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Cocktail Reception

I was pondering the idea of having a cocktail reception (passed hors d'oeurvres & open bar) for my wedding as opposed to a sit down dinner to save on costs; but i'm finding most places charge just about AS MUCH!  Anyone know of any cost saving cocktail reception venues that i can look into?? I've been quoted $70pp for sit down dinners on Long Island (at halls) thought i could get a better price by doing just a cocktail reception but i guess NYC is too expensive...
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Re: Cocktail Reception

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    alisonzalisonz member
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    edited December 2011
    they should def not be the same cost.

    try to find a place that will let you bring your own alcohol. we're saving a couple thousand by doing that.

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    edited December 2011
    have you considered looking into getting a loft and hiring a caterer?  I hadn't looked into it, but I would think it would be a less expensive way of doing it.
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    edited December 2011
    How many people?
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    edited December 2011
    nycbride - i wanted the exact same thing but upon inquiring with several caterers, it seemed to cost just as much, if not more.  i'm guessing because of the labor involved with passed hors d'oeuvres and the amount that you need?  i don't know, it surprised me.

    we decided to do a combination of what allsonz and nova suggested - we are getting a loft so that we can pick our caterer and bring our own alcohol.  we ended up going with a caterer that is reasonably priced and does drop off catering, and we are hiring bartenders and servers separately.  i didn't find out until after we had already booked the venue that the catering company has their own restaurant that they use as a venue!  i did a tasting in december and the food was fabulous and the restaurant was cool.  it sort of looked like a nice wine bar.  i have no idea what they charge to do use their restaurant as a venue and i can't give any review of how it was working with them because our wedding isn't until may.  but if this helps, let me know if you want their contact information!

    oh and it's mediterranean food!
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    edited December 2011
    NYC bride BethanyBez had a coctail reception at Branch Nightclub and I believe that it was quite reasonable.  Might be worth looking into!
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    xtine_xtinextine_xtine member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm also looking into doing something similar. When you talk to some of these loft spaces, they can give you a list of caterers that they work well with. I recently went to 632 on Hudson (gorgeous space) and the owner gave me a list of caterers who know the space. Because this loft is very small, there's no room for a real dining area. We would do passed hors d'oeurvres and maybe some food stations. I like the idea of everyone mingling and grazing rather than a formal sit down dinner. The catering in this case would be cheaper than if we did a sit down.
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    MrsKocalMrsKocal member
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    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-york-new-york-city_cocktail-reception?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:114Discussion:db056113-ca75-434e-8b3c-24743eed7c75Post:0a69c5be-0972-4bf2-8cb0-c2dede7cb4e6">Re: Cocktail Reception</a>:
    [QUOTE]NYC bride BethanyBez had a coctail reception at Branch Nightclub and I believe that it was quite reasonable.  Might be worth looking into!
    Posted by dnagal[/QUOTE]

    I was thinking about Bethany too - her blog is <a href="http://budgetbride.tumblr.com/">http://budgetbride.tumblr.com/</a>.  She has lots of great budget tips there, and more info about her own wedding.
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    edited December 2011
    it compeltely depends on the type of venue you are looking at. if you go to a regular catering hall they have "minimums" per night that they need to meet, especially for weekends. and usually those rentals are for 5 hours so even if you only want to be there for 2 you are still paying for the time you're not using. you're much better off with a loft that can handle the level of flexibility you're looking for. and, have you looked at restaurants? people talk a lot about ReBar, though i've never been there.
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    alisonzalisonz member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    careful with lofts though, they drive up the cost of everything because of rentals.

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    jen+nolanjen+nolan member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm doing this and found it to be about $5 less pp than the meal would be BUT really you can save more.

    I'm not having waiters I'm having several "food stations" (as the cater calls them) with staff at each to keep them stocked. So I'm saving in the cost of wait staff. Also I am setting up small cocktail size tables and bringing in lounge chairs and couches so that eliminates the cost of the place settings. AND I'm doing hors d'oeurvres and several tiny desserts options, so that means my Wedding cake can be smaller (and cost less!!)

    As for alcohol I wanted to have an open bar with lots of options but then the reality of how expensive that will be hit me and we have decided to have beer, wine, champagne, and 4 specialty drinks. FI and I are going to pick our favorites and give them wedding themed or "us" themed names and have them premixed in pitcher so we can spend less and have fewer bartenders.
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