Post # 1
I just got engaged three weeks ago and my fiance and I are looking for venues in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. We’re trying to keep the entire wedding budget at $5,000 or less.
I’ve only been looking for about a week, but I’m already getting discouraged by the venue prices around here! I’ve checked out sites in the city, in the ‘burbs, even in South Jersey and nothing is affordable enough for us. Rental fees I’ve encountered so far seem to start around $1,500.
Does anyone know of venues in the tri-state area that cost under $1,000?
Here’s some more info about the style and location we’re going for:
-Very rustic, natural, DIY. I plan to do all flowers and centerpieces myself. My future Mother-In-Law is making the bridesmaid dresses. My colors are mint green and chocolate brown, and we’re going for a rustic, earthy feel.
-My parents live in South Jersey, I live in Philly near Center City, and my fiance’s family lives in Aston near Chester. My ideal location would be mid-way for all of us, ideally no more than a 40-minute drive for anyone.
-We’re planning a small wedding for 75 to 80 guests.
Any help and insight is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Post # 3
Given that your guest list is on the smaller side, have you considered having your reception at a restaurant? Not sure if this is the case in your area, but most if not all of the restaurants we’ve encountered don’t charge a venue fee, they just have a certain food and beverage minimum. We’re having ours in the private dining rooms of a restaurant in downtown Chicago and didn’t have to pay a venue fee.
Post # 4
If you have a college/university near you, check out whether they have any appropriate facilities. I’m renting out the faculty club at my local university. It’s a beautiful building and only costs me about $300 rental fee!
Post # 5
@cz1789: I would also look into restaurants! They have great options usually.
This place looks really nice and is very reasonable ($50 a person was one price I saw). They have various sized rooms and can accommodate small or large parties.
Post # 6
I’m not sure about rustic, but this facility is pretty much a blank slate and you can do whatever you want with it. The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts rents out their facility for about $1000, but you will have to rent out tables, chairs, linens, etc. Check their website: http://www.phillycircus.com/content/view/25/44/
You might also try the Saturday Club in Wayne, PA. If you do it on an “off-day” like a week-day or Sunday, you can do it for less than $1000. They include all tables and chairs. Here’s the site: http://www.saturdayclub.org/club-house-rentals.php
Post # 7
Have you looked into parks? That might be pretty inexpensive and give you the outdoors venue you want (October, outside, leaves changing, should be lovely)
Post # 8
I am reserving a park in Hellertown for $100, for the entire day.
Post # 9
I live outside Philly and have gotten alot of quotes for about 30-80$ per person for a full affair, that’s over our budget so I don’t know too much. Otherwise what we did was check out firehouse halls and church halls which you can find for 500-1000 then were buying the linens online and hiring an off premise caterer. The caterers are $10-15 pp for food and you can hire waiters too.
Post # 10
Wow, thanks so much for all the quick replies!
@cz1798 – Thanks for the restaurant tip! I’ve looked into two so far, one in Fairmount and one in Manayunk. I’ll probably start expanding my restaurant search.
@piglet_625 – Thanks for the venue link; looks like a cool place!
@RayRayFurious – I sent an inquiry to The Saturday Club right before I posted this thread. 😛
@Dec-bride – $10 to $15 per person? That’s amazing! Can I ask the name of your caterer?
Thanks for all the insight!
Post # 11
How about inexpensive barn venues near Philly, in northern DE, or South Jersey? Anyone have any experience in that area?
Post # 12
@Averne: The only barns I know are more than $1,000.
Here’s a link to a previous WB convo: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/philly-suburbs-barn-venue
You might want to try B&Bs or Inns. Someone in the ^thread suggested that. Rosebank Winery is $1500 and has both the barn, winery feel. You can also bring your own caterer. The other barns I know like the Stone Barn, Normandy Farms, Barn at Birchwood etc. might be over your $1000 limit, but it doesn’t hurt to email.
Try looking on WeddingWire with the keyword “barn” or “farm.” And post this on TheKnot.com local site(s) for Philly and Jersey.
This place would work if you were having a smaller wedding. And they’re cheap! http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/1818-stone-ridge-farm-country-inn-perkasie/website/7b4891c1100aa3d6.html
Keep looking, though! Good luck!
Post # 13
Try doing a google search for “wedding venues in chester county” if you haven’t already
Post # 14
Try looking at the Maas Building. We looked there and loved it, however it was too small for our 130 guest wedding. They have a cool outdoor space, exsposed bricks and wood beams. When we talked to them they were asking about $750. They are extremley accommodating and friendly. The only issues were parking (residental neighborhood) and little space for caterers.
The Maas Building http://tsmaas.com/
Post # 15
Thanks again for all your help, everyone. Just wanted to let you guys know that I found a venue! I booked The Gables at Chadds Ford for October 13, 2012, which I found by Googling some combination of “barn weddings near Philadelphia”. It’s a small restaurant in Chadds Ford, PA with a banquet room that looks like an old barn.
We paid $300 to reserve the date, and it looks like we can do a buffet dinner for around $2k, tax and gratuity included. That’s even including a budget for alcohol! It’s a beautiful venue, and I found it thanks to many of your suggestions.
Post # 16
@Averne: That’s really awesome! Are you doing the ceremony there, too? Do they allow a dance floor?