Having just decided to get married next April, I have been looking at venues and am keen to get something booked asap for obvious reasons. The trouble is, I can't decide which of my options is the best one, so i thought i would garner some feedback.
Our criteria are:
-informal wedding, with no dress code, no speeches and no sit down meal.
-We want to have a party that young and old will enjoy (music, bouncy castle etc)
-The vision is basically a wedding followed by an elaborate BBQ come garden party with plenty of food and plenty of booze
My ideal venue would be a nice looking place where I could get married and then have control of catering and the bar, but preferably without the hassle of bringing in tables, chairs, cutlery etc. and all for a bargain price, obviously. Clearly I was dreaming....
So my options seem to be as follows:
-Modern, converted barn, where you can provide your own alcohol and food, but with no license for a civil ceremony, with toilets etc but no tables, chairs. Full use of the meadow is included, nearest hotels (holiday inn etc are 5-10 minute drive away). Price: £2k venue, 2k catering, 1k furniture hire, 500k booze (lots of wine and a barrel of ale) = 5.5k Plus I would need to spend a further 1k to get married somewhere nice (our local register office is not exactly aesthetically pleasing) and would need to transfer people between the two, which are maybe 10 miles apart.
-Another barn, similar issues / merits to that above but this time in a village, with some B&Bs within walking distance and £500 more expensive, so 6k plus wedding costs
-A permanent marquee on the banks of a river with use of the grounds. We can get married on site, but the onsite caterers do the catering according to our requirements. Bar is managed by them and presumably they do all the setting up and clearing up. Still waiting to see if furniture and cutlery, plates etc are included, but I'm assuming so. For food (nibbles, BBQ and evening munchies and one drink per person, the price = 7.6k
So, price-wise there isn't much in it, but the last option is obviously easier and less hassle, but there's not much in the way of drinks in that package.
That said, I was hoping I could do venue, food and booze for about £5k, so they are all over budget. Ironically a hotel package with formal sit down is cheaper, but hey ho...
The final option to save money is that I could choose one of the barns and do one or all of the following:
- get the legal bit done in the register office and then have a celebrant do a wedding on site at the barn
- cater the wedding myself with the help of friends and family. Given it's only really BBQ food and munchies, how hard can it be?
All thoughts very gratefully received