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Old 09-28-2011, 07:45 PM
4 posts, read 51,357 times
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I need help.......For the past month my fiance and I have been looking for the best place to hold our wedding and reception. We have a budget of about $4000 and need to be able to have a reception and wedding with this amount. We currently live in Fayetteville, but are planning on having the wedding in Raleigh, or Durham. (This is where we have spent the majority of our relationship and most of our family and friends are there). We want a venue that can:
hold 200 people
is capable of hosting a wedding and reception
is flexible with caterers
Wedding is Spring 2012

Our biggest problem is many of the reception may be cheap but the price goes up exponentially when you consider the fee for the caterer. $25 a plate for a dry chicken breast, green beans, rice pilaf, and a roll. lol Oh yeah, did I forget to tell you that they will also charge you $10 per white tablecloths.

Okay.....so forget my ranting here is what I need.
1) A church in Raleigh/Durham that can hold 200 or more people
2) A venue in Raleigh/Durham that can hold 200 or more people
3) Everything cost no more than $4000 or less lol (Wedding, reception, caterer, linens)
Please help......Even if its just the name of the location that you got married.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:19 PM
1,925 posts, read 5,573,079 times
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I gotta tell you, it is going to be tough to do 200 people for $4000.

We got married at Spruce Pine Lodge in Bahama (10 min north of Durham, owned by Durham Parks and Rec). At the time, it was $350/day to rent the lodge. We had around 100 people, and did everything inside the lodge. Probably could have added 50-60 more, 200 would be pushing it but you can go there and set up chairs to see how many you can fit before you rent. Plenty of room on the outside if you want to roll the dice on weather (I assume renting a tent for 200 people will run you more than the lodge itself). We set up in the morning, and took down after it was done. You can cater your own food and bring in your own drinks, so we bought a bunch of wine and a keg of beer (we hit the Southern Season wine sale and got 2 cases of GREAT wine for around $200). Cheapest food for 200 people will probably be a pig picking, although a pot luck wedding would be kind of fun if you've got lots of local guests who are game.

Another potentially cheap option would be the Durham Farmers Market. Don't know if you can serve alcohol there, but tons of space, has a roof, I assume pretty cheap, you'll also have to rent chairs and tables.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:42 PM
413 posts, read 820,194 times
Reputation: 388
The Borden Building at Fletcher Park was chosen by a dear
friend and was very affordable. They catered their own
ceremony and used a local rental company for
tables, chairs, dishes, and cutlery. The photos were gorgeous.
They had use of the home, kitchen, grounds, and amphitheatre.

Theknot.com may have recommendations on their wedding forum.
All the best.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:32 PM
826 posts, read 1,810,577 times
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I agree that it's going to be tough to do if you are thinking of a traditional "formal" wedding reception with a sit-down plated dinner. So think outside the box! Maybe consider a food truck to cater the wedding - so many great options here like OnlyBurger (they do have full service catering through Durham Catering Co) or a taco truck? I think it would make the food very memorable! I think it's becoming a thing....

Food Truck Wedding | Green Wedding Shoes Wedding Blog | Wedding Trends for Stylish + Creative Brides (someone even mentions OnlyBurger in the comments)

Durham Catering Co. | Always a pleasure. (there is a link to preferred vendors that has some receptions sites listed)
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:39 PM
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And parks or public spaces are some of the cheapest options. We got married in San Diego in one of the open spaces in Balboa Park and paid $250. Here are some options in Raleigh:

Rental Facilities - The Official City of Raleigh Portal

Or the Raleigh Rose Garden: Special Events in the Rose Garden | Raleigh Little Theatre
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:56 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,357 posts, read 3,786,000 times
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I think you will definitely have to skip a meal and serve hor douerves on that budget. We started out wanting to spend $7000 total, and have blown our budget... and we literally chose the most affordable all inclusive reception venue in the Triangle. But I'm sure you can save money by choosing a venue, then caterer, then rent tables/chairs etc (we were willing to pay more to avoid the headache). Also, get really creative with things like flowers. Even way over our original budget, we still can't afford flowers at the reception- only at the wedding. But you can get really creative if you are willing to put time into it and find centerpieces/decor that is YOU instead of typical and expensive. Do you know anyone with a really beautiful back yard? I know people go that route and save tons of money, then have close relatives bring the food. Just a thought. Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:19 AM
Location: NC
169 posts, read 542,998 times
Reputation: 102
I got married two years ago in Durham - about 100 people and a minimal budget.

We had planned on flower centerpieces at the reception, met with a florist, got the estimate and it was almost 1/4 of our wedding budget! So we started looking at other options. Balloons are festive and much more affordable (we didn't choose that option, but it looked like Balloons & Tunes in Carrboro would have done a great job and would have been in our price range). Someone told us about getting flowers from the Carrboro Farmer's Market so that's what we did. There was a woman there (don't remember her name at the moment) who did the bouquets and corsages for us and gave us loose flowers for the centerpieces. You could check with a farmer's market closer to you for someone else who does this. We bought bowls and mirrors on craigslist, put water in the bowls, mirrors under the bowls and the flowers floated in the bowls. It was simple and relatively inexpensive, yet elegant. Candles would have been another option. Definitely look at craigslist. There are always people trying to sell decorations that they used at their wedding/reception. We ended up buying our tablecloths from a discount place on-line so that we ended up with the color that we wanted. They were $10-15 each and we donated them to our church afterwards - they appreciated them immensely and it was tax deduction for us (win-win).

We had Ben & Jerry's come and our guests made their own sundaes. Everyone raved about that - especially the kids. Our cake was made by my husband's daughter. So if you have family members or friends that can cook/bake, see if they are willing to help. You should still offer to pay them (for ingredients at the very least), but it should cost less than the professionals and it will feel good (hopefully) to have them involved. We didn't serve alcohol - it's against our church rules, but that also saved us a bunch of money. We had trays of food instead of a meal at the reception, but we decided to have a very nice rehearsal dinner for our wedding party, immediate family and our out-of-town guests.

As another person said, think outside the box. Best wishes!
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:01 AM
9,726 posts, read 28,493,194 times
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My family worked in the wedding business up in NJ. I've seen people have fabulous wedding with budgets in the $4-5K range, but you need to keep everything in perspective. With a large wedding of 200 people and a firm budget of $4K you may want to strongly consider a cocktail reception with drinks and heavy hors d'oeuvres or some sort of buffet. A sit down dinner for 200 people on a $4K budget is a big stretch and would eat up the entire budget before you address other apects of your day.

If you are dead set on a sit down meal, I would suggest trimming the guest list. Good Luck!
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:28 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
875 posts, read 2,111,491 times
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One family member of mine got married outside in her parents yard and had the reception at the ruritan club. Just had to rent some chairs for the wedding itself but the club included tables and chairs. She bought table clothes off ebay. Used potted pants for the centerpieces. They had it in the afternoon around 2pm and only did light hors d'oeuvres. I believe her final guest count was around 220.

A friend from high got married at her church and used the churches hall for the reception. She served bbq for the meal I believe she said it was around $12. Her guest count was also around 200. I think the problem with a church though many will want you to either be attending or have family members who attend.

You could also see if places would give you a discount if you did it on Sunday.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:55 AM
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
20,997 posts, read 31,462,752 times
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You're talking about $20 a head and that's just for the reception, forget about flowers, clothing, transportation, music. Is $4,000 the ENTIRE wedding budget, or just the reception?
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