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Need Suggestions on making my Florida wedding work


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#1 SgtPepperette

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    Posted 07 May 2009 - 02:36 PM

    So Im starting to get a little stressed. My wedding planner has gone MIA on me, so Ive moved on to another one. Except they are all to expensive for me. Im finding that the orginal wedding planner was giving me an really great deal. So I have decided to go with no wedding planner.

    I have a small budget of $5k. Im trying to find a location in Sanibel/Fort Myers area that we can afford. We are expecting 35 guests which takes us out of the intimate packages, and into the bigger packages.

    The resorts are beautiful but also are about $90-$150 per person which takes up a lot of our budget. That is just the food, bar, and location.

    Im trying to keep the food/bar around $2500. Im beginning to think thats impossible. Anyone have suggestions on a venue thats afordable. Or ways to cut costs to make this doable?

    Ive visited the brunch idea......or maybe a limited bar?

    Please help!

    #2 ErinB

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      Posted 07 May 2009 - 02:55 PM

      I have a friend that lives in Ft. Meyers. I'll ask him where people get married.

      I think food & beverages can be done for $2500. That's $70 per person which is very reasonable for a dinner.

      A limited bar is a great way to save money! Buffet meals will almost always be cheaper than a served meal.

      I'll see what I can find out. The wedding date is Oct 14, a Wednesday? Weekdays can be cheaper or easier to negotiate a deal.

      #3 IslamoradaBride

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        Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:12 PM

        Have you thought about holding it at an alternative location? Not a resort or hotel, but maybe at a beach house or public park? That would probably be much cheaper. We have rented a beach estate (in the Keys, not Sanibel) & are bringing in a caterer and paying for our own alcohol so it's much cheaper that way. You could also do a brunch or lunch. Have you looked into restaurants? Your group is small enough that you could have a private room and not have to buy out the whole restaurant.

        #4 ErinB

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          Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:17 PM

          This is just what I found after a quick google search:

          Florida Wedding Packages: Casa Ybel Resort Official Site Sanibel Island Fort Myers FL Thistle Lodge romantic beach restaurant luxury honeymoons suites harbor island hotels spas vacations planning family getaways group offers
          This place looks pretty!

          Sanibel Wedding Services at the Sanibel Siesta Resort
          A condo resort might be cheaper in the long run. The rates might be lower and you could hire your own vendors instead of going with who the resort uses.

          Home - Weddings by the Sea

          Catering Services in Fort Myers, FL on Yahoo! Local
          You might also want to contact a caterer directly. They will have more info on local venues and may offer planning services.

          I don't know where you have already looked, so hopefully this isn't duplicate info.

          You might want to start off the conversation by telling your budget. I know it is a lot easier for me to work with a client when I know what we have to work with. Say you have $2000 for a dinner for 35 is that something they can help you with. It's possible if it is a slow week or a one that isn't booked yet you can get a better deal.

          #5 SgtPepperette

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            Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:31 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by ErinB
            I have a friend that lives in Ft. Meyers. I'll ask him where people get married.

            I think food & beverages can be done for $2500. That's $70 per person which is very reasonable for a dinner.

            A limited bar is a great way to save money! Buffet meals will almost always be cheaper than a served meal.

            I'll see what I can find out. The wedding date is Oct 14, a Wednesday? Weekdays can be cheaper or easier to negotiate a deal.
            I was thinking $2500 for the food and the alcohol. Is that doable? Im finding the food is, its the 3-4 hour bar that is killing us.

            For example, we found a place where we could get the dinner for $50 a person, but when you add the bar it comes out to $94 a person. Than Im over $3000.

            So I have $2000 left for photography, officiant, flowers, decor, and some of the accomodations.

            As far as a buffet, we dont qualify for them. All the ones I checked our require a minimum of 50 people.

            #6 SgtPepperette

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              Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:35 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by IslamoradaBride
              Have you thought about holding it at an alternative location? Not a resort or hotel, but maybe at a beach house or public park? That would probably be much cheaper. We have rented a beach estate (in the Keys, not Sanibel) & are bringing in a caterer and paying for our own alcohol so it's much cheaper that way. You could also do a brunch or lunch. Have you looked into restaurants? Your group is small enough that you could have a private room and not have to buy out the whole restaurant.
              We did start to research that option. We found this really cute cottage place. And as long as we are staying there we can use their facilities for free. So than I started to look into vendors to bring in and came across all these ordiances. Its turtle nesting season and there can be no light on the beach. Than there is all these licenses and permits you have to get. Tent permit. Special event permit. Fire inspection the day before. And we cant have our own alcohol without a license. All those costs started to add up and it ended up being just as much as the resorts

              I did find one restaurant that was doable. But they dont have a location for the ceremony so I would still have to find that.

              #7 SgtPepperette

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                Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:44 PM

                LOVED this place. It was around $140 a person

                Quote:
                Sanibel Wedding Services at the Sanibel Siesta Resort
                A condo resort might be cheaper in the long run. The rates might be lower and you could hire your own vendors instead of going with who the resort uses.
                Thanks, Ill check these out.

                One of the wedding planners I wasnt happy with. She never remembered any of our conversations.

                Quote:
                Catering Services in Fort Myers, FL on Yahoo! Local
                You might also want to contact a caterer directly. They will have more info on local venues and may offer planning services.

                I don't know where you have already looked, so hopefully this isn't duplicate info.

                You might want to start off the conversation by telling your budget. I know it is a lot easier for me to work with a client when I know what we have to work with. Say you have $2000 for a dinner for 35 is that something they can help you with. It's possible if it is a slow week or a one that isn't booked yet you can get a better deal.
                I did find a few caters that I requested quotes from. They had a few special menus that I thought may be cheaper. Like a BBQ style menu. How fun would that be? Pig Roast, etc.

                #8 Cassondra2009

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                  Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:12 PM

                  What if you had open bar during a cocktail hour and then after dinner? Or just had it for 2 hours instead of 3-4? I've been to some weddings like that before and it wasn't bad.

                  I was actually just down in Ft. Myers earlier this month. Too bad I didn't know about this earlier..I would have looked for you! Good luck.

                  #9 susanv66

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                    Posted 08 May 2009 - 03:53 PM

                    Before we decided on a destination wedding, we looked into doing a cocktail reception for our wedding. It was alcohol and hors d'oeuvres for 4 hours, and it was only about $70 a head. We also thought this would make people mingle more. This was in New Jersey, but I am sure you could find a restaurant that would do something similar in Florida.

                    Good Luck!

                    #10 SgtPepperette

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                      Posted 19 May 2009 - 04:27 PM

                      Okay, so this is my latest update.

                      We found this beach home that we want to rent. It sleeps 8, and is right on Ft. Myers Beach. Its beautiful. The owner has done a ton of construction and landscaping work over the last year.

                      Fort Myers Beach vacation house rental - Beautiful Oceanfront Home with Gorgeous Sunsets!

                      He had his own wedding on the property, as well as a wedding a few weeks ago. He says he has enough furniture that I wouldnt have to rent tables/chairs. Nor a tent. He just charges an additional fee for weddings/receptions, and limits it to around 30 people.

                      I already got a great quote on a caterer. And think we defintely could go the pig roast theme having at this house. The owner said there is a gazebo right on the property where the ceremonies have taken place. I really wanted to get married on the beach...but the beach as a dropback isnt so bad. And I wont have to get a special events permit.

                      It would defintely help our budget!

                      So it sleeps 8, and the majority of the guest list is my FI's family. We asked them if they would be interested in staying there. The rental is for 7 nights, but we knew no one would be staying that long so figured at least 3 nights. We would charge them $50 a night per person. His family said no. They prefer a more private space. Its to close quarters and only has two bathrooms.

                      I have 4 members of my family coming, so I figured I could ask them. But have no idea who the other two people I could ask. Most of the other people are our friends, and I thought it might be weird for them to stay in the house with my family since they have never met them.

                      What do you think?

                      I also may have a group of 4-6 friends coming and thought I could offer them to stay in there to save money....but dont want to offend my family of course.




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