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Good wedding caterers (and venues?) in Orlando

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Hey folks! I got engaged on Halloween so we're starting to think about a wedding in late October 2009, here in Orlando. It is all so overwhelming, so if anyone has any advice on good venues and/or caterers, I'd be grateful for the information. It would be nice to do something at a hotel so everything could be in one central location (ceremony/reception/catering/guest rooms), but we're not loaded by any means, and neither are our families. Probably the highest-end places like the Ritz Carlton and Grand Bohemian are out, but we were wondering about the Renaissance near Sea World, Gaylord Palms, and other comparable hotels.

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  1. I got married at Lake Nona Country Club. Food is awesome and we had the ceremony outside overlooking the lake with the reception inside. Very professional wait staff as well. Very reasonably priced considering the venue.

    1. Congratulations, BBV Lou! A Halloween engagement -- scary!
      The good news is, you'll be getting married in a recession; the bad news is, you'll be getting married during a recession.
      The good part about that is that business is going to be slow for a lot of the hotels, and they're going to be wheeling and dealing to bring business in.
      The bad part is that a lot of businesses are likely to go under before next October rolls around.
      I'm very big on local caterers, and Cuisiners is my favorite. I hate to steer business away from small catering companies -- they're going to need the work. But I'd make sure you have some sort of indemnification to recover your deposit in case the company folds. And check on their health periodically throughout the year.
      But if you choose to have the event at one of the hotels -- they'll also be making deals, I think -- they may require that you use their culinary department. You're probably going to be safer with one of the main hotel groups.
      Best wishes,
      Scott
      www.scottjosephorlando.com

      1. Congrats BBVLou!

        I'm not a member of the Citrus Club, but I had my reception there. They offer a lovely view of downtown and were great to work with. Lots of compliments on the food, we had a late morning wedding (11) at a church downtown followed by brunch in the main dining room at the CC.

        We had our rehearsal at Harveys Bistro and they were wonderful to work with, service and food was great. I had a family dinner on our wedding day at Dubstread, again, wonderful to work with and ravs on the food. Family Brunch to finish out our festivities was at the Grand Bohemian, back when they were still in the Westin family. Nice brunch, lots of great options and the live music was nice. We had a wedding block at the Grand Bohemian and they cut a nice discount for our group.

        We got married in October and places were pretty full, pretty quickly...it's never to soon to start locking vendors in Oct is a very popular wedding month. Post back if you want any other vendor recs (or stay away froms!!)

        Good luck!