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Feb 28, 2011 12:21 PM

In need of an AFFORDABLE venue for small intimate wedding

I am getting married next year in March. We are on a tight budget but want to get married already. We need a venue where we can have the ceremony and reception. We are having about 50 people.
We are located in Northern NJ and want to have food and drinks served, nothing big though, keeping it simple. We do want to have a DJ so the place needs to be OK with music.

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  1. "In need of an AFFORDABLE venue for small intimate wedding "

    If you hope to gain any useful information you'll have to define your idea of "Affordable"

    6 Replies
    1. re: Tay

      ...also include some more details......afternoon or evening.....brunch or dinner menu......importance of a separate room for the ceremony. Liquor affects the cost significantly. Are you willing to have only beer and wine available"....Open Bar or running tab. Where in Northern New Jersey......Sussex, Morris, Passaic or Bergen. Most catering facilites, I imagine would not open for only 50 guests, so you may have to seek out a restaurant .....or, possibly a less traditional venue along ethic lines.

      I recently went to a Russian place for an engagement party that was excellent for the food. They also had live music and a dance floor. They had a bar available, but allowed the host to bring in his own vodkas and wines for the table saving him a tremendous amount of money. There was also a full bar available if anyone wanted to purchase beer or cocktails. The place was Peter the Great in Nutley.....however, it may not fit the intimate bill.

      1. re: fourunder

        It will be in the afternoons, we are in Passsaic County but can got to Bergen which is close. We do not need a separate room for the ceremony. We would like wine, beer and soft drinks served. As for food we would like a buffet type of thing, I heard it is less pricey than a sit down dinner. Thank you for your reply.

        1. re: tanerita

          Buffets are generally cheaper...but you get what you pay for...which is usually over cooked food. I was at an elegant facility just this past weekend, who has a great reputation. Two of the featured hot items were a tray of Swordfish & Salmon portions and another of Chicken Marsala. It was a four hour party. The hot food came out at the second hour and the trays of food stayed out for two hours total. They never replenished either offering and left the meager leftovers the entire third hour.

          I suggest you also consider a modest four course meal consisting of an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert.. You can increase the courses to five with the inclusion of pasta. To keep the costs down, make 2-3 selections from the menu (chicken) and have fish available for pescatarians. Besides the cake, you can have a plate of cookies or small pastries. Many restaurants should have party packages like this available.

          1. re: fourunder

            That sounds like a great idea thank you so much!

      2. re: Tay

        Affordable is anything that will NOT run me a 5000 tab on just food and drinks. I am on a budget and therefore I am having something smal, however, I do want to keep it simple but classy. Thank you for your reply.

        1. re: tanerita

          In this challenging economy, there are any number of small restaurants that will close to the public for an afternoon party of 50. We've done it and it's worked out well. Try talking to the Mgr/owner of your favorite local restaurant to see if he/she can offer you a pkge you can afford.
          As for buffet Vs sit down dinner: While you usually get more bang for the buck with a buffet, I'd have to agree with fourunder. A served meal for a special event is just nicer.

      3. Not super fancy, but more than acceptable food, the chef really cares, and quite reasonable, is Griffin's in Cresskill. Give them a call for exact pricing. Meets all of your criteria.

        2 Replies
        1. re: menton1

          Thank you so much, I am looking into it right now.

          1. re: tanerita

            I really thought about this one. How about the Merchant Tavern Inn in Fairfield? We have had several small parties there and they were great, sit down or buffet. They were very helpful with our budgets. The place is pretty and convenient. check their website. Also, try Macalusos We were married there, it was fantqstic. They do cater to small parties and will work with you for morning or afternoon affairs, give them a call. Good Luck....

        2. You should contact local American Legions, VFW Halls or even better Womans Clubs in Northern NJ. The are the most affordable, you can bring in your own food and music and even have the ceremony on site.The Womans Club in Englewood has a lawn for outdoor weddings.The one in Ridgewood is also very nice The most ecdonomical way of doing the food is to order from a restaurant by the tray, not by the person.Hire staff from an agency or pay students by the hour to help out, but make sure there is someone in charge.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bestofweb1

            Bringing in food from a private caterer is generally MUCH more expensive than in a restaurant...

            1. re: menton1

              I am suggesting either cook your own food and reheat it in a hall, or many resturants or even good pizzerias will do a full tray of chicken marsala for example for about 70 per pan.If you get 5 different selections, that would be $350. That would easily feed 50 people. If you go to a restaurant you will spend at least $30 per person ( Plus tip) total $1500. In addition in a hall such as a Womans Club orVFW, you have privacy and are not rushed to get out. If you rent a club for about 1000 for 50 people that comes to 20 per head, plus food for $7 per person ( based upon the tray idea, totaling $27 per person.

          2. If you're interested in going towards the shore, try Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury. Food is good and they will allow a dj.

            1 Obre Pl, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702

            1. Look into historic houses. Many are run my charity groups. They'll take a small donation (less than $500) for access to the house and grounds for a few hours.

              4 Replies
              1. re: shoes

                The Wyckoff women's club holds about 75 or so, simple, but, if you take the advice and order food by the tray, it has a decent kitchen to rewarm in. Last I heard only $400 to rent.

                1. re: Picnicchef

                  Do these caterers normally follow up with their customer to see how the event went?

                2. re: shoes

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                  1. re: ariesw10

                    Hello and welcome to Chowhound! If I might make a friendly suggestion, you might be better served by starting a new thread and asking questions specific to your own scenario. While you might find contents of this thread helpful, it is rather dated, so starting a new thread might prove more productive in getting recent and more accurate answers to your questions. Good luck