What about hiring a village hall or similar? Our local sports hall is very cheap to hire, comes with a late licence bar and doesn't provide catering. A good catering company will provide all the table settings, and waiting staff as well as the food.
The trouble with venues is, if they let you use outside catering, most people would still expect the waiting staff, tables, linen and settings to be provided by the venue.......
We did exactly that at a venue in wiltshire for our wedding. I think it depends what type of place it is though. If its a hotel I think you'd be out of luck. If it was a stately home type place (not always as expensive as you might think), or a barn conversion or a hall or a marque then you should defo be able to organise your own caterers. Good luck!
Just wondering if anyone has been able to book a traditional venue (ie a county house hotel etc) and been able to use their own catering company rather than the overpriced menus that the venue offer themselves?
DP and his family are Northumbrian and we have found a lovely company that use all Northumbrian ingredients and, to be honest, we'd much rather use them than pay £15/head for voul a vents and chicken legs, however I suspect that the local venues might insist on their own catering staff being used. Anyone want to reassure me that we would just be able to hire a room in the venue without catering before I begin a long line of increasingly despondent phone calls?