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Help with SMALL ceremony/reception in a nice venue!

pbintxpbintx member
First Anniversary
edited August 2013 in Texas-Houston
Hi Knotties!

I've been browsing the forums for a few weeks since I got engaged and they have been very helpful! However I keep running into hurdles with each option we look at. Budget for venue (ceremony and reception) is 16-18k (including tax/service fee) and less than 100 guests expected.

Both the fiance and I are from out of state so almost all our family and friends will be from out of town. Because of this, we would really really prefer to have the wedding and hotel either in downtown or somewhere along the Metro Rail where guests would not have to drive to go places. This has been one major limitation.

The other major limitation seems to be the expected guest count and the preference for a Saturday evening event. It seems that every place we really like either is geared towards much larger groups or has such a high minimum for F&B on Saturdays that we would never meet with the number of guests we are expecting. 

Places we have contacted so far:

Houston Museum of Natural Science: Initially was really interested in this location. Rental fee from $2-5k depending on the space; you have to use their exclusive caterers and the only caterer that got back to us only gave us a range which we calculated would be over budget.
Veranda by 17 at Sam Houston Hotel: F&B minimum was reasonable at $13k. Went to view the space and personally it felt really small and more casual than elegant.
Hotel Zaza: The hotel itself is very nice with different venues to choose from (with varied pricing). The more affordable rooms were okay, we liked the more expensive ones (of course) but didn't love them enough for the cost.

Other places we have considered but discounted:

The Grove at Discovery Green: Cute but not too crazy about having a wedding in a public park with no privacy, also no tasting or menu options available for 60+ guests.
Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel: Space looks very pretty from the pictures but way too big for our guest count (also confirmed by the coordinator).

Re: Help with SMALL ceremony/reception in a nice venue!

  • MrsH86MrsH86 member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its
    I don't have a venue suggestion, but one thing you could consider is that if people can book their hotel rooms close to the venue, a lot of hotels have shuttles or cars that could drive the guests to the venue (if it is within a short distance.) Good luck planning! :)
    ~Happy Wife.... Happy Life~
  • We had our reception at the Grove and LOVED it! Guests loved it too! You can give your guests meal options, but it has to be done in advance. Like, we put chicken or salmon on our RSVPs, and just told the Grove 34 salmon, 32 chicken, 3 kids meals, etc.

    You can also have a ceremony on their deck (or I thought you could).

    We had the same kind of problem finding a downtown venue for around 75 guests in our budget. The grove was super affordable, and everyone had such a great time!

  • My Recommendations:
    >Treebeards (Downtown)
    >Hotel Icon? (Downtown and literally on the light rail)
    >The Grove Restaurant (Downtown)
    >Magnolia Hotel (Downtown)
    >Ousies Table (near galleria)
    >Massraffs/The Wynden--their event space (near galleria)
    >Brenners (Midtown)

  • Thank you all for the suggestions! I will look into those additional venues and also the possibility of using shuttles to expand my options outside of downtown.

    I think the Grove looks really nice and it fits the guest count, but my main concern is that it's hard to predict if there will be other events going on in the park that could cause noise interference with a ceremony on the deck. It's good to know about the menu option choices though, we may end up reconsidering this and seeing if there an indoor ceremony option.
  • we booked Northwest Forest Conference Center.  they have guest rooms on site and outdoor ceremony space with indoor reception space if that's the routes you want to go.  We're having wedding on a Sunday so I think total we're paying $5000 depending on what we do about liquor.  They do catering, they include a cake, and a coordinator. it is out in cypress though (290 and Telge) .  I know you want to be in town, but with the budget, it might help if you stretch out your search
    Bre Wrties
  • Ousie's Table is gorgeous and the food it is fantastic!  We checked them out and the best part was there wasn't a room fee!
  • jordancorrine2015jordancorrine2015 rosenberg, tx member
    10 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary
    my fiance and i are checking out the belle rose maison it occupies 75 guest and its a decent price for $1800 and $200 for ceremony and they have french inspired courses. we are doing off site catering but for the of all the other ones i've seen it seems to be the best at cost.
  • Take a look at Courtyard on St James. It's in the galleria area. Ceremony is outdoors in the courtyard. Real nice. But I'm not sure what their minimum is. 
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