I knew that the first thing I wanted to do was to book a venue for our wedding. Zach and I are on a budget, as I’ve mentioned (over, and over again), so it was important to find a place that was a good fit, but also inexpensive.
My first thought was to look at our local parks board, because they have several buildings that have pretty outdoor space (we want to get married at the same location as our reception) for a cheap price. Everything was too small, unfortunately, for our guest list of about 120 guests.
As I branched out to other venues, I noticed that a lot of places have strict restrictions on catering and alcohol service. One place (that I loved), charged $1,500, plus $300 for each additional space you wanted to utilize (they have a beautiful rotunda and veranda), and you had to use a list of preferred caterers (all very expensive) and you had to use their alcohol service (with the alcohol prices marked up, obviously).
Other places that weren’t as expensive, once you start adding in chair, table and linen rentals, became very expensive.
I knew hotel spaces are typically very expensive and restrictive as far as catering and alcohol goes, so when I first saw the price of the Ramada Limited in my town (even though I had heard that their space was lovely) at $1,500, I counted it out almost immediately. When everything started being out of our price range and too small, I decided to call to see what the price entails.
While I never really pictured myself having a hotel wedding, I like the way this room looks. The building is separate from the rest of the hotel, so you have to actually leave the hotel to get to this area. It’s very new and modern while also very neutral, so my own decorations won’t clash with the decor. There is a separate entryway (shown on the left there) with big leather couches and plenty of room for a bar or hors d’oeuvres. I love the round tables, and the best part is that all the linens, chairs and tables are ours to use. We don’t have to rent anything except glassware (but I have an idea for that anyway), plates and flatware (which the caterer, whoever that may be, should provide). The best part is that the staff at the Ramada acts as a wedding coordinator. Shelley (the awesome lady we spoke to for booking the room) said she was available for anything prior to the wedding, and the day of, she will take care of making sure all of our vendors get there when they should.
The very best part is that there is NO restriction for catering or alcohol service. We can do our own beer and wine service (she said if we decided to have a bartender they can set that up for us), and hire whomever we want to do the catering. Despite the high price tag of the venue, I think we will save money overall doing it this way.
When we went yesterday, I just felt like this was right. Shelley was super nice and excited for us, she praised us for doing our planning so early — so much so that she gave us a discount on the price (a really nice discount). We only had to put $100 down yesterday and then we can do as many payments we want as long as it is paid off the day before the wedding. Easy!
I’ve already got so many ideas on how to decorate the room, but the next step in wedding planning is to find a caterer and get the Save the Date card photos taken.
If you are married, what venue did you choose? Was it a good choice?