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Missouri-St Louis

I need your opinions please!!!

I have been looking at and fell in love with the outdoor event area that Ameristar Casino has and their Discovery Ballroom and was wondering if anyone else has seen or considered having their wedding there also? There is a $18000 minimum to have reception for full ballroom access but that covers everything but flowers for my centerpieces and my cake basically. What do you think? Ridiculous or not bad? FYI the food is all top of the line like I would be having steaks and things like that as my meals

Re: I need your opinions please!!!

  • edited December 2011
    What all does that include in the $18,000 minimum? Is that a typeo? Did you mean $1,800? How many people are you having? Just things off the top of my head when I hear everything is included I think dinner, drinks, entertainment, place settings, chair covers, table decorations, additional decorations (like hanging paper lanterns, etc), set up and tear down, paper items (invitations, menu cards, place cards, table numbers and programs), flowers (bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, etc.), limo, hotel room and rehearsal dinner. To me I would raise an eyebrow.... and compare it to other venues in the area that are equally as elegant (Try price points for the four seasons downtown).... and I would think where could I go on my honeymoon for $18,000 :)
  • tiptonbranditiptonbrandi member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    no it was 18,000! it includes a complimentary stay at the casino hotel, in room breakfast service and in room amenities for us, a 24' x 24' dance floor champagne for head table cutting plating and boxing of wedding cake, round mirror and four votive candles per table, a cake table, gift table and dj table, risers for head table and band, clothed cocktail tables in open entryway, tablecloths napkins, china, silverware, on site event manager, open bar for 5 hours of house brand cocktails, house wines, domestic beers, and imported beers, and veggie and crudite display and cheese display for before dinner, it comes with 4 cold selections, 3 hot selections and 2 side selections for the meals It also includes the ceremony in the price. it will be a 300+ wedding oh parking is included and valet parking for the handicap and servers and bartenders are included as well They set everything up and tear it down after as well
  • tiptonbranditiptonbrandi member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    also I do not want to go any further than st. charles area due to both of our families living further away
  • edited December 2011
    $18K sounds like a lot to me.
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  • jlk0219jlk0219 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    There are lots of places in STL that are cheaper, but I'm sure there are others that are more expensive. It just depends on how much you're willing to pay. Everyone is going to have a different idea of what's a good deal.  Personally, I would never spend that much, as we are spending about $5 k on our reception, but if it works for you then go for it!
  • edited December 2011
    Sounds like a good deal.... i would still recommend doing some price comparisons at other places around that area.
  • edited December 2011
    I've seen the ballroom set up for a wedding and it was really beautiful! I think it would be fun too because after your reception is over, I am sure a lot of guests would just go down to the casino and hang out. I know as a guest, I would like this. If its in your budget and you can afford it then why not? I never knew Ameristar had an outdoor event area. What is it like?
  • tiptonbranditiptonbrandi member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Yeah I have heard both sides of the fence...i am def looking at some other places as well but I have not found a place (so far) that is really comparable...our budget is $25000 so that cuts it close to be able to make it within our budget but I think it can be done considering we have a lot of DIY things we are doing and there doesnt need to be a lot of decorations because it is so gorgeous! The outdoor event area is to die for! It is a balcony of the pool and spa that is kind of off to itself it has the top of the tree line and river in the background and is a lot of gorgeous surrounding your dont need any decorations really at all for that either! You need to see the outdoor event area if you are looking for an outdoor wedding you will fall in love (well at least I did!) If you guys know if any good places to look at in st. charles let me know! I could def use some ideas!
  • edited December 2011
    $18,000 sounds like way too much to me. Unless your just trying to impress your guests (not saying thats what your doing, please dont take the wronge way) That just seems like a way over priced venue. I have met the head chefs and toured their kitchens, and yes, they do make some amazing food. To give you an idea of other prices, my wedding/reception is going to be at the Holiday Inn out in Eureaka. Its a $1,500 minimum for a Saterday wedding, and includes all of the things that you have listed as well as our cake. Now im not trying to compare Ameristar to the Holiday Inn (there is a BIG difference) but if you think that 18000 is too much, then there are many other amazing places to go with. :) Oh, and definatly look at all your options! GOOD LUCK!
    "I heard Jesus he drank wine, I'd bet we'd get along just fine. He can calm the storm and heal the blind and I bet he'd understand a heart like mine" ~Miranda Lambert
    We ride, never worry 'bout the fall.....I guess thats just the cowbow in us all ~Tim McGraw
  • shawna77inilshawna77inil member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Personally, I think that is a WHOLE lot of money.  We are doing our entire wedding for 350 people with a complete budget of $15,000.  That includes my clothes, his clothes, all of the wedding related things that you know you have to have, most of our bridal party's clothes, etc. etc.  If you spend $18,000 on your venue, I think you will end up blowing your budget.  You have to remember that, while they do include alot of things in that money, they don't include your photographer, invitations for those three hundred people, bouquets for your bridal party, the cake, your dress, his tux, etc. etc.  A cake alone for three hundred people is going to be close to a thousand dollars, if not a little more.  A photographer, midline, is $2000 to $2500.  Figure $800 to $1000 for a dress, and that is if you don't want a designer.  Couple hundred for the shoes, bra, slip, etc. to wear under said dress, dress for the rehearsal, the list goes on and on.  I'm definitely not trying to burst your bubble, you just really have to sit down and think about all of the things that you are going to have to buy.  Postage alone cost us almost $200 and we didn't have complicated invitations.  By the time you put a stamp on the RSVP and then a stamp on the invite, you're at a buck and change per envelope.  If you can swing it, by all means, but I agree with the previous posts.  Unless you are doing all of this to impress your guests, I would save about ten grand of that and put it towards a honeymoon, down payment on a house, a new car, or (gasp!) throw it in savings.  You can have a gorgeous wedding with fantastic food for much less than what you are spending.  They charge these outrageous prices because people will pay them, not because the service is that much better.  Just my two cents.  
  • shawna77inilshawna77inil member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Also, I saw that you said they provide a DJ table, but not a DJ.  Another cost to factor in.  Doing the math here, I think your budget can't handle that venue.  If you are willing to go over, then you'll be hunky dory.
  • edited December 2011
    Sorry for another post. I re-read what I had typed, and the minimum for my reception site is 5,00.... not 1,500. Thats what I get for trying to help future hubby with number crunching and typing at the same time :) Sorry for that. And that price also includes the DJ. Shawna77inil, you have some very good points. Its a lot to pay when you have so many other things to think about. Granit, we are only having around 200, our budget is realy not very big. The big question you have to ask yourself is...... what is your budget for the entire wedding and does Ameristar fit in that budget?
    "I heard Jesus he drank wine, I'd bet we'd get along just fine. He can calm the storm and heal the blind and I bet he'd understand a heart like mine" ~Miranda Lambert
    We ride, never worry 'bout the fall.....I guess thats just the cowbow in us all ~Tim McGraw
  • cheerbear323cheerbear323 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think $18000 sounds too expensive, but thats for me personally. If I were going to pay that much they would have to include a lot more (like a DJ, better alcohol, etc). Did you look at Crowne Plaza in Clayton? They don't have an outdoor venue that I know of, but their ballrooms are amazing (I don't know what the prices are on their large ballrooms)
  • shawna77inilshawna77inil member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Our budget got bigger than we thought it was going to be, but that was partly because alot of our bridal party started having money issues and we ended up buying alot of clothes we weren't planning on.  I think that if you can have a wedding that is as beautiful as you want it to be for a couple hundred dollars, DO IT!  I hate that we are spending as much as we are!  We caved to the pressure of his parents wanting to invite every person they have ever met, also.  Our guest list ballooned, and I about died.  LoL  When it is all said and done, I know that we are going to have a beautiful day with alot of DIY projects and a budget we can stomach and that is what matters to us.  We didn't need to spend a small fortune on a venue just to make people oohhhh and ahhh.  It would have been nice, but we know we have better things to spend that kind of money on than a one day affair.  Our wedding will be beautiful no matter what, because it is the first day of our married life.  THAT is what matters.  :-)
  • edited December 2011
    Okay fair warning here before I respond to your question.  I am a Los Angeles Bride, but my FI lives in St. Louis.  I surf the St. Louis boards to get a feel for the area and to figure how the wedding market is in general.An 18,000 minimum means that they need you to purchase $18,000 worth of food/services in order to secure the space.  Off the bat, 18k sounds pricey even by Los Angeles standards, however that entirely depends upon your anticipated number of guests.  If you are looking at feeding and entertaining roughly around 100 people I would say the price range is insanely high.  If you are looking at around 200 to 250 guests, I would say the price range is pretty good.Don't be fooled by ballroom minimums. That's basically their price they figure to turn a profit on a room for that particular time slot. You can still secure that room for less if you are willing to fudge your date for a Friday or a Sunday if you need to.  Is this a evening wedding quote or a day-wedding quote? That also has a way of affecting the price.Before you get your heart set on a venue make sure you have explored all your options.  Even if you think you are certain, sometimes there is what you think is best and then there is something out there even better.I hope that helps.
  • tiptonbranditiptonbrandi member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for all your opinions, i appreciate it. And just to respond to what some of you may think, it has nothing to do with trying to impress people. I have always had a vision of the way I wanted my wedding to be and I am sorry if you think that that is trying to impress people, that is not my intentions, it is just my dream to have things a certain way. I am def looking at other places but stayin in st charles area. Thanks again everyone
  • edited December 2011
    I have the same budget as you and am paying $17,500 for the Top of the Met in downtown St. Louis.  It includes everything (waiter service for each table, cake, centerpeices, a double entree, etc) for 200 people.  I've been getting great deals with other vendors and am coming in under my budget.  So if you are getting 100 more people for an extra $500 I think that's a good deal, especially if you are getting everything you want.  When you break it down that's only $60 per person!But the bottom line is whether or not you like the venue and what it offers for the price regardless of what other people's opinions are.
  • cjcolombattocjcolombatto member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I don't think it's too high.  It's still cheaper than most of the hotels I looked at downtown.  Don't feel guilty.  Everyone's budget is different and as long as you stick to the parameters you set for yourself, you'll be fine.  Good luck!
  • tiptonbranditiptonbrandi member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks! i think we are def going to go with ameristar because I have not yet found another place in st. charles that has anywhere near what I am looking for and most are around the same price as far as minimum goes and their dishes are more expensive meaning I would have to invite less people to spend the same amount of people :( Anyway thanks for everyones advice and opinions
  • suze89suze89 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Just one note of caution! We had a $10,000 minimum at Crowne Plaza Clayton (medium ballroom---Big ballroom is 18,000) and thought we were reaching it this whole time. BUT it is 10,000 BEFORE tax and grat, so you may have to spend $18,000 and then add on 18-20% grat and whatever the tax is. Which is going to be $4000-$5000 more. Just read the contract!!
  • edited December 2011
    With most places the minimum does not include tax and gratuity so you're looking at around $24,000 instead of $18,000. Have you thought about looking at dates in the off season? We're getting married at the Coronado Ballroom and since the wedding is in January they are waving the $18,000 minimum, we just have to guarantee 100 people. Like everyone else said, if you don't mind going over your budget than you should definitely go for it.
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