Post # 1
I am trying to plan a very simple, but classic wedding. My fiancé and I are trying to stay away from the big function halls and hotels, because we have been together for over 10 years now and feel that the traditional over-the-top wedding is not for us. I have been looking into restaurants and tents, clambakes and bbq’s, but the more I try to make this feel more casual it seems like the pricing keeps going up. This doesn’t make sense to me. I am all for DIY and plan to handle as much as I can on my own, but hunting for venues and food is beginning to make me feel we should just elope or just bombard some unsuspecting restaurant with a bunch of guests (surprise we’re having a wedding style). (Haha, just joking on that one, although I think my Mom would consider it at this point.)
Basically I’m just looking to know if other brides to be are having the same issues and if so how are you handling it. Also if anyone knows eastern MA or NH or heck even southern ME and has some good suggestions for places I would love to have some advice on what to do.
Post # 3
Could you possibly do a lunch reception instead of dinner? Or even a non-meal time reception, and host appetizers or hors d’oeuvres instead of a full meal? Have you checked into local parks or historical societies or cultural arts centers? A lot of public recreation facilities are available for much less than banquet halls. I’d check with your department of parks/recreation and see what kind of locations they have, and what the rules are for renting them out (i.e. do they allow alcohol, what are their indoor capacities, do they allow outside food vendors, etc.) I know it’s overwhelming, but it can be done!!
Post # 4
I haven’t chosen a venue yet, and I’m running into the same thing. DaneLady’s advice is exactly what I’ve going for too. Do some Internet searches for things like “brunch reception” and “picnic reception” to see how they can work.
Also, consider a Sunday morning wedding: people will not expect much/any alcohol (a very expensive item) and you can get away with a simpler/lighter menu. Another thing to consider is a “dessert reception.” It’s what a usual reception was a couple decades ago and earlier–it would work well for a early/mid-afternoon wedding and you can still have things like dancing, etc.
Post # 5
I find that what you unique types of weddings tend to cost more than the places that are “wedding professionals”, those (like hotels and reception halls) that know weddings like the back of their hand. They’ve got all of the equipment on hand, and throwing one is like a no-brainer to them.
The receptions you’re considering “casual” are also “unique”, and “different”, and “outside the box”. They’re also fabulous. 🙂
When you get into outside catering, generators for electricity, DIYing things, rentals (tables, linens, chairs, dishes, etc.) the price starts to escalate. Unfortunate but true.
We are planning an outdoor wedding at my parents house, and the price is climbing, too. 🙁
Post # 6
@DaneLady: Thanks for the parks and rec recommendation, I never thought of that, but I will definetly look into it.
Post # 7
@multinational: I feel ya with the price rising and all and I know you are right. The fact that this is something unique and not cookie-cutter is helping the price climb. I have been looking into art centers, historic sites, beaches, etc as well as more standard function halls and the cheapest site I found looked like something out of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, with columns/ statues of gods and goddesses. Not my cup of tea, so hopefully I can still find something a bit more unique and casual. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂
Post # 8
I think a restaurant is a good way to keep costs down, plus its non-traditional (and delicious!). It may seem like more money than caterers, but you’re also getting decor, linens, tablecloths, chairs, tables, and servers…which is a ton of money to rent on its own. Throw a few flowers in a couple small vases and you’re set.
Parks are super cheap for ceremonies, but not receptions because of the reasons above.
Post # 9
Post # 10
Additionally, can look into all inclusive packages that do everything for you. Sometimes, they stack the prices together well. I saw one place that even included the photography and video and a lot of food. It worked out to be about $4,000. I didn’t like it because it looked like you had to get married in their log cabin church, but I dont like the log cabin look. Although…they allow pets in their cabins and I don’t want to leave my huskies for the honeymoon, so….
Post # 11
I’m totally in the same boat… looked at all sorts of places. Have you considered museums? I contacted loads, but there were issues with all the ones near me. Also… church halls… some of the older churches have amazing grounds and you could maybe do something with that?
Post # 12
Hi there Sassa,
I live in Upper Central MA and my family lives on Cape Cod, and my friends live in Bristol County. I too, am on a budget. Both me and my fiance want something elegant but different. We found the perfect location, in Marlboro, MA off of Rte 495.
The place is the Marlboro Fish and Game, it’s gorgeous there, very scenic, with rocks, trees, lakes, grass areas. They have an outdoor pavilion that seats up to 200 people. And they have a newly redone function room inside that seats about the same. Both have bars, outside and inside.
I booked outdoor pavilion, and was told if it is really horrible weather outside, it can be moved inside for free! They never rent both the outside pavilion or inside function room at the same time, due to parking issues! That sold me, I don’t have to worry about weather…. and to get the whole entire pavilion w/ bartender or inside it’s only $350. There are 5 hotels within a half mile, and it’s perfect for pictures.
I suggest you call them, it’s truly a lost gem. And it will cost you next to nothing to book. They have a caterer (Dan) who is amazing, and he also has a catering menu that is low cost but you can get from hamburgers to lobsters…depending on your venue. Good luck! I am excited to have my wedding there this August!
Post # 13
@creativeplannertobee: Unfortunately about 120 ish. Apparently if we cut it down below that we are offending everyone and as my mom is helping out with the cost I have to work with her on this.
Post # 14
My fiance and I are in a similar situation. We are hoping for a family/food/fun oriented wedding above all else. We are also from MA. I hear you when you say it’s not easy to find. The only suggestion I can think of right now is Haverhill Brewery in downtown. There is an event space and it’s cheap. If you have them cater, it’s practically free. And the food (and beer) is really good.
Post # 15
@BuelowMrsBuelow: Oh I am so happy that you found something so wonderfully unique and THE PRICE IS AMAZING. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!! I’ll have to take my fiance to check this place out. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂
Post # 16
@Sassafraskate: I’m not sure if your date is set in stone, but you may want to consider an “off-season” date (which in WI, Nov-April). Moving our date 2 weeks back from our ideal date saved us $1500 on venue, as well as discounts on most of our other vendors. Also something to consider if your desired state(s) offer this deal. Also, I think @BuelowMrsBuelow’s venue also sounds AMAZING!! Good luck!