Post # 1
hi bees, first post! forgive me for any mistakes i may make in posting this.
i am looking for rustic wedding venues not too far from boston proper and wanted to get opinions of any bees who have had, or are planning to have, their wedding there.
1)commander’s mansion, watertown
2)elm bank at the ma horticultural society, wellesley
3)smith barn at brooksby farms, peabody
so far i’ve looked at options 1 and 2, and have an appointment to see 3 this weekend. i was a bit overwhelmed with the prospect and cost of decorating elm bank to give it the rustic, romantic vibe i’m going for, and have seen some iffy reviews regarding A/C, bar, and coordinator of smith barn.
any opinions, or other venue suggestions, would be appreciated!
Post # 3
@bostonbee3: Have you looked into the Red Lion Inn in Cohasset? http://redlioninn.propoohd.com/
Post # 4
i was a bit worried about the distance- and actually saw some negative reviews on yelp/weddingwire about slow service, etc. this is actually the only venue i’ve seen blatantly negative reviews for, so it definitely put me off.
Post # 5
These are all lovely venues, and will span quite a cost gamut. I looked at Elm Bank but had a hard time swallowing the price tag of rental/decorating too. I’ve heard good things about Commander’s Mansion, and less nice things about Smith Barn. I’ve also heard that Smith Barn books up really quick in the fall ( for obvious reasons).
These are all really pretty but they all have different vibes to me. Garden vs. rustic barn vs. pretty white tent. Is there a specific mood/theme you’re going for? Also, how far out of the city are you willing to consider? I might have a few other suggestions knowing what your radius is.
Post # 6
@chemgeek: I’m really going for a rustic, barny type of vibe (my fiance grew up near farms in WI and I am looking for a more casual wedding space) but would be willing to reconsider for the right place/price. I can’t seem to find any other rustic barns in the area and within our price tag.
Our budget is roughly 35-40k with everything included, for about 150 people. I loved the ceremony space of Elm Bank, but I am too having a hard time picturing the industrial space turning into the romantic setting I’d hope for- especially while remaining under budget. I also didn’t like the need to have the dance floor/DJ outside, given the capacity of 160 inside with no dance floor. I feel like it would really separate the wedding.
I’ve heard great things about Commander’s as well and the coordinator was great. I’m just not thrilled about the vibe of the cocktail hour space, and thought the venue lacked the photo ops/charm of other places. The alcohol policy and proximity to Boston was a major plus. I’m not sure how I feel about a tented venue, though, and we definitely wouldn’t fit in the mansion as a plan B in case of rain.
I’m scheduled to see Smith Barn next week, and am a bit concerned. What have you heard about them? Just to start, the coordinator not having email, the barn not having AC, strict time/decor restrictions, and the on-site alcohol cost is making me a bit nervous.
We’d like to house people in Boston proper (for a “destination wedding” type feel- both sets of families are traveling in) and then shuttle them out to the venue. Accordingy, I’d like to keep the commute under 30-40 minutes. I perusued some of the N. Shore venues and decided they were too far.
Any help would be SO appreciated.
Post # 7
Not knowing exactly what you’ve looked at, I’m just gonna throw out venues that I added to my list in my scouring of the internet before we settled on our venue ( some of these fall a little over 40 mintues drive). There really aren’t that many barn venues that close to the city, which is why I think Smith Barn is in such high demand. The main complaint I’ve heard about Smith Barn is the alcohol really isn’t a deal and (at the time) you were fairly limited in catering choices. Not sure if that’s still the case though.
These are actual barns:
Asa Whiting House (would need a tent attached) Holliston: http://www.hollistonhistoricalsociety.org/content/rentals
Codman Farm ( currently on renting hiatus though…)http://www.codmancommunityfarms.org/
These are places that have indoor/outdoor barn like pavilions:
Bolton, MA: http://www.nashobawinery.com/
Newburyport, MA: http://maudslayartscenter.org/functions/
Foundation for continuing Education, Boston Conference Center, Wenham, MA (their website is awful but the venue looks secluded and lovely) http://www.fce.org/center.htm
Boylston, MA (http://www.germanclub.org/Rentals.aspx)
These are non-barn tented rustic venues :
Smolak Farms, North Andover ( this has a small barn but not big enough for the actual event) http://www.smolakfarms.com/events-weddings
Prowse Farm, Canton ( http://www.prowsefarm.org/event-rental/)
Essex Conference and Retreat Center, Essex MA ( http://www.eccr.com/)
Post # 8
@chemgeek: Thanks for all of the suggestions, we will look into them. Where are you having your wedding?!
Post # 9
The ceremony is in a church in Somerville and the reception is at the Stevens Estate in North Andover. It’s essentially the same idea as the Commander’s Mansion, fancy estate house, tented patio. We would have considered the Commander’s Mansion but we were set on our date and 16 months out it was already booked! Cost wise, the Stevens Estate included a little bit more and the tent was bigger. I feel your pain with not wanting guests to have to schlep that far. The estate will be a 35-40 min drive in between the ceremony and reception and that was pretty much our limit too.
Post # 10
@bostonbee3: Don’t know if you’re willing to do this but there are a LOT of rustic venues in New Hampshire and it would be like a mini-DW wedding then. Just a suggestion!