Budget Weddings Forum

Torn between two venues...help!!

My fiance and I have looked at two venues and came home today to make a pros and cons of each.  One is a local park and barn where the ceremony would be outside and the reception inside, but there is no kitchen or bathrooms in the facility. There are bathrooms adjacent to the reception area, but I worry should it rain..we all will be drowned rats. It costs about $225 more for the day to rent it than the other venue.  The other venue is a 1815 mansion that is less expensive, but the courtyard that I would like to use has brick that is coming up a bit due to roots from a big ole beautiful tree there.  I am worried that any of us might trip on those bricks and fall down :(   We could do an all outdoors wedding and reception, but would have to walk a bit to use the bathroom and I am sure that would not be fun at all.
I am at a loss...there are good and bad to be said about both places. 

Re: Torn between two venues...help!!

  • I'd keep looking. Bathrooms (and prolly kitchen) are important and if you're worried about safety I would move past that one too
  • Well the one that has the issue with the bricks also has plenty of area for me to do the reception outside without being near the brick.  I can get a dance floor and guests can go inside to use the bathroom.  I still think this might be the better venue.
  • Agree with PP's. Bathrooms are way too important of a thing to compromise on when you're hosting that many guests. Keep looking. 
    If you're really only going to choose between those two - sounds like the mansion is the clear choice. 
  • I think the mansion sounds like the more reasonable option.  Bathrooms are such an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to the comfort of your guests.  Perhaps a cute sign saying watch your step at the entrance to the patio may ease your brick-tripping fears.

    If neither feels "perfect" then I agree with PP to keep looking.  I started looking at venues in July, but due to our budget and my vision not making venues easy to find, we only found the ones this past week.  And believe me, it was so worth the wait to stand where I would be walking down the aisle to my groom standing where he would be seeing to me for the first time.  It gave me chills.  Don't settle, and good luck! : )
  • My concern with the mansion is a wet weather plan...not sure that it would work should we not have beautiful weather.  The barn would, but guests would have to go a short distance to the bathrooms outside...by the way, they are not port-a-johns.  We will look at a few other places though.


  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    The mansion sounds like a much better plan, especially if you can have the event away from the sketchy brick area. Is it a large area with the brick problems? Could you put a table over the bad bricks or something else to cover it up so people aren't walking around there? 

    Something else to consider, though, is that if you're planning to have the entire event outside, you need to have a Plan B in case of poor weather conditions. If you're moving it all outside BECAUSE the indoor option is no good, then I'd reconsider the venue entirely. 
  • Yeah...i thought about a table over the area too...the venue says yes and they might even be working on smoothing bricks out by the time my wedding next September comes around.  I am going in a few weeks to see the inside options.  Rain is my biggest fear so I need to have a plan B for sure.  Thanks for the help!!
  • The mansion sounds like the better option. I agree with PP to do something so that no one trips over the bricks. Either put a table over it, or fence it off, something.

    With the mansion, can you get a room or something inside in case that it rains?

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  • Is renting say a luxury port o john to make the bathrooms closer to the barn and option? Is the bathroom building close enough to the barn where if the weather looks questionable you could rent a tent that would run the distance of the barn & bathroom (or luxury port o john)?
  • yes, tables can be put over the raised bricks, if the venue owners are unable to get them to lay down because of the tree roots...i have attached a picture of the tree in the courtyard and the barn venue.  The bathroom is to the right and slightly down the hill.  I just found out today when I went to look at the barn that my wedding date is now taken and that it will cost me $400 more to rent it next year.  
  • I don't think the bricks are that bad.  Old, historic places have old details like uneven cobblestone and brick.  As long as it will be sufficiently lit and that isn't the dance area, people are smart enough to proceed with caution over bricks.  

    And, you'll have event insurance just in case someone trips regardless of what venue you choose.  If you hadn't priced that into your budget, add it.  For a 120 person wedding with open bar, mine was $200-something through Markel.  Worth every cent to know if any property was damaged, anyone tripped, or despite bartenders' efforts someone was overserved and drove home, that I was covered.
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    yes, tables can be put over the raised bricks, if the venue owners are unable to get them to lay down because of the tree roots...i have attached a picture of the tree in the courtyard and the barn venue.  The bathroom is to the right and slightly down the hill.  I just found out today when I went to look at the barn that my wedding date is now taken and that it will cost me $400 more to rent it next year.  
    I would go with the mansion. What a cool courtyard! 

    Then again, I am decidedly opposed to barn weddings, so that's definitely coloring my opinion. 
  • I would keep looking.  Or at the very least, make sure you ask yourselves these questions:

    1.  Will my guests be appropriately and comfortably accommodated if we have to move this whole thing indoors?
    2.  If your wedding may possibly go into the night past dusk, have you seen the venue at night and seen what the lighting situation is, particularly around that brick and is it well lit?  Uneven brick in the daytime is one thing, but in the dark is another.
    3.  How far away are the bathrooms and will your grandparents (or other older guests or guests with other mobility/orthopedic issues) be able to navigate there safely without dealing with uneven terrain?  Is the path well lit?

    My friend had an outdoor wedding that went well into the night.  There was a bank of lights near the barn (barn did not have a bathroom, pretty much just the bar and some music up in the loft), a bank of lights by the tent (where dinner and the DJ/dancefloor was) and a dim light by the port-a-potties.  We had to use the buddy system to navigate the uneven grassy terrain and pee in the dark. 

    So, if your answer to any of those questions is no...keep looking.  Safety, bathrooms, and comfort are important - don't sacrifice them.
  • Both of these places sound like a bad idea.
  • fwtx5815fwtx5815 cowboys nation member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    Assuming you've already decided on a budget & the number of guests you can properly host (that should come first)-- You could really make either place work if you're willing to spend the money, whether it's renting tents in case of rain, adding lighting, renting a restroom trailer, etc.

    But they also seem quite different. What is your vision for your wedding day? Once you decide that, then figure out what needs to be done to make the space work for your wedding. Build those rental items into your venue budget as non-negotiable

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  • i would keep looking. you dont want to have scene if someone trips and ends up going to hospital. It may be beautiful but in the dark those bricks can not be seen as well. 
    try looking at a few other places see if you like them but if the one place stands out the most go there. 
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  • I would keep looking.  The mansion does sound like a better idea, but it does not sound like there is an indoor option for bad weather. 
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