Church cultural hall--free! Includes a kitchen, tables, and chairs-and basketball hoops. You do the decorating! I have seen LOVELY wedding receptions at the church gym, and I love the fact that it is a familiar, close place for your neighbors.
In your backyard--also free! Unless you include new potted plants, different landscaping, painting the outside of the house. . .A backyard can be absolutely transformed to make a beautiful and very personal reception. Kari's open house in Pleasant Grove was in the backyard and was beautiful and fun, right up until the end when it started raining, but that was also fun, believe it or not. Clean up was very fast, too!
Reception Centers. The basic packages for most reception centers usually include a lovely location, tables, nice chairs, linens, centerpieces, sound and visual equipment, set up and take down and sometimes a hostess and staff for serving. They almost all require that you use their catering. Some reception centers offer items in addition to the basic package such as wedding cakes, invitations, flowers, photography, disc jockeys, limousines, etc. Here are a few I found:
Chantilly Mansion in Layton. Ranges from $1790 on a Monday or Tuesday to $2090 on weekends plus $300 April 1 - Oct 15.
Eldredge Manor in Bountiful. Packages start at $1895 plus $300 for peak season. They offer packages up to almost $7000.
Wight House in Bountiful. Packages start at about $1200.
Canterbury Place in Bountiful. Packages start at about $1700 and go up to $12,000. Yes $12,000.
Grand Ballroom in Bountiful. Package is about $1400. Can bring in your own caterer or food, or hire theirs.
Darin and I felt that a reception center was worth all the time, energy, and worry we would save, especially on the wedding day. But Kari is from a long line of do-it-yourselfers when it comes to weddings, and she wanted to do it herself!
So we rented the Farmington Community Arts Center. Rental for the main ballroom is $40 an hour. We rented it starting at 6 p.m. the evening before the wedding (for setup), so it was about $850 total. This included the kitchen, tables, chairs, and sound system. We provided everything else (linens, centerpieces, decorations, and food, and we rented different chairs.) In the end, I don't think we actually saved money over a reception center, except if you figure in the cost of food (do-it-yourself vs.catering). We definitely didn't save time or effort. But we were able to personalize it to our heart's content and had a fabulous time doing it. We were also able to serve more food than we might have if we had been paying a reception center to cater the food.
|Imagine it with the lights dimmed, twinkle lights showing, |
lights on centerpieces on, beautifully dressed people, and
full of guests! It was all we could have asked for!