The hidden deal breaker…

I wanted our wedding to be held in my hometown of Destrehan so badly. I really did, but man, the sticker shock of a reception made this very difficult! I knew for a fact where the ceremony would be. I told Mr. Ballet Flat from day one that we had to get married in St. Charles Borromeo Church. I would move the date around as much as possible to get this venue, because this is the church I’ve always gone to. It’s a beautiful, traditional church with a crazy long aisle to walk down. What more is there to ask for, right? 🙂

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That was easy enough. Now, to find a place for our reception. It would be so easy to have the reception in Destrehan as well or as close as possible. So, I had a couple choices in mind.

We wanted our reception to be the buffet style with passed hors d’oeurves rather than a sit-down meal. We wanted the food to be standard of Louisiana cuisine, since hey, honestly, you go to New Orleans, you have expectations of a great bowl of jambalaya, right?

A couple months before we were engaged, I was obsessed enough to call Ormond Country Club in Destrehan for prices. The price was $22/pp, which was amazing, but there were no Louisiana dishes offered. With the price though, we were pretty set on that place. However, they just had renovations and hired a new wedding planner. With that, the price jumped…a lot! The package was now $32/pp!!

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Another location I vaguely heard about was in the next town over, where my father grew up. It was called La Maison Magnolia and the location was just exquisite. This was a more all-inclusive reception venue with much more food variety (including quite a few Louisiana dishes) at $33/pp. This was fair, since it included so much besides food (cake, dj, duty officer). However, it was a little on the small side for our 150 guests.

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I thought this would be easy…but here comes what killed the deal. The G word, yeah, you brides know all about it. GRATUITY! 18% of whatever the reception cost was tacked right on top of that already sticker shocking price! Wow…this was going to kill the budget.

I couldn’t afford for our wedding to be in New Orleans, unfortunately (after much research, trust me), so it seemed that these two reception locations were really our only hope!

So, what’s a girl to do? I vented to my mom. My mom mentioned the place where they (mom and dad) had their reception. I thought, well, it’s in Metairie, which is the city RIGHT next to New Orleans. It’s about 15 miles away from Destrehan, so it’s not too too far. However, most of the Metairie venues were way pricier than my hometown options. Well, Mr. Ballet Flat was coming in town that weekend, and we decided, why not? Let’s give this place a visit, because we needed to make a decision about this soon!

I have to thank my mom. This place was $28/pp, all-inclusive like the $33/pp venue we looked at, had good food variety (including jambalaya and gumbo) and had a HUGE ballroom! So far, so good. However, this venue almost made me cry out of happiness when the coordinator said, “Tax and gratuity included.” I present to you, the Jefferson Orleans North!

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So, Mr. Ballet Flat and I decided to go to the car and think this out a bit. Really, a few minutes later, we were back inside the venue, signing the dotted line. This felt like the perfect place to have our reception, so we knew we couldn’t wait. We had our venue. Thanks Mom (again) so much!

Have your parents really helped influence you on a pretty big wedding decision?


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