Can't find...the venue...stuck...HELP ME PLEASE.

Hi guys,

My name is Katie and I got engaged in May to a cutey guy from Taiwan. My FI and I were originally planning to have our wedding on 12-9-12 but then his parents couldn't work with that date so we bumped it to March 2013. Anyway, I don't have any extra money lying around, and neither does my fiance. My parents are giving me 10,000 dollars for my entire wedding, which is great.

According to my budgeting, I need to save approximately $3,000 for photography and videography. I need maybe $1,000 for floral, and $800 for a DJ. Throw in a cake and that adds up to $5000.

So---I am trying to find a wedding venue...which includes the food, alcohol, linens, tables, chairs, bartenders, security, gratuity, taxes, basically everything required for the reception and ceremony...for around $5000. I almost went with Ashton Gardens, but it was going to end up being 1-2k more than my goal at the minimum...and my dad keeps freaking out saying that spending 7k on a wedding is absurd. I agree, but why are Houston weddings so f-ing expensive? Anyway, I've been searching and searching and now I am starting to wonder if I should have just went with AG because it seems like everything else is even more expensive.

I would prefer a venue that includes cake and DJ, in that case I could go to 6 or 7k. As far as what I am looking for-- I love the look and feel of Ashton Gardens. I also like the look and feel of Hotel Sorella, the Grove, and of course the ever popular Rice Crystal ballroom, the Corinthian and the Houstonian hotels.

I did contact all of these venues (and more, I have a google doc if you wanna see :P), but their prices are way above my budget. Does anyone know of a venue with the same look and feel as these venues but with a lower price? I am willing to go a ways out of Houston, even College Station is okay...but then I need lodging or a hotel nearby for out of town guests and myself (I plan to get wasted on my wedding night, of course).  I am now thinking about the Huntsville Raven Lodge...but...saying I am not a DIY bride would be a gross understatement and I'm not sure I could handle something like a state park scenario.

Any suggestions specific to my scenario would be very, very appreciated! Alternatively, if there is some elusive link which answers all my questions already, feel free to send it my way.

Oh--I forgot...I am planning to have approximately 60 guests at my wedding :)

Re: Can't find...the venue...stuck...HELP ME PLEASE.

  • Courtyard on St James, The Avia Hotel in the Woodlands (Hyatt) my friend is doing hers there getting married on the veranda and reception inside, The Gallery, The Alden, Magnolia, Ashleynn Manor, Hotel Derek - a friend did her ceremony and reception there in their smaller ballroom
  • I booked my wedding at a winery in the Hill Country (right outside of Austin).  The winery we choose is Flat Creek Winery...but there are plenty to choose from!  Our price includes ceremony (chairs included), fancy dinner (food, silverware, etc included), and reserved space for afterparty.  The price is by number of guests....so the cost is up to you.  You buy the wine or bring in your own alcohol...and are responsible for flowers ...band/dj (of you want)...and photographer.  It is a non-gratuity establishment, so no worries about adding in a tip.  The cost is about $90/person (more depending on what menu you choose).

    Hope this helps! We are very happy with our choice! Just wanted to share!

  • Going with the post about the winery - If you want a more local winery - Haak Winery.

    Other locations in town:  The Gallery, The Heights old Firestation, Ouisie's Table
  • A lot of times it is more difficult to keep the cost down at an ll inclusive place like you mentioned.

    I am having my wedding at Gardens of Bammel Lane (their website is down right now but here http://pinterest.com/melbosa/gardens-of-bammel-lane/ is my Pinterest with pictures of it)

    I think it was either $2000 or $2500 to book on a Sunday. 60 guests would fit perfectly. You can have both the ceremony and reception there and the price includes a credit toward table and chair rentals.

    Another option is  Northwest Forest Conference Center, but I know their prices have gone up since I met with them. They are more all-inclusive, but I found their alcohol prices to be ridicccccculous.

    Another option:

  • Have you tried Petroleum Club?  I think they should be in your budget... try one of the smaller ballrooms, not the biggest one.  I'm also not sure about ceremonies there.

    I would also recommend Gardens of Bammel Lane.  Very beautiful, and if you find a cheap caterer, budget-friendly.  It would require more DIY

    The Heights Firestation is also super cheap, but very DIY.

    It might be hard to find something all inclusive for that amount.

    Brady's Landing might be doable too on that budget.  They do include cake in their packages.

    Also, just to let you know, you don't HAVE to spend $1000 on flowers.  If you're able to do anything DIY, then you can buy wholesale flowers, throw a few in a vase for each centerpiece, make simple bouquets, and only spend a few hundred dollars.  At the same time, however, you might find your photo/video budget a little tight. 

  • For photos check out Reclaimed Moments. The price is right in your range and they are amazing. Got my epics back and am sooo happy that I am using them. You can save some money there to put towards the venue.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Adding on to sleepy, my flowers are costing me a grand total of $630. I'm going with Claudia at A Day To Remember. And Emily and Fleurish Imagery is amazing (one of her pics is my sig pic) and will save you a chunk of change in your photog budget. 

    These ladies have given you great ideas. The smaller room at the Petroleum club would probably fit well with your budget and your theme. 

    It's do able! Don't give up!

    "You're our early 20's BSC scarecrow. They cower at your maturity." - lennonkdc Anniversary
  • You might try looking at La Torretta. Ended up deciding to do it DIY at our home, but they looked tempting when I was still looking, seated dinner packages started at $60/person, plus $15-20/person for alcohol packages. I was only put off because they wouldn't let my fiance bring in his homebrew to serve, and because it was way too non-DIY for my tastes!
  • Since your FI is from Taiwan, have you considered doing an Asian banquet? Kim Son would be well within your budget. The only thing is you'd probably need to find a different place for the ceremony.

    We got married 11/3/12!!

  • Try Butlers Courtyard
    They include the cake, food, DJ, all the tables & chairs and you have the place for the day.
    If you get married on a Sunday or even a friday its a lot cheaper.

    Also look into Kehma Gardens. That was really nice

    Theres also a few places in Brenham but I cant think of their names off the top of my head

    Good luck. Im paying for my wedding all myself and I cant believe how much stuff costs either
  • I am planning on a wedding at the Petroleum Club of Houston on a Saturday, their smaller banquet room (The Discovery Room) holds up to 80 people, and their minimum is $50 a person, or $2500 (which is 50 people multiplied by $50, so with $60 it would be a bit more) That does not include alcohol however, so youd have to work with them on that. BUT they have a liquor license that allows them to sell hard liquor at wholesale prices) If you go with their limited bar its an extra 7.50pp which includes partenders fees, etc and then on top of that w/e the people drink. 

    For our 65 guests, including taxes and gratuity we are looking at just under $6k BUT that includes a 1k bar price and more guests then youll have. I think with a 10k budget, a 3k photographer might be a little much.. unless youre like me and its one of the most important parts! 

    Also, remember that a lot of these venues charge $$$ for ceremony locations. The Petroleum Club wont offer one because the Discovery Room is their ceremony location, and youd be renting it. But there is the Univ of Houston Bruce Religion Center that offers a ceremony( super pretty too) and its $650.

    Hope this helps! Oh and you should consider diying your flowers.. that could easily save you $500!
  • I am going with Vintage Villas in Austin it's pretty much all inclusive. For a buffet at $36 per person, 2 hour open bar at $12 per person and another 2 hr. cash bar plus a coordinator for the day, facility rental, service charge, and all that's included at the bottom for 53 people is costing me 6,259.94

    Wedding Reception Package Includes

    the following Services:

    _ Ceremony Coordination (if needed)

    Ceremony Rehearsal Time

    Outdoor or Indoor Ceremony Site

    Ceremony Seating

    Beautiful Indoor Rain Plan

    Standing Microphone for Ceremony & Reception

    Reception Tables, Chairs, China, Glassware and Flatware

    Guest Table Centerpiece Components including:

    ~ Glass Bubble Bowls ~ Hurricane Lamps

    ~ Lily Bowls ~ Tile Mirrors ~ Votive Holders with Tea Lights

    White or Black Floor-Length Draped Linens

    White or Black Linen Overlays

    White or Black Linen Napkins & Choice of Napkin Fold

    Set-Up & Tear Down of Facility Items

    Additional One Hour for Vendor Set-Up

    Two Hour Photo Time for Engagement/Wedding Portraits Prior to Wedding Day

    Portrait Easel at your Reception

    Cake Cutting & Cake Service

    On-site Complimentary Parking

    Groom Changing Room with Private Restroom

    Bridal Room with Natural Sunlight, Large Mirrors and Private Restroom

    Complimentary King Room with a Jacuzzi Tub

  • WOW, guys, thank you so much!!! I didn't think I'd get so many replies--thank you, thank you! I did ask the petroleum club before, but I believe I asked for them to include the ceremony and it ended up being too expensive. I will try asking again without the ceremony included. About Asian style wedding, I am definitely not opposed to some Taiwanese style in the wedding, just need to make sure that neither one of us (or our cultures rather) gets overpowered. I am convinced that there must be some super cheap places to get married in Chinatown that I just haven't heard about....lol. I am looking into all of your suggestions, the flower and photography tips are really great also, thanks again!! I'll keep checking for more suggestions.
  • Good luck!  Definitely keep coming back here, or the other boards, for other suggestions on how to save $$

    The budget bride board is a good one.

    You didn't mention how you were paying for your dress, suits/tuxes, or invitations. 

    Also, in case no one mentioned it already, you can save money on alcohol by having only beer, wine, and a signature cocktail of some sort.

  • Holy CRAAAAP, I had NO idea Flat Creek was so expensive! It's like, 3 miles from my Mom's house. I grew up there. I didn't think ANYTHING in our area was that expensive!

    I wasn't even aware they held events for larger parties. I hope it was really nice, and the THC was good to you!!!
  • Hi Amanda, thanks for this advice. I got really excited about the petroleum club, but when  I contacted them they let me know they are closed on Sundays, unless I meet a 20,000 food and beverage minimum (haha :\)...unfortunately I am stuck on my date (which is a Sunday).
  • If u can go with rustic..take a look at TownHallTexas.com...very reasonable and close to everything....5 miles east of the woodlands...$2500 for venue on a Sunday...they will help u with caterer/dj...beautiful place"
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