with.  So just be cognizant of that, do the math, and see what works out best for your financial situation. :)  There are so many great options in DFW that I promise you you won't have trouble finding something that works for you!
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  • edited December 2011
    Ditto what angelsong said.  Since you're about a year and a half out, you've got lots of time to do your research.
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  • fallbride1109fallbride1109 member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Yeah I agree-guest size first so we can help you better.  If you're having a guest list of 50, no problem, 200 and that's a different story, you know?  Also your guest size may rule out venues as well.

    The DIY board is very helpful--those girls are amazing and have great tips.  You might look at Evan Godwin for photograhy--I think he's my new favorite budget photographer.  Also Karen Scruggs.

  • edited December 2011
    My FI and I just booked the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, it's $350 for any of the gardens. But if you want chairs it's extra for them, you also get a wedding cordinator with the price. For the reception we booked it at the Gardens Restaurant. $250 for the venue then a $2,000 minimum for food and beverage, which is really good. Most places want a $3,000 or $4,000 minimum.

    Our maximum for our wedding is $10,000 also. We already have a son so we can't afford alot.
  • edited December 2011
    Ditto everything Angelsong said -- figure out your guest list first (because some venues will be just completely out based on their maximum size). And I loved my Excel spreadsheet that tallied up the cost of everything, and I mean everything (we had a DIY place so we had to bring in linens, cups and plates and utensils, etc).

    Also brainstorm with your FI what are your must-haves. H and I had a 15k budget, and we still had to make some hard decisions about our must-haves. For him, he wanted a fun crazy party with an open bar. I wanted to dance with my dad and to have it on Saturday night so my OOT family could arrive here in time. So, since we were stuck with a Saturday-night-DJ-and-open-bar reception at that point, we had to cut our guest list down to afford it.

    If you're open to no alcohol, there are a bunch of community centers that are quite pretty and VERY budget-friendly. Someone on the boards is getting married at the one in Hurst (google the Brookside Center for pics). You can bring in food, but no booze at most community centers.

    You can also save money by having a weeknight, Friday night, Saturday brunch or daytime, or Sunday reception.
  • edited December 2011
    Our guest list is around 100 but no more than 125. I'm open to pretty much everything including having it on a Monday through thursday. Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
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  • aeliza06aeliza06 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    That is a great size guest list! And your budget is completely do-able! 

    As PPs have suggested- make a list of your "must-haves" and your wants- see where you can cut. For example, are favors really necessary? What about chair covers? a certain color napkin? A fondant cake? Prioritize what will really be memorable and what means the most to you and FI. 

    There have already been some really great suggestions here on the board- I would search first or check out the vendor sticky above. 

    Definitely compare costs of a DIY venue vs. a venue that provides everything (tables, chairs, linens, dancefloor, waitstaff). Costs can add up quickly, so as someone said before, use excel. 

    Check out these threads: 


    Here are some more venues (most are byob/byof).
    Dallas Heritage Center ($600-$1000)
    Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake ($1000-1500)
    Filter Building ($2000)
    McKinney Flour Mill ($2500)
    Red Oak Municpal Center ($1000)
    Eden Hill Farm in Celina (150/hr)
    Heard Natural Science Museum (1200$ full day rental)
    Frisco Heritage Museum (1200$ all day rental, 800$ full day rental for Sunday/Friday)
    Colleyville Community Center (1600$ full day)
    Spring Park Community Center ($1499 sat. rental)


  • aeliza06aeliza06 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    FYI- We are at about the same budget for everything (honeymoon, dress, photog, etc.). 

    We booked at the Downtown Dallas location of El Fenix. Yes it's a restaurant, but we booked  their private upstairs rooftop terrace and room (room holds 120, rooftop terrace holds much more). There is no room rental fee, and only a $1500 minimum for Saturday ($1000 other days). Included: 10 person rounds, Black Chivalri chairs, black linens, all tables, ipod friendly sound system and microphone, all service staff, all china. Buffet we chose is 11$ pp and alcohol is $10 pp for 3 hours of unlimited beer/wine/sangria/margaritas. It is smack in the middle of downtown and uptown. This was cheaper than a DIY venue where you had to bring in everything. 


  • edited December 2011
    Wow that's amazing. I'll definitely have to look at that. It sounds like it would be beautiful. Thanks for the advice.
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  • edited December 2011
    So I'm also trying to keep things to a reasonably small budget and I'm going to look at venues this coming week, so I can't say for sure what these places are like, BUT at least from where I'm standing, it seems like the best deal might be the Village Country Club. They don't have any rental fee, just a food and drink minimum of $3000 Sat/Sun (don't know about weekdays). If you're planning on having a reception anyway, it's a good deal. But if you weren't planning on having food, this may not be relevant to your budget!

    It's supposed to be a gorgeous venue and even just in preliminary emails I've been super impressed by how accommodating they are and how helpful Chante, the woman in charge of weddings, has been.
  • edited December 2011
    wow! wish this thread was around for my wedding...the only budget friendly vendor i had was vekphoto.com... we did a ton of diy stuff....one thing i learned is put money where it matters...lighting, mc/dj, photographer.
  • aeliza06aeliza06 member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_texas-dallas-ft-worth_budget-friendly-venues-vendors?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:102Discussion:70ee55d6-f332-492e-8da1-a11c9da5ae97Post:917ac1e4-ef96-455c-b55a-275688fb16a1">Re: Budget friendly venues and vendors</a>:
    [QUOTE]wow! wish this thread was around for my wedding...the only budget friendly vendor i had was vekphoto.com... we did a ton of diy stuff....one thing i learned is put money where it matters...lighting, mc/dj, photographer.
    Posted by hthrlarson9[/QUOTE]
    lighting/mc/dj may not matter to everyone. After all- it is a wedding. It is what you and FI want. :) 
  • Whatever you do, DO NOT BOOK AT MCKINNEY FLOUR MILL! They've been under construction for the past two years, and they have had construction DURING most of the ceremonies. If you're booking a year in advance, try the Mckinney Cotton Mill, a little bit more expensive, but its absolutly gorgeous. 
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