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Budget Weddings

Wedding Venue Help!!!

I am having so much trouble finding a venue that I like, can afford, and is available.  

Does anyone have advice on where to search places?  Theknot is great, but because it lists so many great things, not much is available :( 

We are looking for something in the lower price range that can hold at least 225 people, and the ceremony and reception can be held there...I was hoping not to go just a banquet hall route, but that might be the case...I was hoping it could be a scenic place with indoor and outdoor stuff, but I am assuming that is more pricey 
Knottie1432324243

Re: Wedding Venue Help!!!

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I am having so much trouble finding a venue that I like, can afford, and is available.  

    Does anyone have advice on where to search places?  Theknot is great, but because it lists so many great things, not much is available :( 

    We are looking for something in the lower price range that can hold at least 225 people, and the ceremony and reception can be held there...I was hoping not to go just a banquet hall route, but that might be the case...I was hoping it could be a scenic place with indoor and outdoor stuff, but I am assuming that is more pricey 
    You might have better luck on your local board. Places pay to be advertised on TK's website and from what I saw when I was planning, most of them are fairly expensive. 

    You might want to look into local Elk's clubs, VFWs, things like that or city parks and town halls. If you were hoping for something a little fancier, you could look into a Saturday or Sunday morning wedding at a golf club or one of the places that might be out of your price range for a Saturday night wedding. Brunch is usually much more affordable than dinner and a lot of places have different rates for different days/times.
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • Definitely try your local board. 

    I googled "wedding venue (city, state)" and "private event (city, state)" when searching for ours. 
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  • And what exactly is wrong with a banquet hall???  Really, if that is what you can afford, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with going that route.  Yes, post this to your local boards as you'll get far better specific ideas/recommendations of possible hidden gems in your area (be patient as some local boards aren't as active as the national boards).  But regardless of if you have your wedding/reception in a banquet hall or a barn or the Ritz, it's all in the energy that you bring to the day.  Being stressed out about money and affording everything sucks energy away from you and the enjoyment of your day! 

    Case in point, this past weekend I hosted my parent's 50th Anniversary dinner... I ended up coming in SIGNIFICANTLY below my budget because of choosing a venue that was in my budget in the first place regardless of whether it ended up with 50 or 250.  I then could focus on having "upgrades" because I had a lot of budget leftover. Those upgrades made all the difference in the atmosphere regardless of the room used.  Granted, I didn't go overboard with my upgrades, and still ended up below budget.  Everyone thinks that they have to hit or exceed the budget, you don't, you can still have a great event and come in below what you originally planned to spend.  The key elements:  A seat for every butt, a plate for every seat, something to drink in every glass (host that which you can afford) and creature comfort (air conditioning, heating, and indoor plumbing)...  The rest is bonus!!!


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    lyndausvi[Deleted User]Denise40Knottie07178237
  • Thanks much...Nothing wrong with banquet hall - just the ones I have visited so far are not that great...smelly, falling apart, etc  :(  Just haven't had much luck at ones I've seen so far.  
  • kvrunskvruns member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Local fb wedding page - mine has people posting about venues, caterers, etc.

    Have you looked into a Friday instead of Saturday, that might save $$ too but not always

  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    We're most likely having ours at a local farmers market. It's already decorates with lights and paper laterns, and black curtains.

    Search for smaller florists in your area in Facebook and check our where they are having parties. I have event planner friends so I have an inside scoop but you'd be surprised at how many affordable and unique places are available. Also, don't be afraid to call a place you like and ask. You'd be surprised at how many places have rental policies.
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  • We're most likely having ours at a local farmers market. It's already decorates with lights and paper laterns, and black curtains. Search for smaller florists in your area in Facebook and check our where they are having parties. I have event planner friends so I have an inside scoop but you'd be surprised at how many affordable and unique places are available. Also, don't be afraid to call a place you like and ask. You'd be surprised at how many places have rental policies.
    I did this with florists and photographers also.  Search the blogs or websites of photographers and florists in your area (that would be in your price range) - most will mention the location of the weddings for each post.  I found a lot of options that way that I didn't see elsewhere.  Websites like the Knot had mostly expensive and typical wedding venues that just weren't what we were looking for.  

    Also, if you have any vendors in mind yet, they can be a great resource.  We knew who we wanted to use for photography before we found our venue, and the photographer actually ended up recommending our venue to us (a town hall) because he'd shot a wedding there before.  We never would have found it otherwise.


  • You guys are such a big help thank you!

    Also - Some places I have found include taxes and gratuity and others do not...in order for me to accuratley compare final price what is a good way to calculate taxes and gratuity?
  • You guys are such a big help thank you!

    Also - Some places I have found include taxes and gratuity and others do not...in order for me to accuratley compare final price what is a good way to calculate taxes and gratuity?
    If you get a quote/pricing for a place that does not include taxes/gratuity, then definitely estimate that in so you are comparing apples to apples when deciding between venues.  For tax, you'll want to look at the meals tax rate for your state (I believe).  Only the food will be taxed (not labor).  For gratuity I would estimate between 18-20% of the food (again, not labor/service).  That's the way ours is broken down, anyway.  The gratuity can vary a bit but our caterer includes a 20% gratuity in the contract.


    Knottie1431982233MesmrEweCMGragain
  • I am having so much trouble finding a venue that I like, can afford, and is available.  

    Does anyone have advice on where to search places?  Theknot is great, but because it lists so many great things, not much is available :( 

    We are looking for something in the lower price range that can hold at least 225 people, and the ceremony and reception can be held there...I was hoping not to go just a banquet hall route, but that might be the case...I was hoping it could be a scenic place with indoor and outdoor stuff, but I am assuming that is more pricey 
    My daughter brunch wedding was held at a golf and country club with fantastic views.  Having a morning ceremony followed by a brunch buffet reception was half the cost that a dinner reception would have been.  The club handled the catering, and it was wonderful.
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    MesmrEwe
  • Depending on where you live you may be able to find every type of vendor you can think of on facebook groups. Maryland wedding consignment page for example has hundreds of vendors.

    It is in your best bet to clearly state what your budget is. Asking for "reasonable" venues, or a photographer "that won't charge and arm and a leg" doesn't mean the same thing to everyone, especially if you are looking at  large metropolitan area or an entire state. The more specific you are the better "looking for a venue to have ceremony and reception that can fit 225 people and costs less than $XXXX including tax and gratuity"


    [Deleted User]MesmrEwe
  • Also, if you are looking at city/county parks, look at all surrounding cities/towns/counties because each one is different with different prices, accommodations, and requirements. I was looking at Oakland vs Walnut Creek, CA community centers and parks, and found that WC is cheaper, usually has more parking, doesn't require security unless it's a strictly kid event, no preferred vendor/caterer list (sold on this one already), and for $75 the city of WC provides a one-day liquor license for you to serve wine, beer and champagne only. BYOB bit***! Yay!

    So do price different locations, both private and public, and see what you're comfortable with. Also look into universities, museums, gardens, symphony halls, etc. My venue sold me at the no vendor list thing, and the $75 alcohol license. My friend got a nice venue for roughly the same price as me (mine is on friday, hers is on saturday, so if i had mine on saturday it'd be about 600-900 more depending on the number of hours), but it came with a preferred vendor list and a bunch of other things. So not having a preferred or required vendor list allowed my FI and I to really branch out and save $$$ on catering/food/booze. BBQ buffet for the win!
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    MesmrEwe
  • If you find a beautiful venue that you love but can't afford you could check and see if they have a weekday or off season discount. We are doing a weekday but we are having a very small wedding and checked with our VIPs first to get their thoughts before we made our decision to book it. Our venue is amazing and it's half the price as a weekend wedding. Plus our photographer and videographer offered us a huge discount for doing a weekday as well. Be careful though because if you dreamed of a huge wedding you will likely get a lot of declines if it's a weekday depending on travel and such. But if you're ok if some of your 225 don't come then that is an option.

    Similarly to weekday discounts are off-season discounts and these will probably get you less declines. If you don't have your heart set on a summer wedding many places and vendors had discounts from November-March. I'm in the northeast so I'm not sure if it changes further south or west.
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  • Depending on the size of your guest list, don't forget to check out some local restuarants who may have private rooms available for rent. Also some cities and park systems have very nice venues that are available for rental where you can bring in a caterer. Like PP said, post something on your local board, you may get some ideas for some unique places that you never would have thought of. Good luck!!!
    MesmrEwe
  • DarthV8rDarthV8r member
    250 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited July 2015
    The Knot has a new venue concierge that I have been in contact with. You fill out a quick survey about your wants and needs for venues. Then she offers you a list of options and set up tours for you. I have used it and it is so helpful. I highly suggest using it. Eta: it is a free service.
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