Cheap location help for reception in Michigan??

I am having a hard time finding somewhere that is unique yet cheap for both a ceremony and reception in Michigan.  I am looking anywhere within say 2-2.5 hours within the Metro Detroit area.  My fiance and I are on a small budget, looking for a place that could accommodate about 100 guests.  I am open to any and all ideas!!  I have looked into golf courses, barns, castles, etc. and everything seems to be pretty expensive.  I am pretty sure it would be cheaper to bring in our own caterer as well as buy our own alcohol (something I think we both agree on that we won't cut from our budget).  Also, we are looking for a place we could rent that would supply tables and restrooms and would also do clean-up.  Does anyone have any suggestions??? We are also planning to DIY as much as we can to save costs as well!

Re: Cheap location help for reception in Michigan??

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    Welcome to the Detroit board!

    The places you mentioned (golf courses, barns, castles) are probably going to be at the top of the list cost wise. You don't say what you consider "cheap", and that word can have different meanings to different people. Are you looking to spend $10 per person, $25 per person, $50 per person?

    At the top of this board there is a post with a push pin labeled "vendors". That is where past brides have identified their venues and other vendors, reviewed them and provided costs. Also, if you go to www.weddingchannel.com, a sister company of the Knot, you can search for venues and get ratings an indication of prices.

    We were intent on keeping our costs down for our wedding when we were planning our marriage in August 2011. We secured Greenmead Village in Livonia, a city owned public park that is a small version of Greenfield Village. They have historic buildings, a chapel, and an old home turned into a banquet facility. Max capacity is 100 people for the banquet and chapel buildings. The chapel is non-denominational and you bring in your own officiant. It's a lovely alternative, they supply tables, chairs, and dancefloor. They also have picnic tables outside. However, when you rent the "bare bones" facility, everything else you bring in costs money. You are supplying the food, chef, catering staff, linens, plates, glassware, utensils, bartender, and liquor. Plus, the decor items. I did a ton of DIY, we purchased our own alcohol and used Holiday Market for our catering at Greenmead. It all still added up to about $6000, for 73 people.

    A "bare bones" venue isn't always cheaper. The best way to reduce the cost of your wedding is to cut the guest list, have your wedding on a Friday night or Sunday, plan your wedding during the months of November to March (non-wedding season). If you have your reception at a non-meal time (ie the ceremony is around 1-2 pm, so a full meal isn't needed) it's also helpful.

    If you are interested in the venue we used, there is a link below for my bio, which has multiple links inside for photos and vendors. Our cost is probably not typical, because we had 2 entrees, one of which was beef fillet. If you find a venue you like, the best way to keep the costs down on catering is to consider using one of the local gourmet food markets like Joe's Produce in Livonia, or Holiday Market in Royal Oak. Because they are gourmet grocery stores and not making their only profits on catering, they tend to be a bit less expensive than catering companies. And their food is delicious.

    Another cool feature of the Knot is that you can search boards at the bottom. If you search this board and enter "venue", you will get tons of matches for places previously recommended.

    Good luck.

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    In Northern Oakland country check out Upland Hills Farm near Addison Oaks and Goldner Walsh Greenhouse and Nursery in Pontiac, near Bloomfield. Both are low cost to use and allow your own catering, vendors and can do both ceremony and reception in a unique location. Other people have asked a similar question recently, so check out the responses in those threads.
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    edited June 2013
    Hey I know what you are going through. 
    I had the same experience.  
    A few options:
    Cobble Stone Farms (they book up fast so I would go asap and see if it what you want):  

    River Art Gallery in Chelsea (they don't provide table and chairs but a reasonably priced)

     I do not remember pricing but The Russell Bazaar, which has an exhibition center (a multi-media room) that is about 10,000 Sq. Ft. on their first floor. There is a built in stage & back dressing room inside the space. They usually use the space for fashion shows, conferences, etc. You can contact the Russell Bazaar's manager, Shantell, at her office (313) 972-7009 .

    Sorry I don't have more. If there is a certain town you want to get married in I would definitely recommend contacting the visitors bureau. I know it sounds strange but I did this for Ann Arbor and they have a people on staff who will help you. I got hotel prices,  a list of venues, transportation companies, and more all e-mailed to me at no cost.    


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    What about a backyard wedding? We just did ours in my parents' backyard. It was so fun and relaxing. Free is relative, as there was the cost of tent rental, tables and chairs, but we had a 40-person reception so that helped keep costs down. Other than that, how do you feel about a public park wedding? We looked at Frankenmuth briefly and were quoted a $400 rental fee for one of their public parks. There's also a schoolhouse in Frankenmuth, on Grandpa Tiny's farm, that was ridiculously cheap. Can't remember the price but it was in the low hundreds.
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    You can look into the Taylor conservatory for your ceremony, they are $700 for the location for 100 chairs, you book them through crystal gardens, and arnaldos banquet in riverview is nice and are about $35/pp. Also you can look into the Grecian center in southgate, they have a beautiful outdoor area for ceremonies and nice reception areas for about $30/pp for food and bar.
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    I would suggest looking into Tapestry Banquet Hall in Southfield.  Their lunch buffet options start at $20/person and you bring in your own liquor.  That price includes bartenders, room fees & gratuity.  Some friends of mine had an afternoon reception there and it was awesome. The food was really good.  Though I'm not sure if they have a ceremony site.
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