We recently got engaged 1/1/14 and planning our wedding for 3/7/15. We are in Baton Rouge, La and need a reception hall. We already have someone that will do the decorating and catering. Our budget between $7000-$8000 for EVERYTHING except for Honeymoon. Any suggestions will be a great help as to how to get started in the planning process...Thanks in advance!
Before anything, have an idea about how many guests you would be inviting. Try minimizing the number of guests and find a hall which stays within your budget. My cousin had very few guests on her wedding and it made the wedding reception at Le Jardin in Toronto a peaceful and rush-free one!
Go with buffet style; paper plates and have the the reception in your backyard; or in a cul de sac of your neighborhood. I'm assuming the weather in Baton Rouge in Mid March is nice enough to accommodate outdoor events.
Just having the reception outside; especially in your neighborhood saves thousands of dollars in rental fees. At that point, you can have a potluck style meal (which is VERY inexpensive and makes it feel nicer, more intimate if everyone has a chance to help with the meals)....the dress can be from your own local at home seamstress...and as far as tuxedos? Just go with a nice suit...different color ties to denote Groom, Best Man, etc....
There you go! Good Luck! Feel free to let me know if you have other questions!