Soooo Justin and I want a quite traditional wedding. The ill-fated thing about that, though, is that most times when something has “traditional wedding” associated with it, the cost of whatever it is skyrockets absolutely exponentially. Reception venues, especially, seem to be all over this concept, whether it be with rental prices, food costs, gratuities, time restrictions and overtime fees, outside catering fees, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
And this is how that made me feel
So when it came to our reception venue, we had to choose very carefully or we would find ourselves climbing up a mountain of costs that we were tremendously ill-equipped for. I knew I wanted to keep it indoors—although I absolutely adore cute outdoor potlucks or bbqs that are like the “oh-this-charming-little-easy-breezy-and-adorable-event-that-I-just-put-together-out-of-all-of-these-lovely-and-beautifully-coordinated-things-I-had lying-around-no-big-deal” kind of thing, it legit wouldn’t have worked out for me. First of all, Michigan (although absolutely stunning) has super mercurial weather, and, since I’m super neurotic, I would not be able to handle the thought of potential rain turning my hair into a bird’s nest frizz poof or my reception into a big puddle. Secondly, as much as I wish and wish, I still haven't magically turned into Martha Stewart, so I'll have to stick with something that's not as overwhelmingly DIY.
All that to say, we needed a lovely indoor venue.
BUT, we also didn’t want something that had BANQUET AND CATERING HALL essentially stamped on the front of it, especially ones that look banquet hall-y circa 1990—like stark white molding, mirrored walls, teal carpet (you know what I’m talking about). We looked at a ton of non-traditional venues, too. We were in art galleries, golf courses, weird old basements, hotels, private houses… but none of those quite clicked for us, either. They were either too small or too odd or too expensive or too WHATEVER.
We were depressed (or more like I was depressed and Justin didn’t see what the big deal was) until we found our perfect wonderful and beautiful now-reception venue:
I think it's absolutely charming (:
It’s called Baker Lofts; it was an old factory that they converted into apartments, a few quaint little shops, and a fantastic reception space. I love the exposed brick walls and the rafters and how bright it is and how it has history… it fits wonderfully with the vintage-esque look we were searching for. It’s like, an updated old thing. Which is good.
Here is an indoor picture off of their website!
There is a lot included with the space rental, as well. They have their own catering and bar and bakery, so all food and drink will be going through them (note: this is oftentimes a bit more of an expensive route to take, but sometimes convenience is priceless). They also include tables, chairs, linens, plates, parking, outdoor patio, and even some vases and candle holders, and they provide a wonderful day-of coordinator that takes care of all of the set-up and take-down for you so that you (or your guests) don’t have to stress about it.
And who doesn't want a cute outdoor patio?
So I think when it comes to venue searching, just keep yourselves in mind and what you want out of your reception. Personally, I adore the fact that pretty much everything you need with a reception will be taken care of by my venue so I don’t have to deal with the trepidation of juggling 27 different catering/rental companies doing 27 different things. Other brides, though, might totally dig that and love the organic-ness (and savvyness!) of coordinating everything themselves—I think you can scout out the best/cutest/whimsiest/most economical/etc. options and personalize it a lot more that way to make your reception truly YOUR event. Either way, just know there IS a venue for you and you WILL be able to find it—sometimes it just takes a liiiiiiiiiittle more time!
What was your venue search like? Did you find it on stop 1 or did it seem like you were NEVER going to find the perfect place? Are you doing anything exceptionally unique? If you're trying to go with a more traditional route, how are you dealing with the (oftentimes) mounting costs?
Have wonderful days!
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.