Venue help/ideas

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Summer2010. Show Summer2010's posts

    Venue help/ideas

    Hi everyone!  I am looking for your help on how to go about picking a venue and for some ideas on venues. 

    We are actually not yet engaged but we want to start the process for fear that many venues we will be interested in will soon be completely booked for a Summer 2010 Saturday night wedding.  We will have 80-100 guests and our budget will be around $50,000.

    My dream would be to get married in Newport, RI somewhere with outdoor space and water views.  If we go with that option we will only be interested in a Saturday night (Sunday if it is a holiday weekend) and only in July - September.  I do not want to spend the $$ for Newport if we don't at least have a shot at good weather.  I have appointments with Belle Mer and Castle Hill this weekend.

    If we don't go with Newport then I am interested in Boston and when I say Boston I mean IN the city.  Places that come to mind are the Intercontinental, Boston Harbor Hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, the Ritz Boston Common and the State Room.  I have actually already looked at the State Room and I really liked it but it may be difficult to stay in our budget.  I do not want to get married in a hotel ballroom that has no windows and really feels like a hotel ballroom. 

    Do give some more info....we will not have a wedding party so that cuts down on the some of the costs, I like simple so our flowers will be nice but not over the top.  We will not want a photogrpaher to take thousands of pictures or really any pictures before the ceremony for that matter and definitely no videographer.  We will also want a live band. 

    If you have any info on the places that I have listed as possibilities I would love to hear it.  I would love to know if any of these places are less pricey than the State Room.  Also, please let me know of any other recommendations that you have for places I should look and how I should start this process!

    Many thanks in advance!!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    don't feel bad about not affording the State Room--they get crummy reviews for service on this board.  

    I didn't really look into any of the hotels you mentioned.  If you know someone with a Harvard connection, the Downtown or Back Bay H-clubs would fit the bill, as you describe it.  I think you need sponsorship though.  Also, you may want to look at the Hampshire House in Beacon Hill.  It has a great location and very old-Boston feel.  Also the Taj is a notable omission from your list.  Don't know much about it, but may be worth checking out.


     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Summer2010. Show Summer2010's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    Thanks for the additional recommendations!  I did think of the Hampshire House.  Someone in my boyfriend's family got married there (I was out of town so I didn't get to go to the wedding) so I may not want the same venue but it is worth consideration!

    I actually don't know how I missed the Taj.  We actually have a connection to the manager of the Taj so we will definitely check them out.  I have been to the ballroom there before and it is very traditional.  As much as I think these ballrooms and also the one at the Fairmont Copley Plaza are beautiful, they are very "old school" and ornate and I dont know if that is the look I prefer.  I like the State Room because of its simplicity and modern look. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Reader001. Show Reader001's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    The Exchange Conference Center is on the water.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    Isn't the Taj what the Ritz is called, now? Not sure...

    Anyway, is $50,000 your total wedding budget, or just the reception?  I think the BHH has somewhere around a 50k minimum (confirm - this is from memory from previous threads) so if that's your whole budget it wouldn't leave anything for the dress and everything else.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    oh and also--the Boston Public Library.  I saw pics of a wedding there and it was incredibly gorgeous.  I don't know about pricing.  
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Summer2010. Show Summer2010's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    Kargiver - the $50,000 budget is somewhat fluid and it would not need to include my dress or the other "little" stuff like invitations, etc.  I would like to spend no more than $50,000 on the venue, food, beverages, flowers, photography, entertainment. 

    If the BHH has a $50,000 minimum then that will not work for us as that will not allow for anything other than the location, food and drinks.  One of the good things about the State Room $30,000 minimum is that if you pick their vendors for flowers, etc. what you spend is included in the minimum.  If you pick an outside vendor it will not count towards the minimum and you have to pay a $250 fee. 

    The Taj is the old Ritz but there is also a Ritz on the Boston Common that does weddings but I think this is a newish site for weddings.

    The Boston Public Library is ricidulously pretty.  I fell in love while I was studying for the bar.  I have heard though that they only do a few weddings a year and that they are INSANELY expensive. 
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    Thanks for the clarification on the Ritz/Taj question.  I thought I was losing my mind. :)

    Definitely don't take my word for the BHH minimum.  I could very well be misremembering it.

    So, $50k, + 10%, or so for everything, then.  You'll be able to do essentially what you want for 100 people with a budget that generous, especially if you don't spend top dollar on everything.

    I second the thought about the State Room - it's gotten lackluster reviews at best here.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Summer2010. Show Summer2010's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    One other question...is there any room for negotiations on the minimums and prices that venues quote? 

    There will be things I know will be important to me to spend top dollar on but then others that I will not require a ton of money.  I do not like detailed, intricate wedding gowns and would probably be most happy in a $1,000 JCrew wedding dress.  I will also probably look at second hand (new with tags) wedding dresses which are available via several websites.  A $5,000 wedding dress is definitely not on my radar!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    just keep in mind that what you are calling "little" stuff can really add up!  Invitations+menu-cards+save-the-dates+programs+postage+thank-yous+escort cards, dress+alterations+shoes+veil+jewelry... just make sure you are not in for any surprises there. 

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    In Response to Re: Venue help/ideas:
    One other question...is there any room for negotiations on the minimums and prices that venues quote?  There will be things I know will be important to me to spend top dollar on but then others that I will not require a ton of money.  I do not like detailed, intricate wedding gowns and would probably be most happy in a $1,000 JCrew wedding dress.  I will also probably look at second hand (new with tags) wedding dresses which are available via several websites.  A $5,000 wedding dress is definitely not on my radar!
    Posted by Summer2010


    Good attitude!  It will serve you well.

    About the dress, check out VOWS consignment in Newton (their inventory is on www.bridepower.com).  They have brand new designer sample gowns that would work if you are a jean size 2 - 12.  I got my $8000 (estimated by my very experienced seamstress) gown for $700 there.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from dkb6248. Show dkb6248's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    I have a friend who is on the wedding staff at the Four Seasons and she says that they have been giving significant discounts due to the economy and drop in volume.  Even if you think a venue may be over your budget, I would put in a call anyway - you never know who might be willing to pull some strings.

    I have never been to a wedding at the Four Seasons, but I have attended many corporate events held there, and me and DH stayed there the night of our wedding (got a free upgrade!) and I have to say their customer service is amazing.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    yes!  always try to negotiate on minimums and packages!  

    and sorry I didn't see your post about dress and so on when I posted before.  Even though I didn't get a designer dress, I felt like all the dress expenses added up in ways I didn't fully predict.  That was all I was trying to say
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from dkb6248. Show dkb6248's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    In Response to Re: Venue help/ideas:
    I do not like detailed, intricate wedding gowns and would probably be most happy in a $1,000 JCrew wedding dress.  I will also probably look at second hand (new with tags) wedding dresses which are available via several websites.  A $5,000 wedding dress is definitely not on my radar!
    Posted by Summer2010


    You could try Filene's Running of the Brides for an extremely discounted designer dress.  Next one in Boston is Aug. 21st.  I got mine there for $699, originally $4500.  They have them as low as $299 I think?  If you're not into the whole "running" part, you could do what I did and go around lunch time when things are calmer and most of the dresses are back up on the racks. http://www.filenesbasement.com/bridal/
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Summer2010. Show Summer2010's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    In Response to Re: Venue help/ideas:
    just keep in mind that what you are calling "little" stuff can really add up!  Invitations+menu-cards+save-the-dates+programs+postage+thank-yous+escort cards, dress+alterations+shoes+veil+jewelry... just make sure you are not in for any surprises there. 
    Posted by jasmine09


    You are definitely right and this is what is scary to me!  Seeing as though we will not invite a ton of people - pretty much who we invite is family/close friends and almost all of them will come - I'm hoping that this cuts down on some of the costs.  Jewelry will be a gift from my mom outside of the budget, thankfully!  My mom has found a local person in Wisconsin (where I'm from) who does great invitations.  A plus to this is the lower cost because as I'm sure you can imagine....Wisconsin is much cheaper than here!

    I really appreciate you posting all of these costs though because it will help me make a list of the things that I need to remember will come up as costs and it will all add up very quickly! 
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Epigal. Show Epigal's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    Vows is amazing for a dress - you just might have to go a few times because their stock is always changing. Another dress idea - Yolandas is going out of business, and I just heard they're having a big sale very soon!

    For venues, always ask what they can do for you. Especially in this economy, a venue is likely to throw in some extras! ALWAYS ask! The worst they can say is no.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Summer2010. Show Summer2010's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    In Response to Re: Venue help/ideas:
    I have a friend who is on the wedding staff at the Four Seasons and she says that they have been giving significant discounts due to the economy and drop in volume.  Even if you think a venue may be over your budget, I would put in a call anyway - you never know who might be willing to pull some strings. I have never been to a wedding at the Four Seasons, but I have attended many corporate events held there, and me and DH stayed there the night of our wedding (got a free upgrade!) and I have to say their customer service is amazing.
    Posted by dkb6248


    I was thinking the same thing on the economy and ability to negotiate.  My boyfriend is an amazing negotiator, people always want to bring him with them when they buy a car, so that can be his area!  Where do they do weddings at the Four Seasons?  I've only been to the nice restaurant they have overlooking the park. 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Summer2010. Show Summer2010's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    Also, thanks for all of the tips on a dress.  If I pick a date in July-early September, I was thinking that I wouldn't really need to pick a dress until January at the earliest.  Is that false?
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from dkb6248. Show dkb6248's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    In Response to Re: Venue help/ideas:
    In Response to Re: Venue help/ideas : I was thinking the same thing on the economy and ability to negotiate.  My boyfriend is an amazing negotiator, people always want to bring him with them when they buy a car, so that can be his area!  Where do they do weddings at the Four Seasons?  I've only been to the nice restaurant they have overlooking the park. 
    Posted by Summer2010


    http://www.fourseasons.com/boston/weddings/

     
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    If you are ordering from a traditional dress vendor (not off-the-rack like at Vows), then you will want to leave more time.  I know it sounds crazy but my Maggie Sottero dress took 5 months to come in, and they said it could be up to 6 months.  And then you should leave time for alterations and fittings.  So Jan to July would cut it a little close.  It's not worth the stress!
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    In Response to Re: Venue help/ideas:
    Also, thanks for all of the tips on a dress.  If I pick a date in July-early September, I was thinking that I wouldn't really need to pick a dress until January at the earliest.  Is that false?
    Posted by Summer2010


    Yes, you need 3 fittings, usually, and 6 months should be good for most seamstresses to do that.  But, I'd start before then; it can take a good while to find THE one.  If you find it right away, so be it, but if you don't, you don't want to be rushed.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from VanHassle. Show VanHassle's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    I also looked in Newport (my fiance is from there)---if you are looking at the Castle Hill, you should definitely look at Ocean Cliff, its on the same road before you get to the Castle Hill.  Its a little cheaper (but not cheap).   That's was our favorite place in Newport.  The owners also own Regatta Place which is on the water too.   You might also want look at Atlantic Beach Club, it's literrally right on the beach next to first beach in Newport.  But the club is just over the line in Middletown- but its totally affordable, especially for Newport.  I went to a wedding there and it was beautiful.    There's also the Eisenhower House which is suppose to be beautiful, but I haven't been.

    We ended up doing Boston and booking the Hyatt Regency in the theater district.  The ballroom is not a typical hotel ballroom.  There are a windows, and terrace right off the ballroom.    For Boston it is definitely a deal.  

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Summer2010. Show Summer2010's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    You guys are great!  Ok so maybe I will start looking for my dress before January but I'm definitely going to hold off on that for a few months and until I pick a location, etc.

    Thanks for the link to the Four Seasons....I will request information.  I actually received info from the Ritz Boston Common and they have reduced their minimum guarantee significantly for summer 2010 weddings.  It would definitely be affordable based on the information that I received so I think I will schedule a visit. 


    VanHassle - thank you for the suggestions in Newport.  I did get info from OceanCliff/Regatta Place.  I think I will schedule a visit there for this weekend as well.  I love hanging out at the Atlantic Beach Club on a Saturday when at the beach so I don't think I could do it for my wedding just because it wouldn't be as "special" to me.  I will also put the Hyatt in the theater district on my list. 

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sept2010Bride. Show Sept2010Bride's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    The Royal Sonesta and The Charles Hotel have windows that both over-look the Charles River.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    Re: Venue help/ideas

    yeah--good luck!  I think you will find that there are a lot of beautiful dress options in the sub-$1k category.  Mine certainly was. :)
     
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