Wedding Reception Forum

Trying to decide on a venue!

alpina0560alpina0560 member
Fourth Anniversary First Comment
edited March 2016 in Wedding Reception Forum
Hi! My Fiance and I got engaged on Christmas and have started to take the first couple of steps in the planning process! We pretty much have it narrowed down to two locations, but after tossing and turning for hours last night I can't decide which is the best option, so I'm hoping I could get some advice!!

A- LOVE this venue.. It's the first one we looked at and we absolutely love it. Tucked away in the mountains, with breathtaking views, also a lodge so no one has to leave after the reception. Around 30 minutes from most of our family. Cons: Expensive (these damn service charges!!!!) - Exactly double the price PP as option B. ALSO, can only hold MAX 130 guests. Our guest list right now is at 150, and we can definitely cut down, which will also save on costs, but even with 125 guests it is $5k more than option B.

B- REALLY LIKE this venue.. Great size, minimum is 125, so we can comfortably fit our list without having to cut.. Historic Inn with beautiful gardens and amazingly themed guest rooms. It is a little far from where most of our family will be coming from (max 1.5 hours for the farthest guests), but again, it is an inn where guests will be able to spend the night without having to get in their cars. Amazing price, where we can add additional extras and still come in under budget.

Some additional information: ceremony & reception will both be held in the same location.. looking at next April/May 2017!

Re: Trying to decide on a venue!

  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    I am a stick-to-the-budget whore, so I would personally go option B. You may make new friends in the next year that you'd like to add to the guest list and it sucks not having that wiggle room with option A. Or if people get significant others that you need to add. Being able to do a few extras, like maybe that nicer dress, or that late night snack, or just putting the excess in the bank account would really be the best in my book.

    The distance doesn't sound terrible. Our wedding was 45 minutes away for the majority of our guests. My grandparents were 1.5 hours so I understand that there's always going to be someone that lives further away and has a shitty drive. As long as it's just that one and not everyone, it's the best you can do. If it's someone very close to you that has the longest ride you could take some of the savings and pay for their room for 1 night, but that's just a nice touch, not mandatory at all.

                                                                     

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    ILoveBeachMusicOurWildKingdom
  • Option B. Put the extra money towards elevating your reception food/drink, and having a cushion to invite more people, deal with true single guests ending up in a relationship by wedding date or even help out some of your guests travelling from far away or in your bridal party (not required, but lovely gesture).

    I don't love the 1.5hour drive, but if there are options for overnight, I think you are okay.

    OurWildKingdom
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think it ultimately depends on your guest list and travel. Are all of your VIPs able to travel? Who do you really want there?

    Generally speaking though, unless you have unlimited funds, I'd go option B. Saving yourself money while being able to provide some "upgrades" to your guests is awesome. I would also choose guests over a venue (unless you're looking for a reason not to invite a bunch of people ;) ). The only concern I'd have is the travel- can your VIPs make it?
    OurWildKingdom
  • Is there a hotel near the Inn for option B? How expensive is it to stay in the Inn? If there are other hotel options nearby I think B is probably a no brainier. Also, good that you already have a guest list, but option A just seems too small. 
  • Option A is too small - and out...  Very rarely does a guest list go down, often it goes up...  Option B is the way to go unless you find an Option C that is cheaper than B, more convenient for guests, has yummier food, and won't break the bank on all the add-ons...


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  • Option B just because of the size. You can get your guest list down to 125--does that include yourselves and your wedding party? Are you sure that the fire codes exclude your vendors from that count? Have you ever seen the venue set up at max capacity? Every single venue I've ever seen set up to max capacity is ridiculously tight...like unable to pull chairs in around tables, unable to maneuver behind chairs when people are seated, barely any room for a dance floor, guests seated awkwardly in a separate area or behind a pole, etc. And does that guest list of 125 include spots for any currently-single guests who may be in relationships by the time the invites go out?

    I suggest aiming for no more than 75-80% of max capacity at a venue. That way you can add some extra significant others if they arise, or add someone you forgot, and STILL have room to actually move around and enjoy yourself!

    I've been to a number of weddings that were too crowded for the space, but never once have I ever thought "wow, this space is too big for these guests". There are always good ways to fill the room if it's too big, based on how things are arranged, etc. 
    MesmrEwe
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    MandyMost said:
    Option B just because of the size. You can get your guest list down to 125--does that include yourselves and your wedding party? Are you sure that the fire codes exclude your vendors from that count? Have you ever seen the venue set up at max capacity? Every single venue I've ever seen set up to max capacity is ridiculously tight...like unable to pull chairs in around tables, unable to maneuver behind chairs when people are seated, barely any room for a dance floor, guests seated awkwardly in a separate area or behind a pole, etc. And does that guest list of 125 include spots for any currently-single guests who may be in relationships by the time the invites go out?

    I suggest aiming for no more than 75-80% of max capacity at a venue. That way you can add some extra significant others if they arise, or add someone you forgot, and STILL have room to actually move around and enjoy yourself!

    I've been to a number of weddings that were too crowded for the space, but never once have I ever thought "wow, this space is too big for these guests". There are always good ways to fill the room if it's too big, based on how things are arranged, etc. 
    I agree with this. If you are still leaning to option A, I would ask the venue how the room would look if it was set up for max capacity- i.e. where would the tables be?

    My venue was able to show us a simple line drawing of the room and where the guest tables go, head table, cake table, DJ table, where the bar is, candy bar table, etc. With our venue at max capacity, that meant tables set up on the dance floor that would have to be moved for dinner. That is something I dislike- either a bunch of tables get squished together after dinner, or a bunch of guests lose their seats. I think I even made a face (unintentionally) when the venue coordinator told me what the room capacity was- she noticed and said, "Yes, it is squishy, but we make it work". You are admitting there is no room!
  • To me it sounds like option b is more accommodating to the size of your guest list & your budget. The truth is if the food is good, and your dj is good, your guests will love whatever venue you pick.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    It sounds like Option B is the clear winner.
  • I agree with PPs - I would pick Option B. 

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Is there a hotel near the Inn for option B? How expensive is it to stay in the Inn? If there are other hotel options nearby I think B is probably a no brainier. Also, good that you already have a guest list, but option A just seems too small. 
    These are my questions as well.  I would be "on the fence" with a 90 minute drive as to whether I would stay the night.  What other options are available besides staying at the actual inn?  Can this inn accommodate all guests if necessary? 
  • Option B, 1.5 hours is nothing, and think about if your guest lists goes up, no stress there.  I echo pp that said that any venue at max capacity will be very tight!  Trust me I work in a wedding venue!
  • Oh and by the way my warmest congratulations!  
  • Thanks ladies! Went with Option B, for most of the reasons everyone echo'd! Looking forward to all the planning to start now!
    ScottishSarahkimmiinthemitten
  • MobKaz said:
    Is there a hotel near the Inn for option B? How expensive is it to stay in the Inn? If there are other hotel options nearby I think B is probably a no brainier. Also, good that you already have a guest list, but option A just seems too small. 
    These are my questions as well.  I would be "on the fence" with a 90 minute drive as to whether I would stay the night.  What other options are available besides staying at the actual inn?  Can this inn accommodate all guests if necessary? 
    The Inn is approx $200 a night, which -yes- is expensive but being close to NYC/Hudson Valley region is pretty standard. The Inn could hold about 50% of the guest list, but not all guests will be traveling from that far - just the farthest will be 90 mins.. There is another two hotels or so within 5 miles of the Inn with rates more reasonable at a little less than $100 a night as well, so I will also be looking into reserving a room block in those as well!
    SP29
  • MobKaz said:
    Is there a hotel near the Inn for option B? How expensive is it to stay in the Inn? If there are other hotel options nearby I think B is probably a no brainier. Also, good that you already have a guest list, but option A just seems too small. 
    These are my questions as well.  I would be "on the fence" with a 90 minute drive as to whether I would stay the night.  What other options are available besides staying at the actual inn?  Can this inn accommodate all guests if necessary? 
    The Inn is approx $200 a night, which -yes- is expensive but being close to NYC/Hudson Valley region is pretty standard. The Inn could hold about 50% of the guest list, but not all guests will be traveling from that far - just the farthest will be 90 mins.. There is another two hotels or so within 5 miles of the Inn with rates more reasonable at a little less than $100 a night as well, so I will also be looking into reserving a room block in those as well!
    I think that's a good plan; even if people are close they may want to stay over, not have to drive, or make a weekend/night of it. Sounds like option B is a great choice.
  • MobKaz said:
    Is there a hotel near the Inn for option B? How expensive is it to stay in the Inn? If there are other hotel options nearby I think B is probably a no brainier. Also, good that you already have a guest list, but option A just seems too small. 
    These are my questions as well.  I would be "on the fence" with a 90 minute drive as to whether I would stay the night.  What other options are available besides staying at the actual inn?  Can this inn accommodate all guests if necessary? 
    The Inn is approx $200 a night, which -yes- is expensive but being close to NYC/Hudson Valley region is pretty standard. The Inn could hold about 50% of the guest list, but not all guests will be traveling from that far - just the farthest will be 90 mins.. There is another two hotels or so within 5 miles of the Inn with rates more reasonable at a little less than $100 a night as well, so I will also be looking into reserving a room block in those as well!
    I think that's a good plan; even if people are close they may want to stay over, not have to drive, or make a weekend/night of it. Sounds like option B is a great choice.
    Thank you so much for your help!!! It's really appreciated :)
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