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