Post # 1
Hey everyone, I’m in southeastern PA and looking for a venue in Philly and surrounding areas, or Lancaster. We currently have an 80-person guest list. My SO and I are looking for venues with all-inclusive packages (i.e., catering included… BYO or not is OK, just want to deal with as few vendors as possible) and I’ve been floored by how much people want for what seems like a small wedding.
I have been unable to find a place for <$16k (including tax and gratuity)!! I toured 3 places this week (Parque at Ridley Creek State Park, Terrain, and the Inn at Leola Village). What seems to get me is that these places will have minimums, such as 12k, and then 20-25% service charges or gratuity that bring it to astronomical totals. Also, we’re looking at Fridays in November, which is off-peak.
Re: venue types. My SO and I want to get married in a place that has character and therefore requires minimal additional decor. We like venues with outdoor views or cozy indoor settings (e.g., lots of stone, wood), given that we will likely have an indoor ceremony and reception. Country clubs/golf clubs/hotels seem like they might offer cheaper packages, but we don’t really like these places. They’re usually too big for our number of guests and not our style. We’ve checked out some inns (e.g., Kimberton Inn), but we haven’t really liked their indoor options, or they are too small for our number of guests.
Our inital budget for this was $10k, but we have since accepted that ~$13k is more likely. $16k just for the venue, food, and sometimes alcohol, seems ridiculous.
tl;dr: I’m looking for a venue in Lancaster or Philly area that provides catering on site and that isn’t a country club or chain hotel, but I can’t find any that are under $16k for 80 people, even in off-peak season and on a Friday. Is this normal and I just need to suck it up? Or does this sound crazy and I need to keep looking?
Post # 2
Cameron Estate Inn. Just outside Lancaster.
Post # 3
Have you checked out Barn on Bridge in Collegeville? That’s where we are getting married in March. We chose this venue because they were inclusive of tax, and gratuity and the price was very reasonable. If I remember correctly, they do give discounts for Friday weddings. It’s a cute barn so decorating is would be minimal. However, it is surrounded by a residential area if that’s a dealbreaker. It’s worth checking out!
Post # 4
Have you checked out Pen Ryn Estates or William Penn Inn…both are fantastic venues w/ reasonable prices…William Penn wedding package includes so many options and a complimentary night stay @ the inn – well it did when i was searchin for my venue some months ago and Pen Ryn has lots of charm and beautiful views
Post # 6
I saw this a lot too when I started planning. Be sure to consider everything you’re getting in the package for the price, especially extras that may not have been a priority. I’m getting married at Tyler Arboretum, which is a Jeffrey Miller Catering property. Tyler is a great alternative to Terrain in my opinion. I wanted to use the least amount of vendors and do as little decorating as possible as well. I’m probably going to end up around 27k including all the taxes and what not. I could have saved a little more money by getting a much cheaper dress and a few other areas though. I think they really do include a lot, especially with their coordinators and the quality of their food. I only added one dessert extra and otherwise my menu is tier 1 and will be plenty. They do charge a bit more when you have under 100 people but obviously sometimes the numbers work out to be cheaper by eating the extra 5% per person than inviting the extra people (as long as you’re hitting the minimum). Also, if you use Buttercup, their florist, they’ll put that amount towards your catering minimum and it all goes on one bill. I found them to be surprisingly reasonable as well, and they do beautiful work.
Jeffrey Miller Catering has quite a few properties, some cheaper than others. Overall, I’m super happy and I feel like my wedding is going to seem more like a 40-50k wedding because of Jeffrey Miller.
Also, when I first started planning, I used partyspace.com to browse venues. I liked the way you could filter, the concise information they give, and they have an AMAZING feature that shows you what dates are available.
Post # 7
I feel like you’re going to become my go-to resource when I start seriously looking. I’m located in NYC but my SO and I are both from the Main Line and are looking to get married closer to our parents. I just stumbled upon JAM today (interested in RCOP/Trumbauer) and was really impressed- somehow even just the website made me feel comfortable and excited. I’m so glad to hear you are having a good experience with them!
Post # 8
Once I found a few places that made me feel like that, I decided to make myself stop looking unless those option didn’t pan out. All of the options and choices can really send you into a spiral of stress!
My JAM coordinator, Emily (the BEST), just had her own wedding at RCOP.
You can also search instagram/facebook for both JAM and the venues and check them out that way as well. I honestly was pretty sold on JAM and my venue based on what they told me they included right off the bat and then after our tasting I found out that more was included than I originally thought. I don’t think that ever happens!! I also met THE Jeffrey Miller at a focus group they held for another venue and he was sooo nice. I was in the middle of menu planning and he gave me additional options I never would have considered to customize my menu….without adding to the cost!
Post # 9
That is great advice, especially because we’ll only have so much time to go schedule trips home to visit locations.
That’s so awesome to hear about your menu too- so exciting!!
Post # 10
I’m also in the Philly area, and I noticed that “off season” pricing is typically December-March (sometimes April, depending on the venue). Most of the places I reached out to had a completely seperate Winter Wedding package that was discounted, either discounted price per head or a lowered minimum. I realize that might not be an option if your date is firm, but might be worth exploring!
Post # 11
I’m from a similar area. We ended up going with the Rockwood Carriage House in Delaware because it saved on tax so that is something to consider! It should be well under $16k for a Friday with 80 guests. I would also recommended looking at the Gables in Chadds Ford. Their capacity is like ~125ish, which was a little small for us, but 80 guests should fit well in the space!
Post # 12
I second the William Penn Inn in North Wales.