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Aug 20, 2010 12:19 PM

need advice on affordable New England wedding venues

Hi. I just got engaged, and I'm already getting discouraged trying to plan a wedding without going broke. Read that the ave. wedding costs $30000. That's ridiculous! I just want something low key but in a beautiful setting. Don't need fancy food, just good quality (don't care if it's bbq, clambake, whatever), but I do want some traditional things like music and open bar. I would LOVE to have it outside, but also have to be cautious about the weather, and I realize that tents are usually quite pricey, so I'd settle for an outdoor ceremony with a reception in a place with lots of windows overlooking a beautiful setting. I know, a lot to ask! I live just south of Boston, so it would be convenient to have it in s.e. MA, but I also love the mountains of NH and would travel there if I found a great site. So, any ideas are welcome. Thanks!

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  1. If you post the number of guests and your anticipated per person budget it will help you get focused replies.

    1. Really all depends on the number of guests. Endicott College in Beverly has an AMAZING venue but seating maxes out around 100...

      6 Replies
      1. re: StriperGuy

        somewhere between 100-150 guests. it'll probably end up being a bit over 100. I'm still trying to figure out a reasonable per person budget, but every place adds it up different. I would like to have a total budget of less than $15000

        1. re: andibh

          With that budget with over 100 people + open bar it will tricky.

          If you do a bit of a "do it yourself" find an outdoorish venue, and hire your own bartenders and provide your own drinks you might swing it.

          Some of the more wedding hall like places that do volume, but you won't get the beautiful venue, could probably also swing it.

          1. re: andibh


            See: Tewksbury Country Club................
            Saturday 5 hour pkg is $50pp incl champagne toast multi course meals, linens, etc

            Lots of reasonable package options, Beautiful views and tasty food.

            I have attended a few functions there and it is a good buy

            Tewksbury Country Club
            1880 Main St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Agree it's a great price -- but the wedding party has to be out of there early to make room for presumably a second event. If the bride + groom want to go on into the evening (with dancing etc) the food alone for the meal at the same venue will be at least $100 pp incl tax and tip, which are fairly typical prices.

                I think with that number of guests, a budget of $15k will be a stretch unless they find a venue that allows outside caterers, and you get a reasonable, say, indian/ chinese caterer in, which might come in at $50pp.


              2. re: bagelman01

                I had my wedding here back in 2009 and I loved everything about the venue, the food and the service. Our wedding was in July and the grounds were amazing :-) I highly recommed that you take a look - it may work for your budget.

          2. Needham Golf Club has a reasonable venue. Where are you located?

            1. Skip the open bar which could easily cost you $5-7K. Open bars are really passe because of liability issues. BTW - the average cost per plate, even rubber chicken, would be around $75.

              5 Replies
              1. re: treb

                I dunno, I like open bar at a wedding. What you can do is limit the hours...

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  Yah, I've even seen beer & wine only, also there's a lot of waste with open bars as people tend to ditch half finished drinks, not me I even suck the ice dry!

                2. re: treb

                  $5-7K? Really? I am planning a wedding in a month - open bar (and everyone is REALLY positive about that - who wants to pull out their wallet at a wedding? Tacky! And liability issues remain regardless of whether the bride and groom are paying or individual guests...bartenders need to be insured, etc....anyway, I digress...)

                  So my pre-event bill for alcohol is ~$1,200 and the caterer is supplying the bartender. We have about 120 guests planned. It's not a huge drinking crowd so that lowers the numbers a bit.

                  For SE Mass, you might consider Camp Kiwanee in Hanson, MA - they have a really cool wooden lodge overlooking a lake - should be able to fit 100-120 and I think it's pretty cheap to rent.

                  Camp Kiwanee
                  Camp Kiwanee Rd, Hanson, MA 02341

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    Bob- where did you guys get married where you could do an open bar for $1,200?

                    1. re: Danielle41483

                      Hi Danielle - sorry that I missed your question for so long. We got married at the Pierce House in Lincoln, MA. Our caterer was Tastings in Framingham, who was great.

                3. I got marriage at the Killington Grand Hotel in Killington, Vermont. Very affordable food ($30/pp, choice of 2), also their package includes rehearsal dinner space & brunch the next day.