Reasonably Priced Downtown Venues Advice!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am getting married in a couple of months and next weekend I am  going to look at reception venues. So far I have appointments set up with the Brandermill Country Club, The Richmond Country Club, The Salisbury Country Club....and after reading some of these blogs I am  going to take a look into the Main Street Station, and The Valentine History Museum. Does anyone have ANY information about these places that may make my selection easier? I have only seen them in pictures and if its not worth my time to go I would rather know now before I make my 4 hour trip from NC:) Thanks in advance:))))))Smile

BTW...Does anyone know any advantages to going with a place that prefers you use their caterer, versus going to a place that allows you to bring in your own and beverages as well. Is there really a noticable price differece?

Re: Reasonably Priced Downtown Venues Advice!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • edited December 2011
    I have recently checked out quite a few locations and here is what I found-

    Main Street Station- LOVED IT!!! So beautiful and really represents old Richmond. For me, I went another directions because of the very strict parameters you have to work within if you are there. Also, if you are doing a Saturday evening wedding (like me) there is a train that comes through and because of the setup you cannot keep all of those people out because the bathroom is part of your reception space. Also, they are strict with vendors, sound, and timing. However, BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

    Brandermill Country Club- I have not been in years but they used to be more laid back than most and the grounds are very well kept!

    I checked out the following as well-
    Poe museum- amazing gardens and nice area to get ready
    Science Museum of VA- The main rotunda was truely amazing.... however it was a bit cold and not great acustics for sound.
    Country Club of Richmond- Pretty but a bit boring. Though the grounds were pretty, it seemed that they nickel and dime you to death.

    I ended up going with Wyndham Virginia Crossings, pricey but they are also provide ALOT for the money!

    Happy hunting!!!!
  • edited December 2011
    I live in Salisbury and have been to events at the country club.  It is very pretty, great parking, and the folks there are very nice.  The food has been good at the events I've attended.

    My daughter's wedding was at Celebrations at the Resevoir.  Beautiful place (she got married on the landing and had her reception at the pool house.)  They do require you to use their people now.  My daughter's wedding was the last one where you could pick your own caterer.

    I also recently went to a wedding at The Mill at Fine Creek.  It's about 25 minutes west of Richmond...but REALLY pretty.  The wedding I went to there was lovely.
    My baby girl is a married woman...and now my baby girl HAS a baby girl. Time unfolds in such an amazing way. I've been blessed!
  • cmk22302cmk22302 member
    edited December 2011
    I am getting married at the Main Street Station in a few weeks. It's beautiful and Diane Lillo, one of the contacts, is really easy to work with. You do need to take the train schedule into account (the Station can provide the times).  We opted to do a brunch reception for that reason, but evening weddings still seem to be very common there. The Station can accomodate both ceremony and reception on the second floor and in between you can have a cocktail hour on the lower level. If you are planning to have 60 or fewer guests, you can use Main Street Station's marble bistro tables and chairs which are really cute.  Otherwise, if you have a larger guest count, and want all the tables and chairs to match, you need to factor in rental costs.  Whenever we've been in there to visit, they are setting up for weddings and we've seen them setting up for 100-125.  I think a higher guest count than that would be difficult for the Station to accomodate.  We contacted a few caterers that the Station recommended but opted to go with White House Catering which is literally right next door.  They have been great to work with and so flexible with us (we are from out of town too so that was important in terms of scheduling meetings with them and/or communicating via email).  An added bonus is if you obtain your own liquor license through VA's ABC, you can purchase the alcohol and just pay the caterer for bartending services.  Feel free to get in touch if you have any other questions about the Station. I have some pictures of the inside I could send too if you want since there aren't a lot available online.
  • edited December 2011
    I was in a wedding a year ago where the reception was at Main Street Station. It was absolutely gorgeous, and didn't need very much decorating. It is a smaller venue like pp said, and there is the issue of train passengers. Our reception is at the Science Museum in the rotunda, and like a pp said it isn't great on acoustics but we've hired an awesome DJ who has worked the room multiple times. I just love it because it's so different and unique. PIB. Being that your wedding is in June (peak wedding season) you need to book soon as those locations will book quickly. GL!
  • edited December 2011
    Sorry, not sure where I got June from! Maybe another post I just read..ha. A couple months is even sooner!
  • edited December 2011
    The Brandermill Country Club is rather small and reeks of cigar smoke.  The Salisbury Country Club is very nice.  I am having my ceremony and reception at the Stonehenge Country Club and it is very nice nd rather big.  You get an upstairs and a downstairs.  The upstairs actually overlooks the downstairs area.  The prices there are really reasonable as well.  The Main Street Station looks like a nice place, however I have never been there myself.
  • edited December 2011
    I did Main Street and LOVED it. The contract you have to sign is much stricter than what is actually allowed. We had a loud DJ, glassware, etc. The woman who works there is very nice and we got some AWESOME pictures. A train does come through, but they work with you so its not during the ceremony (if you have it there), and keep the people out of the way. They were in the waiting area, but it was actually really cool. They arrive and there is a wedding going on! And they were dancing and taking pictures. I thought it was fun and cool. The only thing is that you can only seat about 100. So if you having a lot of people, it would not be ideal. I was able to bring in my own alcohol and that saved a TON of money. I absoluetly would recommend.
  • klsheriffklsheriff member
    edited December 2011
    I recommend a venue that lets you pick your own caterer.  From what I've seen of the local venues that only allow a list of 6 or so cateres, they are on the more expensive end.  We are using Main St. Station for our reception (and maybe our ceremony as well).  It may be a little more pricey than some other options, but we were easily able to save money by picking our own caterer. 

    I hope you found something you liked! :)
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