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to think about trying to book a wedding venue as a 'party' rather than wedding? Does it actually work?

(190 Posts)
Ciabattavonbreadsticks Tue 05-Jan-16 22:54:41

Ok, not actually thinking about doing this at the moment but just curious.

I've seen this advise several times, when booking a venue for a wedding people suggest booking it as a 'party' or a 'function' rather than mentioning a wedding as that tends to triple the price.

But does this actually work? Wouldn't the venue notice when you all turn up in wedding stuff? Wouldn't they be annoyed and just charge you the difference after the day?

It is very frustrating as the beautiful venue I have my eye on is £1500 for the day/time I have in mind but only £675 for the same day/time for a 'function'.

I'd also feel a bit bad, like I was doing the venue out of money but wibu to consider it? Has anyone else done this successfully? Or unsuccessfully?

Roseformeplease Tue 05-Jan-16 22:57:11

Why don't you get someone else to phone them and question the difference in prices and try to negotiate. That way, you can find out what they will do if you are honest and then make a decision.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 05-Jan-16 22:58:41

Have you looked whether the wedding package includes additional items eg. Master of ceremonies, use of cake stand etc.
I negotiated down, by removing items I didn't want from the package. In particular I was having a chocolate cake so didn't want pudding this removed a massive chunk from the bill. I found that venues that did function prices then charged huge extras such as £275 to use their cake stand.
Make sure you prove everything up carefully.

Ciabattavonbreadsticks Tue 05-Jan-16 23:05:00

That's a good point loan, literally all I want from the venue is the ability to use their room for the day/night and the staff to be at the bar. That's it! I even want to do the catering ourselves, if they'll allow that which of course some venues don't.

I'd be more than happy to do all the decorating/setting up of the venue myself to try and keep the costs down but do venue's allow that sort of thing? I really don't see why there is such a difference in the price, I wanted to have the ceremony and reception at the same place so less travelling etc and I can't think what extra the staff would have to do for a wedding than a 'function', espcially if we did most of it ourselves. Obviously some of the cost would be for the staff but again surely that would be the same whether it was a wedding or a function? Arrg!

DrFoxtrot Tue 05-Jan-16 23:06:24

Yes, there are usually extras involved in wedding packages. When I worked as a waitress we had a booking for about 20 people for lunch, which happened to be a wedding party. But they didn't just want lunch, they wanted a cake stand and knife, they wanted the cake cutting and serving to guests.

MsColouring Tue 05-Jan-16 23:24:01

Got married last week and we had a community centre hall for the party which only cost £300 - not even any extra for corkage. Wedding itself was on a church. Don't know why it was so cheap other than it not being a particularly popular venue (they still did a great job and even provided chair covers and the disco). Think you just need to phone around and get the best price.

ThatsNotMyHouseItIsTooClean Tue 05-Jan-16 23:29:05

We had a very small wedding & went to a restaurant afterwards. Our wedding coincided with a significant birthday for one of the family members who came. When I was booking it, I explained it was a birthday, asked if we could have a nice table, bring a cake which they could cut, all of which they agreed to. I felt really bad on the day as they'd written a birthday card and were then scrambling around looking for a wedding card. In our case, it didn't save us any money so I wish we had just been upfront.

BestZebbie Tue 05-Jan-16 23:34:46

On the one hand, we did this for a community centre hall which we were having a 'second reception' party in (the week after the wedding, for all the hobby friends and acquaintances who weren't invited to the small family wedding breakfast). It was fine.

On the other hand, no-one went to that party dressed as a Bride & Groom, and is it worth the stress on your wedding day of worrying that someone will throw you out (etc) for not telling them the right information in the booking?

Ciabattavonbreadsticks Tue 05-Jan-16 23:35:59

Unfortunately dp isn't religious and really doesn't want to get married in a church, my first wedding was in a church and I think I'd find it a bit uncomfortable so church is a no go!

The venue I've found is one of the cheaper ones around but still a lot of money, I don't want anything extravagant, just a fairly low key party.

Hiddlesnake Tue 05-Jan-16 23:36:23

I work in an events venue. We don't actually host weddings, but that is for various reasons.
The thing about weddings is that they are quite high-pressure events. If something goes a bit awry at Uncle John's 60th birthday party, it can be brushed off and turned into a funny family story. If something goes wrong at a wedding reception, it's someones "Big Day" ruined.

A lot of places don't allow you just to hire them for the pretty room because it's the catering and bar where there is any profit. Room hire rarely makes much, once you take into account the heating, lighting, cleaning, maintenance and ongoing upkeep.

Also, although you my think that decorating & setting up the venue yourself may save you money, venues can be quite particular about what goes into their rooms. They have business and a reputation to consider and if things go badly they will take the knock, even if it was the bride & groom doing all their own organisation of food, drink, decortion and entertainments.

What you pay for with a wedding venue is so much more than a pretty room. It's the whole professional package.

Hiddlesnake Tue 05-Jan-16 23:39:32

Apolories for the awful typos! I have carpal tunnel and struggling to type properly.

spaceyboo Tue 05-Jan-16 23:40:42

Most of the Hindu families I know book venues as parties rather than weddings as they tend not to need any of the extras. It can lead to losing a deposit if there's a problem but usually there's not, and Hindu weddings have huge fires for the bride and groom to walk around!

So if there's a price diff then take advantage of it!

Ciabattavonbreadsticks Tue 05-Jan-16 23:42:29

Exactly Zebbie, I really don't want the stress of worrying that we'll get kicked out, piss off the venue or get handed a huge bill post wedding but I really want to cut costs as much as possible!

Dp is very shy and hates being the centre of attention, he would be quite happy for us to get married in a field in the middle of nowhere but I just want something with minimal fuss and not too many guests but still nice. The place I found is a lovely compromise but a huge bill would definitely put him off.

ammature Tue 05-Jan-16 23:44:37

I agree with hiddlesnake when I was planning our wedding I was very frustrated y the price of things but after I realised we got a lot more then a normal function/photographer etc. weddings are high pressure for the vendors and I guess they have to account for this in their pricing however everything is negotiable. Make them an offer!

unimaginativename13 Tue 05-Jan-16 23:50:43

If you want a ceremony in the same venue you can really just lie.

You will need someone to co ordinate it, hence the added cost. You meet with the registrar before in a separate room.

You would need an entrance, then possibly room to be re arranged and set up for reception.

They can see to the DJ when he arrives for evening etc

We also paid for it to be cleaned the next morning so we didn't have to.

Venues make their money on the catering and planning so you saying you want it DIY isn't very appealing.

Your best off looking at a hall and registry office.

The prices reflect the added stuff, also what birthday party would really be from 2pm until midnight??

FeelingSmurfy Tue 05-Jan-16 23:54:36

I would be honest with the venue, though a friend enquiring about function price could help you to negotiate, but lose the word wedding for things like cake, decorations etc. We got a cake for less than a third of the cost of a wedding cake by not calling it that. They did the exact same cake, it was the lady who took the order who prompted us on this. They even ordered ribbon in to go with colour scheme!

Hiddlesnake Tue 05-Jan-16 23:57:12

Like I said in my PP, we don't host weddings or receptions. If someone booked a "party" at our venue and turned up in a wedding outfit, blatantly for a wedding reception, there would be major issues.
And on a personal level, I don't think lying or mis-truths are the best footing for a marriage.

Ciabattavonbreadsticks Wed 06-Jan-16 00:03:25

What sort of issues snake? Just out of curiosity?

I really don't think I would outright lie as I'd just be too nervous about getting in trouble!

Really hate the idea of getting married in a registry office sad . I know it isn't important in the whole scheme of things but the one we would have to go to is grotty and horrible.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 06-Jan-16 00:09:58

Why don't you say the party is to celebrate a wedding but you don't require anything which they would not provide for any other generic function.

However they may well be unhappy at allowing you to bring your own decorations /flowers / cakes etc.

And of course they will not then deal with the administration of ensuring there is a licensed celebrant or facilities for the celebrant so you will end up with a party not a wedding.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 06-Jan-16 00:16:07

Hiddlesnake Why would there be "major issues" if a party group turned up in wedding fancy dress at your place as opposed to any other sort of party gear?

The issue here is the OP wants a venue which will deal with all the legal technicalities of getting married but doesn't want to pay the additional costs for it.

You are just providing a party venue.

Hiddlesnake Wed 06-Jan-16 00:19:03

Our building is owned by a church and our business agreement is that only church members can marry there. The only concession is if the wedding takes place on a different day at a different venue (i.e. A couple marries abroad and then holds a party when back home - no wedding dress though). A bit strange, admittedly, but not our rules and if someone tried to hold a reception by lying about it's purpose, we would lose our jobs.

I really think a lovely little village hall, or pub or restaurant with a private room is the way forward for you. Some pubs are even licensed for marriages now.
Or what about other registered spots locally? A few of our local museums are licensed. The Registry Office will have a list of places.

unimaginativename13 Wed 06-Jan-16 00:19:40

How you could you lie to a venue about a ceremony?

Sneak in the registrar!?

Why don't you want to use a registry office?

Surely it would be cheaper to do that then just hire somewhere for s few hours after ?

BeaLola Wed 06-Jan-16 00:22:51

re the comment about Register Office - you can get married wherever you want - you do not need to do it at your local one - you can chose wherever suits you - some are lovely & some are rubbish - same with approved venues.

Marmite27 Wed 06-Jan-16 00:25:31

My BIL works at a venue that offers exclusive use for a wedding. One weekend they had a wedding and a function.

Which turned out to be another wedding, the couple who had booked and paid to be the only wedding there were NOT impressed as you can imagine.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 06-Jan-16 00:32:39

Hiddlesnake yours is quite different then.

I can't see any reason why it should make any difference to a hotel what the purpose of the room hire is as long as the hotel isn't expected to deal (for no charge) with the legal niceties to ensure it is a wedding.

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