Need Venue/Rental Advice!!

So I had my heart set on gorgeous Main Street Station for our 130person ceremony&reception, and then my dear mother freaked me out and has me terribly worried we're going to waste our entire budget on renting things like linens and silverware and such. She wants me to check out John Marshall Ballrooms because the rentals of those things are included in the ballroom rental fee. Frankly, I think she's also freaked out that passengers may come through during the wedding. Does anyone have any advice or insight? 

Re: Need Venue/Rental Advice!!

  • edited September 2012
    Main Street adds up really quick. I was sold on it until I ran the numbers. You literally have to rent almost everything. I'd look into the other venue, but it wouldn't hurt to get quotes from rental companies.
  • I don't know how much it is to rent everything - but I will tell you this: John Marshall Ballrooms is NOT cheap by any means. It's 3K to rent it - includes linens, tables, chairs, dinnerware and the rental of the smaller ballroom, which, I think the max capacity is 150.

    But the pros of this venue outweigh everything else for me: reception coordinator who sets up all the decorations for me the morning of, the ballrooms are in pristine condition considering they just finished renovations in March of this year, and the colors are neutral which will match all color combinations. I checked out the hotels around Richmond (Omni, Marriott, and The Bull and Bear Club) - each time we visited one of these venues, there was either a random medium to dark color on the walls, the carpets were a dark green/black, or (in the case of ALL of them) there was a mess from the night before's event! So unprofessional.

    And note that the John Marshall doesn't include anything in that 3K pertaining to drink or food. If one of the hotels hadn't been so unprofessional, I might have chosen on of their ballrooms. But to me, this venue is gorgeous...and worth the price. The coordinator is patient and very willing to offer suggestions if you ask, doesn't push anything and allows you to make all the decisions. Plus, there are two hotels within one city block (Downtown Marriott & The Hilton Garden Inn).

    I was also considering Main Street Station, but I wanted candles and they wouldn't allow open flame. Please consider the ballrooms if it's in your price range - and definitely add up all the costs of the rentals before booking the Main Street Station as your venue.
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  • I loved the Main Street Station too! I was sold on the price and the ambience of the venue. The huge marble columns, the fireplace-wow! I thought it was totally unique for a wedding spot! I was going to book it until I took my FI there. He hated it! When we went there was a very large, obnoxious group out in front yelling and making a commotion. That was the first bad part. He didn't like that the train would be coming and interrupting the private affair. He thought even with the savings it wouldn;t be worth it.
    Also, the woman there told me that 120 is typically the max amount of people to have there, if there would be any extras they would have to sit in the wings of the room. It seems a little small for that many people.
    I think typically caterers may have some of the rentals you are looking for, so maybe it won't be as expensive. Also, with everything added up if you were to rent, it probably would set you back about $2000. I think it's a pretty fair number for chairs, tables, cloths, and place settings.
    I didn't go to the John Marshall place but it looked really nice from the pictures. Also, the Hippodrone (sp?) was something that looked pretty cool.
    I ended up for a vineyard out by Charlottesville which was my FIs pick and Im really happy we went with it! (He has good taste)
    What time of year is your wedding?
  • rlr02rlr02 member
    edited September 2012
    Have you checked the Valentine Museum?  or VMFA? They seem like they would offer some character, might be worth checking to compare prices anyways....
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  • I just got married at Main St. in July and I loved loved loved it.  We had both our ceremony and reception there (had around 110 people).  One, I didn't even notice the one train that came through during the cocktail hour, my guests said it was a very small amount of people that came off the train and they very quickly noticed hey there is a wedding going on and got out of there.  As far as rentals, I came in under my budget even with having to rent things like more chairs, tables. and linens.  We did by plates, glasses, and silverware because it was cheaper then renting it (plus you can sell it and get some of your money back- again saving $$$)  I am a very diy kinda person which also helped me cut costs.  Also in all honesty, we crunched the numbers for Main St., Amber Grove (you have to use there caterer- tables linens, etc.. included), and the VA Cliff Inn (they include tables, chairs etc..)  and Main St. was still cheaper.  Its all about what you want for your wedding, Main St. was what I wanted so I found a way to make it work Smile
  • @kmw7643 - where would you recommend renting the tables and chairs? i know there's a couple banquet tables in storage at main street so i'm thinking i'll just need ceremony/reception tables and chairs.

    actually, could you tell me more about buying the plates and such? i've heard that's a way to go but i have no idea how to go about it cheaply!

    thank you, your post was REALLY reassuring!
  • edited September 2012
    Just with seeing two friends plan a wedding that required renting every.little.thing, and myself deciding to go with an "all inclusive" type of venue, I know renting things cann ad up very quick. I also remember my two friend agonizing over which plates, and flatware, and mugs to use. Really MUGS?? I felt it was so nice not to have to make small decisions like that. I don't know what your budget is, and you may have room to cut back on other things to go towards rentals. After my wedding I always said my best piece of advice to planning brides is to not have yourself to rent everything!
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