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Good BYOB for post-wedding reception.

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So here I come to you guys with a somewhat oddball request.

We decided against the huge expensive wedding, and are getting married on a cruise ship, with probably a max of about 20 guests. Then when we get back, we want to to have a party for the rest of our family and friends. We had about 60 people at our engagement party a few years ago, so we are thinking about 60 to 80 people might need to be fed. This will most likely be late August/early September.

We(she) originally decided that she wanted to have something fun and different, and we were heavily considering throwing the party at a bowling alley. But their prices for "catering" plus the bowling are bordering on $20 a head, and she feels like we can get a lot more for our buck than bowling alley food. And she's thinking that we can save money by bringing our own beer and wine.

So.. my question to you guys. Is there such a place that is a BYOB and can accommodate 60 to 80 people? It doesn't have to be fancy, she was even thinking a nicer pizza place might do, or a tex-mex place. We are thinking if we could do it for $2k or under, it would be great. Bonus points if it is a "fun" place.

And extra extra bonus points if the place would let us bring our own dessert vendor (waffle truck guys from NY) (Not included in the 2k), that's a separate budget and was one of her dreams from the originally planned big expensive wedding.

We are from around exit 117, I have a few family from around here, some from Edison, a good bunch from Jersey City, and a few from farther north. So the geographical area is pretty open.

Thanks in advance

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  1. One word: PORTA. In Asbury Park.

    It's not BYO, but stick with me...it's a FUN place, a cool vibe (way cooler than a bowling alley, imo!), they have games, they have separate rooms for private parties, and I'm betting that for $2K, you could get the food/drink covered. AND I'd be shocked if they wouldn't let you bring in the waffle truck guys--and it would be easy access. Their food is awesome, btw--pizzas, salads, and although you might not serve it to your guests, the. BEST. Octopus. I've ever had anywhere.

    1 Reply
    1. Anna's in middletown is BYOB and they have a large room to accommodate that many people. The italian food there is quite good, not epic, and the prices are reasonable....especially considering its BYOB.

      Juanito's in Red Bank is BYOB and could accommodate that many people.

      1. Does the $2000 budget include the liquor/wine that will be brought. If so, it will be hard to swing that with 60 people, let alone 80. You should also look into renting a hall. Some elks clubs, etc have really nice rooms. Especially the Somerville Elks. I had my sisters baby shower there and everyone was blown away, like a diamond in the rough. They did the catering and had servers on staff. The price was amazing and if you have a friend that is a member of an elks, try to see what discount they will get. Somerville is by exit 12 or so on 287 Good luck and congrats!

        2 Replies
        1. re: jennybird83

          Thanks Guys!

          PORTA seems like it might be a pretty good fit for us based on the menu. i'll run it by the misses tommorow and we will probably end up taking a trip down there pretty soon.

          As far as the $2k budget (if we did BYOB).. yeah.. we were thinking it would include the liquior.. we are talking coors light cans and trader joe's wine here. For our engagement party, we got a few 30 packs of beer and maybe 10 or so bottles of $10 wine, and it was fine. So $20 a head is $1600 plus maybe $200 to $300 for liquior.. and thats if all 80 people actually show up.

          Every time we try to plan something like this.. I always cringe at the idea for paying for people ahead of time and then they don't show up.

          1. re: coldsolderjoint

            Ok.. been awhile since I got back to this post.

            I talked to the manager of the ELKS club and he was cool, and prices seemed awesome, but my fiancee didn't really like the look of the traditional wedding place.

            We did go to PORTA and its a really cool place with good food, we investigated the party options and it was just way out of our original budget.

            For a couple different reasons, we decided to scrap the whole cruise ship thing and go with a pretty traditional wedding.

            We signed a contract and paid a deposit with the English Manor in Ocean Twp. So we are actually going to do it this time. They cut us a really good deal since we went with their smallest menu, the wedding is only 6 months away, and its on a Sunday. My Fiancee loves the place, it gets great reviews, staff has been really attentive, and the free tasting was great.

            Our rehearsal will probably be on a Thursday in August. Will probably be about 15 people. Looking for an option for dinner for us. Can be pretty informal. I was thinking about 10th Ave Burrito Company or Tommy's Coal Fired Pizza, but not sure what that cost is going to look like.. I'm going to guess around $20 a head budget. Maybe even a local mom and pop pizzeria that has a dining room? Any suggestions? We are all coming from the 117 area. So I'd guess Somewhere between Ocean/Monmouth Mall, and even as far north as red bank/middletown/keport would probably be fine.