Ask HR Bride: Looking for a Location

Dear HR Bride,

I am getting married May 12th, 2012. I am having a hard time just trying to find a venue to rent. My family is doing our food buffet style. Any ideas on any Hampton Roads areas that offer a cheap rental but nice location? I'm just having a hard time locating someone to just rent us the venue without the food and beverage packages. We are having 50 guests.


Thank You,
Looking for a Location

Dear Looking for a Location,

Since your wedding is only two months away, it’s important that you decide on a venue as soon as possible before they’re booked and also so that you can notify your guests where the wedding will be held. Many venues are against bringing outside caterers, so that narrows down the options a bit, but there are still some locations in Hampton Roads that will allow outside food for an inexpensive rental price. Here are some options:
The Fred Huette Center

1000 Botetourt Gardens, Norfolk


The Fred Huette Center in Norfolk allows outside food and even includes a kitchen area with a refrigerator in the rental price. You can choose to have your ceremony outdoors among the garden with a reception inside the center or vice versa. Tables and chairs are included in your rental, but items such as outdoor tents, outdoor tables, outdoor chairs or dance floor will need to be rented. The Fred Huette Center can be rented for a very affordable price.

Smithfield Conference Center

220 North Church Street, Smithfield


The Smithfield Conference Center allows outside food to be brought in—even for clients who do not select a licensed caterer. Included in your rental price is the use of the hall and furniture as well as warming oven, kitchen sink, dishwasher and refrigerator. Priced at only $1,200, the Smithfield Center would be a gorgeous location to tie the knot overlooking the Pagan River. Although this space may be a little large for your group, you can incorporate items such as a photo booth, elaborate seating chart or table of memorabilia if you need to fill some space.

Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Brides now have the option of “renting the beach” at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront by having a special section blocked off for their special events. For approximately $1,000, your wedding ceremony can be performed on the beach (you choose the exact location), and you’ll also get professional wedding photos and a wedding officiant. Afterward, you could hold a reception for your groups of guests at a rented beach house where you’ll have plenty of room to spread out the delicious buffet of homemade dishes.

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