Budget Weddings Forum

Inexpensive Reception Venues

My fiance and I have been talking about having a wedding kind of late in the day, probably around 7pm. Then we want to have a dessert reception with our guests. Mostly we just want to keep costs down, and this way we can have the wedding on a Friday. We're hoping to get married in October, so it'll probably be a little chilly here in Missouri, Does anyone have any suggestions of places that allow outside catering and are inexpensive? I've been thinking about renting out a shelter at a park because it won't be crowded, but is it rude to expect guests to bring jackets? Having a reception at the park also means we probably won't have space for music and dancing. We're thinking we'll have 80-100 guests.
Thanks

Re: Inexpensive Reception Venues

  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    If you're having your ceremony at 7pm, that's still a dinner time, so you'd need to feed your guests enough food to constitute as a full meal. If you're like to have a dessert-only reception, then I'd recommend to do it even later (although then you get into the territory of being TOO late) or a mid-afternoon (like 2pm) ceremony.

    Your local board may have some better info on actual venues, but some things to consider: local parks, rec centers, or even ask at City Hall (they usually have info on things of this nature). How many people are you thinking of inviting? Some restaurants can even have large private rooms which can be relatively affordable (especially since the cost of utensils, serving items, plates, chairs, etc. is included!).

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  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2015

    My fiance and I have been talking about having a wedding kind of late in the day, probably around 7pm. Then we want to have a dessert reception with our guests. Mostly we just want to keep costs down, and this way we can have the wedding on a Friday. We're hoping to get married in October, so it'll probably be a little chilly here in Missouri, Does anyone have any suggestions of places that allow outside catering and are inexpensive? I've been thinking about renting out a shelter at a park because it won't be crowded, but is it rude to expect guests to bring jackets? Having a reception at the park also means we probably won't have space for music and dancing. We're thinking we'll have 80-100 guests.

    Thanks
    All of what JennyColada said, but also: 

    If it's going to be chilly outside, you need to plan accordingly and have heaters. If you're already budget-conscious, that's going to be an extra expense to take into consideration. You don't need to have music and dancing, but you do need to host your guests appropriately and comfortably.
    The easiest way to keep costs down is to cut your guest list, so if you can do that, your money will go a lot farther. 

    And if you're having your ceremony at 7, you're going to need to serve more than dessert. You can cater a full meal for pretty cheap also -- look into local Italian or BBQ places that do catering. 
  • What is required:

    • Shelter from the elements (not too hot, too cold, too wet, or too hilly)
    • Restrooms
    • A place for every body to sit
    • Food and drink appropriate to the time of day.

    So, yes, it is inappropriate to expect your guests to wear their jackets.  Either it needs to be inside or you need to rent appropriate equipment (tent, heaters, etc.).

    Also, if you want a dessert reception, then the earliest I would go is 8pm.  Most people try to arrive to weddings early (15-30 minutes).  Say on average it's a 20-30 minute drive for most people to get to your wedding.  So at 7pm, most people are going to leave for your wedding at 6:00 or 6:15.  Most people are going to take some time to freshen up, put on dressier clothes, etc. for your wedding.  So that doesn't leave a lot of "dinner" time for them. 

    As for venues, if you have a relationship with a church, you could see if they have a hall where they usually host events you can use.  Community centers are another option.  If you attended a college/university and that's nearby, you can see if they have a space you can rent (alumni will often get a reduced rate).  Think outside the box - instead of looking at wedding venues, just look at places where events in general are held in your community - theaters, halls, marinas, casinos - any place that has an open room to rent.

    JCbride2015CMGragain
  • I would see if you can find a community center or park building to rent. I know that in Ohio, October weather is so unpredictable and that shelters around here only have picnic tables and no sides and genernally no lighting either. So with an event that late in the day, you have to plan for heaters, lights and lights to direct people to bathrooms too. Check with your local board for recommendations. Also, if you move it up to an early afternoon reception, you can still do a dessert reception and since it's light outside, you can get some great outdoor photos (weather permitting) with the great falls colors. If you have a reception that starts between 6-8, you need to feed your guests dinner.
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I grew up in Missouri and remember some October evenings being more than a little chilly. For the comfort of your guests, you really should have the wedding indoors.

    Are there any parks in your area that have indoor facilities? Community centers or Lions Club/Knights of Columbus halls? You can try asking on your local board for suggestions on venues. Also, a Friday wedding doesn't necessarily cost less than Saturday, depending on the location and vendors you choose.
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  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Inexpensive doesn't have to be cheap.

    Look for a Friday evening wedding (I saved $800 on the venue alone just for choosing a Friday Night). For venues, a lot of VFW/Lions/Kiwanis/KOC halls will let you rent for fairly cheap. And yes, italian and BBQ are probably your cheapest bets for food.  

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    JennyColada
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Our venue was park district for a local suburb. They hosted many events for local police and fire and stocked their own equipment (dishes, linens, chairs, etc.) to to keep costs low on a regular basis. And, because they were a community center, we got outdoor seating for $.35/chair because they just needed to deliver them from another facility. They host lots of weddings as well and people would donate what they didn't use, meaning there was a huge closet of things we could borrow- table numbers, vases, etc.

    We were lucky that it was a pretty space (recent renovation) but a venue of this type would likely let you decorate if needed.
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