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Old 08-20-2012, 07:03 AM
 
17 posts, read 131,917 times
Reputation: 29

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Hello everybody, I am a newlywed married 4 months ago on April 7, 2012. I would like to talk about our wedding day -- where the ceremony and reception took place, who married us, did our flowers, cake, catering, rentals, photography, DJ, everything. Why? Because when I was planning the big day, I barely found anything online! So if any bride-to-be happens to come across this thread, hopefully she will find this helpful. We spent between 6,000 and 6,500 total on our wedding, not even close to the 'average' 28,000 but not a cheap backyard wedding either, it was perfect (for us!). I'm going to list the location and prices first, then explain everything below that.

Ceremony location: Laishley Park Gazebo, we had enough seats for 60 people. Rented for 2 hours, total of $42.
City of Punta Gorda Florida

Reception location: Laishley Marina, large open room right on the water, our guests walked from the ceremony to the reception it was so close. Rented from 7:30 am to 10 pm, $600 (plus 350 refundable security deposit)
Laishley Park Municipal Marina - Punta Gorda, FL

Photographer: EHS Photo Studios – Doug Bunnell, 5 hours + all pics on DVD $700
www.ehsphoto.com

DJ: Black Tie DJs, 5 hours $600
www.blacktiedjs.net

Caterer: La Fontana, food for 80, $1200
https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/La...01206316574222

Rentals: Do All Rental in Port Charlotte, they provided all the chairs, champagne glasses, etc. AND we paid them to have two waitresses there all night for a very reasonable price. $650
Do-All Rental, Inc.

We originally planned to be married in Bradenton at Mixon Fruit Farms, it was gorgeous and we loved it but not only was it expensive, it also had a lot of rules. Most places require you use preferred caterers, photographers, bartenders, and DJs, which just happen to be the most expensive in town. So we started searching for a reception location that doesn't have as many rules, in Charlotte county. We had been to Laishley Park and Laishley Marina many times, so we checked it out and decided to rent the gazebo in Laishley Park, and have the reception across the parking lot at Laishley Marina. The gazebo fit quite a few people, we had 60 chairs set up underneath it comfortable. Everyone was out of the sun under the shaded gazebo. The reception had enough chairs and tables for 80 people and we still had plenty of space left over. All of our vendors were amazing and went above and beyond their job description.

Tips: What we were going to save money on was the servers, we figured everyone could get their own food and drink, but they did so much more than that. They helped clean, fold up tables and chairs, assist guests, everything we needed them to do. Another tip is alcohol, we didn’t have enough variety or amount, I wish we would have had more as our reception seemed to die out earlier than expected, and most people weren’t loose enough to get down and dance. Also, make sure you schedule some alone time with your new husband, my favorite part of the whole day was sitting on a bench overlooking the Charlotte Harbor after the reception with my husband. It was just us, no guests that wanted our attention, no pictures to pose for, just the two of us and the quiet night.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Anthem, AZ
2,118 posts, read 3,448,958 times
Reputation: 659
Looks like you did it up nicely. Good post for others. Thanks for sharing.
PS - love La Fontana.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:09 PM
 
241 posts, read 443,568 times
Reputation: 120
I have done this for both my daughters' weddings back in PA. We spent about $6500(at a restaurant) on one and $4000(at home0 on the other. You didn't go broke or crazy and neither did they and I am sure yours was just as nice and special as theirs. Another tip is when buying things, don't mention the word wedding. The price goes up! One of my daughters had a "wedding" cake and the other had a "cake"...big price difference!

PS-Talk about being crazy...my house in PA had papers signed on Dec 31, Jan 7 I decided to do a wedding for 50 people at my home , movers took all my belongings and furniture to Florida on Jan 31(made for an empty house perfect to accommodate the wedding), had the wedding Feb 19, settlement was Feb 28. So don't let anyone tell you there isn't enough time or it can't be done! Even my new son-in-law doubted, but that day was in shock and awe!
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,979 posts, read 9,684,690 times
Reputation: 1914
Thank you for sharing the information. My stepdaughter lives in Sarasota but is looking for an affordable place to have her wedding in 2014. I will pass along the info to her. Congratulations!!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:56 PM
 
52 posts, read 130,083 times
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My daughter is planning a very small wedding ( 30-40) on the beach in early February. I was looking for back up plans if the weather is not cooperating that day. Any ideas? I looked at the Gazebo at Laishley and Gilchrist parks. I think either would be nice if it is raining. We could all get out of the rain and it is reasonable rates for an hour or so, but was wondering if there was an indoor location that I should consider? Also any ideas on catering, or a restaurant/ country club? Any thoughts or ideas would be great!
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:28 PM
 
17 posts, read 131,917 times
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Thanks Tamre!

MSgal, I would definitely recommend the gazebo in Laishley, it was HUGE and there was plenty of room for all of our guests, which more then doubled the amount your daughter is planning to have. I was worried about rain as well, but after looking at the gazebo I was confident that even if it was pouring, all the guests would stay dry. I'm not sure of the size in Gilchrist. Plus, using those big golfing umbrellas would make for some really cute pictures!

I recommend La Fontana for catering all the way, he was VERY affordable compared to everyone else we found. I was losing hope in ever finding an affordable caterer until we happened to walk in to his restaurant for lunch one day.

Good luck and congratulations!
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,979 posts, read 9,684,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kay707kay View Post
Thanks Tamre!

MSgal, I would definitely recommend the gazebo in Laishley, it was HUGE and there was plenty of room for all of our guests, which more then doubled the amount your daughter is planning to have. I was worried about rain as well, but after looking at the gazebo I was confident that even if it was pouring, all the guests would stay dry. I'm not sure of the size in Gilchrist. Plus, using those big golfing umbrellas would make for some really cute pictures!

I recommend La Fontana for catering all the way, he was VERY affordable compared to everyone else we found. I was losing hope in ever finding an affordable caterer until we happened to walk in to his restaurant for lunch one day.

Good luck and congratulations!
I am going to go to some bridal shows this year with my step-daughter. They finally set a date for 10/11/14. I sent her a copy of your information, thanks again.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:24 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,909 times
Reputation: 10
this was such an AWESOME post to stumble across after just getting engaged recently! i live in fort myers but my parents have a condo in punta gorda.. i love PG and so does my fiance.. you are seriously the bomb.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Lemon Bay, Englewood, FL
3,178 posts, read 5,381,397 times
Reputation: 1162
Unfortunately this thread is almost 2yrs old and several of the businesses listed are no longer IN business.
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