Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

I don't know where to start

 I am feeling very overwhelmed. I have only been engaged for two weeks. But we are thinking of getting married in a almost a year and someone told me that it is good to book a  venue a year out to ensure the place you want. I have the guest list down. And a rough budget. I have started calling and emailing venues but I have found that the venues listed under $ on the knot are responding that they cost 2,000 just for the wedding and not the reception. I seems like every place I call has hidden fees, like renting extra rooms or paying for napkins. Is this typical? What type of charges should I make sure are inculded in a venue? Where do i begin looking for an affordable venue?

Re: I don't know where to start

  • Where are you looking to get married? How many guests?
  • What is your budget?  How many guests?  What general area?  Are you looking for just a ceremony location or reception/ceremony or 2 different locations?

    This site has a much better listing than TK:
  • edited March 2012
    First of all - relax! Your engagement is an amazing time and you should be enjoying it, not pulling your hair out over planning an event that will be ONE DAY of your life.

    Yes, it's true that many brides plan their weddings a year in advance, but it's definitely not required. We were engaged for 7 months and had an amazing wedding without having to cut any corners (plus, we also had first pick of all our vendors). Have the length of engagement that feels right for you guys, not what is dictated by The Knot or society.

    As PP mentioned, a budget and guest list is a great place to start. Bellagala (a local wedding company) has a great search function that allows you to search by price, location, style, etc: http://www.bellagala.com/vendorfetch

    The ladies on this board are a great resource, too, so don't be afraid to ask for recommendations once you start touring venues or meeting with other vendors (florist, cake, DJs, etc.). Good luck and try not to stress too much!!
    Anniversary
  • It can be stressful, but I assure you -- you'll be fine! I was only engaged for five months, and our wedding was great.

    If the part that's stressing you out is worrying about what's included, it may be best for you to go with an all-in-one venue, like a hotel ballroom. We had our ceremony and reception at the DoubleTree in St. Louis Park. We paid them for the rooms (since it was off-season in Nov, I don't think there was a rental fee since we were paying for food. It may have been an extra $500 for the ceremony), the food, alcohol. We also got a free room that night for us and our parents. The only things we brought in were cheesecakes (instead of wedding cake), DJ, and our minimal decorations. It was nice not having to coordinate with a bunch of different vendors for everything.
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  • It sounds like you are off to a good start, so don't worry! Budget, number of guests, and venue are the most important things that need to be decided first, which you are doing. Some venues book a year in advance, especially if it is a popular date, but not all.

    Unfortunately, a lot of places do have "hidden" costs. Part of figuring out how to deal with them is to do what you have been-- researching. You will find that each vendor is different. It is best to make them give you itemized quotes. From my experience, the things they are less likely to be up front about regard costs of servers/hour and how many you will need for how long.

    In terms of prices, it is pretty typical for the all-inclusive places or venues with a perferred list of caterers to charge more. You can often save money by picking a venue that lets you select whichever vendors you want and going with a caterer that isn't attached to a wedding venue. The drawback is that it will take more time/effort on your part, so you will have to decide between ease and price. 

    If you want to save money, I suggest looking at venues that are run by parks services, the county, or historical societies. They generally charge less and let you pick your own vendors. For example, we went with the Washington County Historic Courthouse in Stillwater (probably not what it sounds like), and they were great to work with. I know that we for sure paid less than $1200 for the venue rental for both ceremony and reception.
    Photobucket
  • I am looking to get married anywhere in the twin cities. My budget is $5,000 excluding the price of the dress. We are inviting a 120 people. We would like to do an outdoor cermony.  Thank you all for the good advice. I am going to go check out the websites, hotel and historic sites you recommended.

  • I agree with what the ladies are saying.  It sounds like you're on the right track.  There are lots of hidden fees in the wedding industry so be sure to ask a lot of questions.

    Graysquirrel, the courthouse is closer to $2000 now for ceremony and reception.  It was $1700 when I booked, and that was over a year ago.

    But there are places out there that are less than $2000 just to rent.  You just have to keep looking around.  Don't get frustrated.  Being engaged can be a very frustrating time, but enjoy it.

    So In Love

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    Josh and Renata's Wedding

    Planning Bio

  • In Response to Re: I don't know where to start:
    I agree with what the ladies are saying.  It sounds like you're on the right track.  There are lots of hidden fees in the wedding industry so be sure to ask a lot of questions. Graysquirrel, the courthouse is closer to $2000 now for ceremony and reception.  It was $1700 when I booked, and that was over a year ago. But there are places out there that are less than $2000 just to rent.  You just have to keep looking around.  Don't get frustrated.  Being engaged can be a very frustrating time, but enjoy it.
    Posted by MrsBassPlaya
    We got married on a Sunday, so that is why ours was cheaper. 
    Photobucket
  • We booked ceremony only on Sunday at the Washington County Historic Courthouse for 475, ceremony and reception would have been closer to 800. For a Saturday it's 1700 for either ceremony only or ceremony/reception.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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