Cocktail Reception Venue?

nebullamanebullama member
First Comment 5 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
edited July 2013 in Michigan-Detroit
Does anyone know of a good Metro-Detroit venue for a cocktail reception? (preferably one that is budget friendly) 

I'm thinking heavy hors d'oeuvres (maybe small comfort-food stations) and cocktails for 100-125 people.  Being that I'm not sure an all-inclusive type place exists for such a thing, I'm hoping to keep the space rental fee under $1000 (if possible) and just find outside catering.

Any suggestions?
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Re: Cocktail Reception Venue?

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    Our venue might meet your needs, but they only hold 100 max. We had our ceremony and reception at Greenmead Village in Livonia (on Newburgh Rd and 8 Mile Rd). Use the link below for my wedding website, there is a link on the first page for photos. Also links for vendors, where their information is located.

    Not sure if you want the cocktail reception instead of a meal because you think it will be cheaper. In most cases it is not. If you have your reception at a meal time (before 8 pm), you will have to serve enough appetizers to constitute a meal. That would be 10-15 heavy appetizers per person. Appetizers often cost as much as a meal because instead of putting a large amount of the same food into a pan to cook, each one is prepared separately, by people, by hand. The labor costs more, so they can cost more in the end. Stations are manned by people.

    The ways to keep costs down is to 1) have your reception on a day other than Saturday, ie a Friday or Sunday, many caterers offer discounts on those days, 2) have it during the "non-wedding season" of November - March, 3) have a shorter reception of maybe 4 hrs total, at a non-meal time, 4) if serving alcohol, just have beer, wine & maybe a signature drink.

    If you find a venue, for caterers I'd recommend looking into gourmet stores that also do catering. Joe's Produce in Livonia, Holiday Market in Royal Oak, Randazzo's, Vince & Joe's all do catering. We checked into Joe's Produce and Holiday Market, had tastings at both, and they were wonderful. Ultimately we went with Holiday Market. We had high end food (I'm a foodie), but could have easily served a pasta or chicken dish with sides and probably would have only paid $15 per person. The issue with bringing in an outside caterer is that they have to bring everything with them: linens, tables & chairs, dishes/plates/utensils/glassware, chafing/serving dishes, and people to serve, prepare, clear. I made spreadsheets of vendors that supplied all this stuff, checking into the lowest prices. They were no lower than having Holiday Market bring everything.  In the end, while I had a marvelous wedding, the costs were still comparable to an all inclusive venue that supplies everything.  However, gourmet stores that cater don't make all their money from catering, so they can often negotiate in ways a caterer cannot.

    We secured our venue and saved like crazy for 18 months, so when our wedding occurred we were able to pay for it all at the end. Because you set the date of your wedding, you can also save over time so you can have what you want. You can delay it.

    At the top of this board there is a post with a post-it pin labeled "vendors, reviews" etc. Brides have posted on there about their venues and costs. Also, weddingchannel.com has reviews for more venues than are on the post above.

    Good luck and welcome to the Detroit board.

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    Wow, thank you for such a thorough reply.  :)

    I think you actually hit upon exactly what I'm hoping to find. A venue and an outside caterer, where all said and done the costs will parallel an all inclusive hall (one that's in a $ to $$ range on the knot scale).

    Greenmead looks interesting, and I will check that out.  Does anyone know of any other non-banquet hall venues?  An art gallery perhaps?  Anything?  I've looked into VFW halls and such, but would dearly love to find some other options.
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