Affordable inclusive wedding in MA? 130 pp/20K budget

posted 1 year ago in New England
Post # 2
1626 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Don’t have any real suggestions but am following b/c I live in Hudson. 

I really like the Cape- what about the Truro vineyard? 

Post # 3
14915 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Andover Country club.  We had 140 people (consumption bar, not open), but I think it was only $11 or $12k for the food portion ($30-35/head for meal, appetizer, and cocktail hour) including 1k for bar (we didnt have a lot of big drinkers).  And open bar I think was $25/head.  (this was 7 years ago though so it might have gone up a bit)

Post # 5
1300 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I was nervous about managing vendors on my own but you do have to keep in mind with the more DIY venues most vendors have experience working in these places and places like Codman and Lyman estates have their own people who have done weddings. 

I got married at the Paine Estate in Waltham. My sister and I did the centerpieces, escorts cards and guest book ourselves. The caterer took care of all the set up and breakdown of tables and decorative items. We were able to byob which was huge. We did have to attend a town meeting to get a one day liquor license which is $250. All in, our bar bill for 55 people (license, bartender, beer, wine and soft drinks) was just under 1k. The place we purchased the liqour from delivered everything cold and ready to go and the bartender provided all glasses, ice and garnishes. They also take back any unopened bottles.

I think it’s worth running the numbers on all inclusive vs more diy and also deciding if the all inclusive gives you more peace of mind which could make it worthwhile.

Post # 7
100 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I got married at the Saphire Estate just about 2 years ago – their prices are definitely reasonble, and they were willing to work with us to get a package that met our needs. Our budget was a bit bigger, but we were also hosting around 220 and wanted a lot of “extras.” We also did a semi-open bar ish: we put down 5k towards an open bar by consumption, and asked them to let us know when we got close. We were going to choose then whether to put more money down or go to cash (per my MIL’s suggestion), but we ended up not needing to – we got about $300 refunded, and we defnitely had a crowd of heavy drinkers. Something to consider so your guests can have a great experience but you won’t spend more than you have to.

In either case, they were great to work with, and we loved their wedding coordinator. Plus, the venus itself is lovely and will fit the number you’re looking at really well. I highly recommend just going to talk to them, be very frank about your budget and what you’re looking for specifically, and see what the proposals look like from there. We were shocked that they were actually so much less expensive than all of the other venues we had gone to look at, and ultimately it was a great decision – we’re still hearing nice things about our wedding (and especially the food) to this day. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. ๐Ÿ™‚ And good luck!

(Sorry if this shows up multiple times, I have no idea what my computer is doing right now….)

Post # 8
1 posts
  • Wedding: October 2018

If you havent found anything yet check out Ipswich country club. I will be getting married their in October and they are very reasonable. It will be about $88pp for 5 hrs open bar, 3 passed hors doeuvres and a plated dinner. 

Post # 9
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

tulipbee :  check out the Estate at Moraine Farm in zbeverly and the Smith Barn at Brooksby Farm in Peabody.

Post # 11
864 posts
Busy bee

tulipbee :  Look into the Unitarian Universalist Society of Fairhaven. It’s not on the Northshore, but it checks off almost everything else on your list. It also looks like a gothic castle.

– We got married outside

– Had the reception inside

– BYOB (as long as you hire a certified bartender)

– Because it’s a church instead of a “wedding venue” I think we paid $1,500 for the space for the night. Just us–we could use all of it (inside, outside, ballrooms, getting ready rooms, etc.) Tables and chairs were included. No added costs for every little thing. I wanted to set up the room myself (with help), so we did that on Friday and left it overnight for our Saturday wedding. I slept much better knowing that the napkins were perfectly folded, haha. 

– We did a local restaurant for the catered meal (so much cheaper) and did the table settings & garden chairs through a rental company. It’s definitely more DIY to go this route, but it’s something worth looking into. If you did a real caterer, you’d pay more, but plates and whatnot would be included.


Honestly, I think it’s worth going a bit more DIY to save money in terms of vendors. If you don’t want to actually do it yourself, you can hire a reasonable wedding planner to do it for you and you’ll still end up saving money. Kelly Golia Events is awesome for that kind of thing and reasonably priced. I didn’t want to cut down on my guest list, but I also didn’t want to spend a ton and it’s totally possible ๐Ÿ™‚ You just need to avoid the wedding upcharge.


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