H
Dedicated October 2019

Did you settle when choosing a venue?

H, on November 8, 2017 at 10:34 AM

Posted in Planning 81

Did you find that you settled when choosing a wedding venue? I'm realizing that what my PERFECT DAY entails is not possible either because it's impractical, doesn't exist, or is $500 per person for a Saturday evening (LOL-- thanks NJ). Did you have must-haves that you stuck with? Or did you let go...

Did you find that you settled when choosing a wedding venue?

I'm realizing that what my PERFECT DAY entails is not possible either because it's impractical, doesn't exist, or is $500 per person for a Saturday evening (LOL-- thanks NJ).

Did you have must-haves that you stuck with? Or did you let go of some of your wants? Did you think you hated X but ended up getting X in the end and not really caring? Did you want a beautiful venue but think that a not so beautiful venue would be more convenient because it had accommodations for guests?

Just curious about everyone else's selections and decisions!

81 Comments

  • Mrs. Coakley
    Master June 2017
    Mrs. Coakley ·
    • Flag

    An absolute must for me was an oceanfront venue. We looked at 3 in total, the third one was false advertisement becuase the ocean was a mile away behind a big forest of trees, so that was out. So between the two venues, we went with the one that was more flexible/the staff were much more down-to-earth. Plus the room was prettier, so no brainer!!

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  • WHO? Mrs. Jones
    VIP December 2016
    WHO? Mrs. Jones ·
    • Flag

    In a way, yes. We are using H's union hall because it only costs us $250 for a Saturday night. We didn't even look at another venue. We enjoy other benefits, such as bringing all of our preferred vendors (non-members of the union have to use in-house vendors). However, we're lucky because it's gorgeous! Very ornate, historic, and unique!

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  • Melaina
    Super November 2017
    Melaina ·
    • Flag

    I definitely compromised on my venue, my dream venue was in our budget but you had to use their in house catering company and they were way out of our budget so we had to compromise and go with a venue with cheaper catering. I still love our venue and I do think it will work out well but it's not my dream venue, we had to sacrifice for costs and being able to host more guests than we could have at the other venue which was important to us.

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  • RustyTheDog
    Dedicated December 2017
    RustyTheDog ·
    • Flag

    I think it's like trying to buy a house. Everything is somewhat settling because nothing is going to match a perfect vision in your head.

    Our biggest things were availability on the date (we didn't really have other date options due to my work schedule), and ability to have a separate space for the ceremony and reception. Ideally we wanted those to be two separate spaces totally indoors, but literally no venue near me had that option, so my venue has a covered patio with clear tented walls that can be heated for the ceremony. It was the best option and therefore we went with it for that reason and basically nothing else mattered.

    We did check about alcohol policies, food, etc. but the ceremony/reception space was our biggest deal breaker. We therefore had to compromise on the ceremony time, the budget was on the high end (but still in budget), the parking lot is gravel, no iced tea is served table side (my mom was upset about that, but wasn't about to pay $3 per person for it), and a few other minor things. The ceremony time (had to be no earlier than 6:30) and length of the reception (only 4 hours including cocktail hour unless you want to pay an extra $1000 to extend later, but can't go earlier) was probably the biggest settling point.

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  • Bulbasaur
    Devoted December 2017
    Bulbasaur ·
    • Flag

    We got the venue we wanted, but we also got the guy who runs the venue. This means lots of surprises and lots of compromise. I'm not going to get the decor/setup I wanted, but I will get the party and husbandI want. In the long run, I feel that's really all that matters.

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  • Erin Wood
    Master July 2017
    Erin Wood ·
    • Flag

    We definitely did not find the perfect venue. We live in CA in the Bay Area and wanted a ocean view. We love the beach and the ocean and just could imagine anything else. We definitely didn't want people freezing so that eliminated San Francisco because it gets cold and foggy there in the summer. We decided to go to a warmer area and basically found 1 venue that would work for size, availability and the view. In turn that meant spending more than we thought we would and having to dress up the reception space a lot. Plus the venue only offered consumption bar which meant $7,000 on booze for 120 adults. Yikes!! In the end it was an amazing day and amazing spot to get married. We even had whales jumping in the background during the ceremony.


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  • ReadytoWed
    Dedicated August 2018
    ReadytoWed ·
    • Flag

    I would say we definitely compromised. My venue was not my dream venue but it was on the list. I really wanted a Saturday night wedding so that was a non-negotiable as was the guest count (130). A lot of venues had guest minimums on Saturday that I wasn’t interested in trying to meet and I wasn’t budging on my date. I found a comparable venue that I probably would have preferred in the end For reasons no one but me would care about LOL. but I’m happy with what I have because I’m getting all the “fixings” I wanted (top shelf liquor -Grey Goose and Bombay specifically as I love them both dearly LOL, ceremony space, dual plated meal, and Ice sculpture) without going to the poor house. I also wanted a venue that “knew what they were doing” per say, someplace where weddings were basically all they do and I got that. I would say compromise but be flexible too! The have been an absolute pleasure to work with !

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  • Courtney
    Savvy November 2018
    Courtney ·
    • Flag

    I feel that we settled. It was important to us to get married within a year or so of getting engaged (it will be 14 months) and unfortunately, the majority of places we were interested in were booked. Those with availability would not accommodate our number of guests, or were outside of our price range. We wanted October, we ended up settling for November and found a venue we like well enough considering it's thousands of dollars under budget. I continue to wrestle with our choice, but there really are no other options.

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  • falkenmarried
    Expert August 2018
    falkenmarried ·
    • Flag

    I did a lot of research before we were even engaged and talked to a lot of venues. The venue we went with was one we both loved. I don't think I would have picked it if I had an unlimited budget but we love it.

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  • Emily
    Super July 2019
    Emily ·
    • Flag

    At first I didn't want an outdoor ceremony at all but I've come around to it since our venue was on the water. We didn't settle per se but it's definitely not what we thought we'd decide on! Our dream venue was Yankee stadium (but waaaay to pricey) so we looked at their spring training stadium in Tampa. It was a stretch for our budget plus it'd be waaay too hot to get married on the field in summer (which was a dealbreaker for me - that would've been the coolest part!) so we booked a water front venue in NC. I love it and it's much easier logistically but FH was so excited for a hot second to consider Yankees venue.

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  • Stephanie
    Expert October 2018
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag

    We really wanted a tent wedding initially, but my mom convinced me she didn't want the liability of having it at her house, and I agreed also by doing more research that all the rentals might exceed the price of an all inclusive venue. We went to some local hotels and viewed their packages and spaces, because we knew we wanted our guests to stay the night after partying all night. So we booked a hotel ballroom with beautiful candelabra chadieliers, included room for bride and groom, food as part of the packages. We splurged a little bit on food and went with a medium range expensive option totaling after tax/gratuity $90pp, but we could have gone as low as $48pp. It was so pretty and exactly what I wanted. One place I checked out said, 1. get your own caterer (we don't cater) 2. You can stay on site but it'll be $1200 a night. (nearest hotel is 40 minutes away). 3. You need to hire one of our preferred "decorators" we won't let you diy anything. 4. Hire your own bartender buy your own beer/wine/liquor AND it's $6000 just to rent it for a day. All Ii remember was cha ching cha ching cha ching. So I was looking at a 30 or 40k wedding, and what we are getting assuming all our guests show up, is a 17k wedding. Much happier with my choice.

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  • Katie
    Devoted November 2017
    Katie ·
    • Flag

    Yeah, we settled, at least kind of. We had a tight budget and weren't willing to blow a ton of money on something that didn't matter or that still wouldn't work for us. We were between a very basic venue, which we'd get all weekend for a great price but that would require us to do everything ourselves (other than get tables and chairs), and a couple venues that were mostly all-inclusive (all rentals, suites for getting ready, catering, decor, etc.). We turned all the inclusive venues down: one that I LOVED ended up getting booked for our day an hour after we visited, one that was too cookie cutter (wouldn't really work with the nontraditional aspects), etc. I also didn't like how limited the hours were (in and out in 4-6 hours? pay for each extra hour? no). So, in the end, we went with the cheapest and most basic option. There are a few things I wish I/we could have, but it's worked out well and I feel like we're getting the more simple and laidback wedding we want, rather than an ornate affair.

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  • Kaye
    VIP October 2018
    Kaye ·
    • Flag

    I settled for what fit our budget and still represented us as a couple. I love our venue but it's not ideal time wise. The caterers have a grand total of 2 hrs to get the food in and the buffet set. In those 2 hrs, the tables need to be set with linens, glasses and flatware, the bar needs to go up, the cake and pies need to be set up, the chairs need to go up indoors and outdoors and the flowers need to be set. And the DJ needs to have his equipment set up. But other than that I love my venue

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  • 2018 Bride
    Devoted September 2018
    2018 Bride ·
    • Flag

    I absolutely love our venue, but the one thing I didn't think about at the time is that there is another wedding before ours that day and a wedding the night before. I'm sure this is pretty common but it's causing some logistical issues like when to have our rehearsal, what time our ceremony needs to be, and when we can get into the space the day of. Not a huge deal and the pros of the venue outweigh all of that, but I kind of wish I had paid more attention to that fact when we were looking.

    • Reply
  • EE
    Savvy March 2018
    EE ·
    • Flag

    Yes and no. I wanted something just a liittttle more private, but honestly, I can't really complain. I feel in love with the scenery, just not the end time......10 pm. Other than that, it's beautiful.

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Dedicated May 2018
    Emily ·
    • Flag

    The venue we "settled" on is honestly nothing like what I had originally envisioned. It came down to budget and ease of transportation for our (majority) out of town guests. I wanted a desert wedding with cactus and and a boho dress and I got downtown hotel with a whimsical courtyard and fairytale ballgown dress lol. But I love it! It ended up being a much better deal, easy for our guests, requires NO additional rentals since it's already so pretty, so, I'm happy. Best of luck.

    • Reply
  • Kim
    Just Said Yes October 2019
    Kim ·
    • Flag

    I? don't think we settled at all for ours. We got exactly what we want - beautiful outdoors to take plenty of photos, and a gorgeous on-site chapel! We are in NJ too and we are getting married at Brigalia's. Honestly I'd recommend to anyone because for the price, you are getting EVERYTHING! the amount of food at cocktail hour and the buffet plus all the dessert stations are phenomenal and all included. You can't beat the price. Where in NJ are you looking?

    • Reply
  • Vanessasaurus
    VIP June 2019
    Vanessasaurus ·
    • Flag

    I have to say I don't feel like I settled at all and our venue is very affordable for our pricey region (Long Island). It took a lot of research and some negotiating. I would suggest doing more research, asking older people (parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents who have been to more events for personal reccommendations), negotiating, and being flexible!

    • Reply
  • H
    Dedicated October 2019
    H ·
    • Flag

    Thanks @Kim! I'm looking everywhere at this point but mostly northern/central NJ.

    • Reply
  • golferchick
    Savvy September 2018
    golferchick ·
    • Flag

    Originally I had my heart set on a barn ... I wanted a bonfire, lawn games and a laid back atmosphere. Those dreams quickly went out the window when I realized that my 30-ish guest list would look silly in a barn that holds 180 people. Not to mention they came with mostly nothing for the $3k price tag. I revised my requirements and we booked the first place we actually looked at. FH loved the space and it fit our needs perfectly. One-stop-shopping was more in line with what we were looking for. The venue provided ceremony space in the same room as the reception, tables/chairs/linens ... they have fabulous food and top shelf liquor. I guess I settled in some regards, but I feel like I just needed to reevaluate my true needs and I couldn't be more thrilled with our venue!


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