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In Search of Large & Unique Fall Wedding Venue for 2010

Hi All--
My fiance and I are currently in search of a venue for our Fall 2010 wedding. We anticipate a fairly large wedding with about 200 guests. Since we're planning an October wedding, we're looking to find an indoor space that will hold enough people. We've spent hours searching for a unique venue--everything from refurb'd barns to castles, but haven't found a place that is rustic or unique, but still some-what upscale (we're hoping to spend around $125/pp with alcohol) and that will hold 200 ppl with a sit down dinner and dancing. We're looking for some place between the upstate NY area (Lake George-ish), Albany & and the mid-Hudson Valley--even as far west as the Berkshires.
Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!!!
Thanks.

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    1. re: georgeb

      Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately when we inquired there a couple months back they said they max out at 175 guests from May to Oct. They also only hold receptions during the day, which have to end by 5:00pm.

    2. cranwell berkshires @ lenox Mass too far?
      Look into all of the museums and estates there as well- too many to list.
      All a good caterer in the areas that you are interested and let them tell you what spaces they have used- you can use anything if you have a good catering planner.

      1 Reply
      1. re: yeshana

        The Cranwell isn't too far--just a little too pricey for us, with 200 guests (their packages start around $150 a head). They did seem very pleasant to work with though, for the reference of other brides-to-be who may be looking! Checking with caterers is a great idea--thanks!

      2. The Inn at Erlowest is a castle in Lake George that can accomodate 200 people, or you can rent the top floor of the NYS Museum and there is a place in Saratoga that used to be a huge church but now rents out for weddings etc, I can't remember the name - Preservation Hall maybe?

        13 Replies
        1. re: kailin

          Bear Moutain Inn, near West Point, is an interesting spot.

          1. re: janeh

            The only reason to choose this venue would be for the history of the park and maybe the Inn, if they ever open it.. The food and service leave a lot to be desired. It is your typical chicken francaise fare. If you are looking for something even a little upscale or festive for your wedding, skip the Bear Mt.

          2. re: kailin

            The Inn at Erlowest used to be a private residence. The Sagamore is also in Lake George. The Glen Sanders Mansion is in Scotia (if the renovations don't ruin all the old, historic charm). It's not unique but Dale Miller opens in Albany on 5/1.

            www.theinnaterlowest.com
            www.thesagamore.com
            www.glensandersmansion.com

            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              In Saratoga Springs, the Canfield Casino or the Hall of Springs are both pretty unique venues. Hall of Springs is usually catered by Glen Sanders.

              1. re: markabauman

                The Canfield is a great spot and we looked into it--unfortunately they're booking about a year and a half to two years out now. The Hall of Springs is an option--we were just hoping to find some place a little more intimate or rustic--which of course is a challenge with 200 guests!

            2. re: kailin

              The Erlowest is one of the places we're considering. They've had a lot of turn over in the past few months though and since then haven't been very responsive or flexible. I would love to hear feedback from anyone who has been to or held a wedding there recently! Universal Preservation Hall is the church in Saratoga--it looks beautiful, but has no kitchen facilities on-site and the main floor is on the second level, but I don't think they have elevators. I will definitely check out the museum!

              1. re: NYredhead83

                We have not attended or planned a wedding at The Inn. That said, we went to The Inn at Erlowest for a Jazz Brunch and New Year's Eve. Chef Dale Miller left before 2009. If you do a search of this Board there are a few threads but not related to weddings:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/476659

                1. re: NYredhead83

                  I am having my wedding at the Erlowest. Honestly it is a great location, the new chef (actually he was under Dale Miller and took over upon his departure) is great, the food is great but in my experience the owner is less than great. Bad on the communication and follow through and only offers excuses when you finally do get a hold of her. However, that is only my experience so you should go check it out and see for yourself, you may have a greatly different experience. One bit about the museum, I looked into it but they have some very strict restrictions. Good luck!!! (And, I know you didn't ask but Gio Marino's cakes are amazing if you are still looking for a wedding cake!)

                  1. re: kailin

                    kailin, the new chef was at The Inn when we went New Year's Eve. Jason Baker is his new sous chef, effective Feb. 2009, per a post on this Board.

                    While I don't want to make excuses about the service, it is a small inn with a small staff. I believe the owner also manages a casual restaurant in Lake George vicinity.

                    Please report back on your experience. Congrats on your wedding!

                    1. re: kailin

                      This is exactly the experience we've been having with the Erlowest since inquiring, which is what has caused some hesitation. When we started looking several months back we were dealing with one of their planners, who was great, but has since left. At one point recently it took them 2 weeks to get back to me and all I got was a "sorry". I realize they're a small inn, but with what their prices are for weddings and the type of venue, I would have expected more. Thanks for the suggestion for the cake! We may end up at a venue where we need to order one!

                      1. re: NYredhead83

                        I do know that the Erlowest recently (it seems to me very very recently) hired a lot of new staff so maybe they are getting their act a little more together.

                        1. re: kailin

                          My wedding is next summer at the Erlowest and I echo everything that has been said about it so far (didn't know about the new staff though that's promising). My hope is that the character of the place outshines the lackluster manners of the owner so far. Though I am not sure the ballroom will comfortably hold 200 (we're expecting about 120). Good luck in your search!

                          1. re: lgbride710

                            My wedding has come and gone and I can tell you that if there is no staff turnover between now and then the food will be great (people still talk about it and my wedding was a few months ago) as will the waitstaff at the wedding. Aside from that, all I can say is you will have a beautiful backdrop for your pictures and none of your guests will realize what is going on behind the scenes (i.e. the owner is a nightmare). Congrats!

                2. We attended a wedding at Le Chateau in South Salem, NY, about 2 years ago. The place was lovely. They had an outdoor cocktail party and then an indoor sit-down/served dinner (it was also a fall wedding). The decor was beautiful and the food was quite good.

                  Since we were guests, I don't know the particulars about pricing or how many they can seat. Here's the website: www.Lechateauny.com .

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: LNG212

                    This is exactly the type of place we were looking for--beautiful grounds and charming room for the reception! Unfortunately, like a lot of the other places we've looked at, they max out at 175 :-/

                    1. re: NYredhead83

                      Oh that's too bad. The wedding we attended felt *huge* so I was thinking maybe it was around 200. But I guess it could have been 175.

                      Good luck with your continuing search.

                      1. re: NYredhead83

                        Have you tried Vox in North Salem? They have beautiful grounds, outdoor capability adn a private room downstairs.

                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                          I haven't looked at Vox. The website doesn't have much info on private parties. Any chance you've been to an event there?

                          1. re: NYredhead83

                            No, but I've been there when there was one and it was beautiful. But, now thinking about it, it's probably too small.

                    2. you might want to check out this thread for some ideas:

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/439161