My fiance and I would love to have a beautiful, elegant, evening wedding on an $8,000 dollar budget. My dress, shoes, and jewelry are already paid for. The bridesmaids' dresses and shoes they will be purchasing themselves. My mother and I are pretty artistic so we plan to create the centerpieces for the reception site. So these things we are not including in the budget.
Most venues we've with checked only work with certain caterers and they are ridiculously priced. Does anyone have any ideas as to where we can find a venue and caterer that will not break the bank?
By K from Columbia, MD
I recently attended a fall wedding. It was the most beautiful I have ever attended. She used fall pumpkins, garden vegetable like squash & bell peppers and basically weeds to decorate. It was beside a pond. To mark her isle she used pots that had the weeds in them-she had gone to a field and gathered anything that had color (I think there was some magnolia branches in there also). It turned out really pretty! She had borrowed chairs from a church. The only expense was she rented a portable toilet. She served cake and finger foods that was prepared previously.
The wedding cake was made by a local grocery store and they really put some time in it because they had never got to do anything that "fancy". Her brides table was covered in regular fabric but lots of it. It had pretty folds and ribbon laying with it. Her wedding had her and the groom with the minister on box like structure that got them a little higher and the bridesmaids and the grooms was a little to the side. This really put the spotlight on them. Hope this gives you some ideas.
Also, If you have the reception place look around outside where the reception will be held there might be a good spot there and not cost anything more.
Check at your local library for a room that they rent out or a community center, some times the local fire station has a room they will rent out for events. As to the catering, ask a friend to help you do it yourself. Meat and cheese trays, bread and condiments for sandwiches. Store bought or home made meatballs cooked in bbq sauce in crock pots, chips, dip, mints and whatever you want to drink.
Decorations can be any thing in wedding theme colors. Heart confetti scattered on the table, votive candles placed on the tables with a square mirror under them. Dollar tree is a good place to shop for decorations.
Coming from a family that has a successful catering business, this is my advise.
1. Sometimes deli's or mom and pop restaurants do catering and have contracts with halls. Become a customer, a familiar face. You don't have to spend a lot of money. Just a cup of soup to go, and if the soup is good let them know the next time you go there.
2. After a few visits and you'd like them to cater ask to do a tasting. Let them know that you are on a budget. They will work with you.
3. Ask your friends if you know of anyone who does catering on the side. You'd be amazed how many people do. Don't be shy to ask them to try there cooking before you agree to anything.
4. Pasta is inexpensive and can be elegant. If your looking for elegant I wouldn't use BBQ sauce, katsup or ring bologna as an ingredient. True they taste great but..... you get my point.
5. This is a great way to save on a cake. Make one yourself. Not a real cake a fake cake, out of card board, icing it and make it fancy. Make or order a double layer sheet cake, cut into slices and serve. Nobody will know the difference.
6. Instead of having an all access open bar. Have a limited open bar. Serving 2-3 liquors (beer and a wine).
7. If you find a hall that you like but don't want to spend a lot on their caterer. Remember buffet and family style are less expensive than ordering a specific plate. Also, if you want to have a "friend" cater it. Find out if you can have "their" caterer provide salads appetizers and have your friend do the main dish.
8. You can always have a cocktail reception. Then you won't have to worry about assigned seating. Just make sure there is always plenty of appetizers going around. Now this is when little wienies and shrimp cocktail go hand and hand. Hope this can help you out.
As for the catering aspect, why not try a vocational school? Where i used to live there was one which held luncheons once a week for a very low price. The meals were fantastic! Maybe the school could help with their staff etc. Best of luck for your special day!
Try local Golf or Country Clubs. Here is one I found in your area on google maps:
Mountain Branch * 1827 Mountain Road * Joppa, MD 21085 * (877) 588-1492
Plan a party!
Whether you're having a wedding, milestone, reunion, holiday or corporate party, or special occasion, Mountain Branch is ready to book your event today.
Try the VFW or Nights of Columbus halls. You can usually get in the night before to decorate and you can choose your own caterer for this type of party.
You can also see if someone close to you (like a Grandma or an Aunt) ives in a gated community with a clubhouse, they can usually rent the facility for a party for very little money and these facilities have a kitchen area for heating food and prep. again you supply the caterer.
Call the local churches and see if they have a banquet room you can rent for the evening in question? If I think of anything else I will let you know.
I did my wedding in Long Island, NY 17 years ago for a total of $8,000 including a 10 day trip to Florida for our Honeymoon. I actually had a wedding that should have cost about $20,000 but I bargained everyone down. I got the cake for free, I got the hall for 1/3 the price I got 2 stretch limos for $100 for 5 hours.
I was also willing to be married in January and everyone wanted business then. So be flexible in your schedule. Winter weddings (not around Valentines day) can be very cost effective. Good luck and congratulations to you and your honey!
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