Post # 1
So, FI and I have started looking at potential venue sites. We initially were thinking of using his parents backyard, but worried about not having enough space and I would LOVE to be near/on water.
This is what we’re looking for:
- outdoor ceremony and reception (with indoor/rain backup plan)
- room for 120-150 guests
- relatively cheap venue/site fee (we’re looking to keep our budget as low as possible, $10,000 absolute max)
- ability to bring in our own caterer
- ability to bring in our own alcohol
- ability to have a bonfire/smores
- FI is turned off by many historical locations which have a lot of rules
We do not want a “traditional” wedding – no halls, no plated stuffed chicken, no DJs, no just dancing as entertainment. We want to play lawn games, and board games, and a more laid-back (but still classy!) atmosphere. We want everyone to be able to relax and enjoy.
So far, I’m loving Blue Water Farm in Andover, NH – I think it’s the only place I’ve seen that looks perfect, but FI isn’t sold yet.
I know this is a pretty tall order, but any Bees have any other suggestions? (I feel like I’ve looked up everywhere under the sun!) Willing to look at MA, NH, southern ME! (Pretty much 2 hr radius from Boston?)
Post # 3
I had slightly different criteria, but locations you might want to look more into:
Barton Center (diabetes summer camp)
Post # 4
I had VERY similar criteria and budget with the addition of wanting a lake and a place for guests to stay overnight. Bonfire after was my top priority! We ended up with Camp Kiwanee, the only criteria that didn’ meet was no BYOB. Honestly, I searched and searched and there are very few places that do allow the BYOB in New England. I kept finding they would either allow you to BYOB but use one of their caterers or use any caterer but use their bar. In the end we decided since we can BYOB for our after party we would just pay for a cocktail hour and beer and wine during the reception. The prices were pretty reosonable. Plus we are saving so much by having a BBQ style. There is a spot out front where we plan to have lawn games and cabins and a bonfire we have rented out to have a huge after pary.
I can send you my list of venues I made in New England if you want or answer any questions about places we checked out. Just PM me.
Post # 5
@afineskyline: try Willowdale in Topsfield. they’re inside/outside rustic/romantic and BYOB 🙂
Post # 6
@Ctobin: Hey! I really like the look of Willowdale, but it seems to be WAY over my budget 🙁
Post # 7
@afineskyline: I booked Pequitside Farm in Canton, MA. It has everything EXCEPT the ability to host your guests inside the house – not big enough. You’ll have to build your own tent. However, the site rental fee of $700 can’t be beat! Also, no bonfire/smores
Have you thought about camps? I have a friend who got married at Camp Jori and they have a hall where you can eat inside, and I’m sure as a camp, they’d allow camp fires. It’s in Rhode Island
Post # 8
@melonseeds: Thanks! Yes, I’ve been looking at every barn, farm, and camp around 🙂