Posted: Jun 3, 2010 10:56 am
Joe you haven't mentioned budget which is a major factor when deciding on wedding venue/guest list. If you're budget is unlimited, the sky is the limit, but we paid for everything ourselves, so I did a lot myself. Also, I have a hard time spending a shit-ton of money on things when there is no good reason for a ridiculous mark up (i.e. anything labeled "wedding" )
I looked into the Magnolia Room, Metal museum, STAX, The Hunt Phelan Inn, and Graceland. We had some snafus w/ the millionaire's ex being a cunt, so I scrapped the wedding we had planned at Hunt Phelan and we went with Graceland due to the budget/time frame being slashed at the last minute.
The biggest tip I have is plan a weekend day or weekday - prices are crazy different between a thursday night and a saturday. Often you can find availability for a weeknight when all the weekends are already booked - put the difference toward the booze bill.
Hunt Phelan can accommodate quite a few people, especially if you use their outdoor area, however they don't have as many rooms in the B & B as a normal hotel, so you won't have tons of sleep space for out of towners. Hunt Phelan will also allow you to use the front steps and circle drive for free for a ceremony if you have something booked immediately afterwards.
Despite reneging on our wedding/reception that was planned there, the HP allowed us to put our deposit toward a room - their customer service was impeccable and I would highly recommend them to anyone.
STAX was pricier, as you can imagine it would be - Joe T and Hethurr can probably give you more info on that than I can.
Metal Museum was an awesome spot but has tons of restrictions as to which caterers you could use, alcohol and chair/tent set up and take down. They seemed nice and helpful, but ultimately it would have gone beyond our budget to jump through their hoops. Also, I didn't care for being told where I had to get my food/chairs/tents etc.
Graceland was the shit. There's no way that 300-400 would fit in the walls of that chapel, but if you chose to do a small ceremony and then a kick ass reception elsewhere, I can highly recommend them as well. Also, we ordered a cake as part of our wedding package and it was the best goddamn wedding cake I have ever tasted in my life (I'm not a fan of wedding cake). I'd find out who their bakery is and go there for my cake even if you have to smuggle it in somewhere! (Bakery was in Southaven as I recall)
Andria can help you locate flowers - Best decision I made was to do my own - great budget saver, and as I am picky, I knew I would be satisfied with how they all turned out.
Another budget saver for us, especially in a time crunch was making all the hairpieces. Y'all have plenty of time to decide what you want. I had my decisions made nearly a year in advance, so having to scrap the wedding and start over wasn't as big of a blow.
You're probably better off buying a tux (or suit of whatever) than renting if you will wear it ever again. Again, you have tons of time to check out what you like and find sales in the off season.
as for centerpieces/table decor - if you are going DIY Hobby Lobby is your friend. Nearly every week they have a 40% off coupon. Nearly every other week, they have stuff 50% - stuff like candles, mirrors, vases. I bought materials for centerpieces that were marketed as Christmas items. After Christmas those items go up to 90% off...
So, if you are planning any sort of DIY wedding - email me or call me if you want more info. That was probably more chiming in than you wanted.