Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    I just got engaged this past weekend and my fiance and I are hoping to get married either this October or November. We are on a bit of a budget - probably do not want to spend more than $25 - 30K in total, but are only planning on having about 100 guests. I am having a tough time finding a location that fits our budget and am feeling overwhelmed already! We are looking at the Lenox Hotel on Saturday. I was also considering Elm Bank in Welleseley. My question is - what venues in Boston or around Boston are nice, but not too expensive? Are hotels cheaper? I was thinking of looking at the Marriott in Newton. Also, is pricing on these types of events negotiable? Any ideas or thoughts would be welcome! Thank you!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Congratulations and welcome to the boards!!!  If you're game, find the "Show off your rings" thread in Etiquette and post away. :)

    We got married in Sudbury (about 25 minutes outside of Boston) at the oldest working inn in America (a la Paul Revere's time), The Wayside Inn.  It's non-profit so prices are very reasonable.  You can ABSOLUTELY come WAY within your budget there with open bar and filet mignon for 100 people.  We had 80 and spent about $18,000 on our ENTIRE wedding (dress, flowers, invitations, everything).  It was elegant and historic.  They have a non-Catholic (they do not allow Catholic ceremonies for some reason) chapel on site, too, but you don't have to use it, of course.

    Wayside Inn

    You can find a lot of photos on their site, but here are some from ours.  We had the horse and carriage - it was only $200, and they took us not only back and forth from the inn to the chapel but also all around the property after the wedding and before the reception (while our guests were enjoying cocktail hour). The dressed up guy is the doorman.

    One of the 10 guest rooms (the moms, the MOH, and I got ready here):



    The entrance to the Inn:





    On the way to the chapel:





    One of 10 tables (we grew the pumpkins for the table numbers):



    The Wayside Inn bakers provide the cake (or I think you can have one brought in if you want, but this was delicious!):

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Thank you! This does look really pretty! Is there room for a dance floor? And is there an option to have circular tables do you know?
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    We looked everywhere in and around the boston area.  Elm Bank was our second choice, and ended up going with the Museum of Science. We used the outdoor pavillion beacuse it was July but they do have a skyline ballroom, that can be used as well for colder weather. They prices there are very reasonable for food compared to the hotels we looked at (seaport, hyatt harborside etc.) but i am sure that there are hotels that are similiar in price.  

     We loved Elm Bank, but ended up deciding on the MOS because we liked that it was in walking distance to our hotels.   Elm Bank can be done cheaper beacuse you can pick your own caterer, and most of the time caterers are cheaper than a hotel for food. However, you do have to pay the facility fee to have the wedding there.  Caterers can save you a bundle, for example $40 for chicken/fish compared to $80-99 at many hotels.  

    Only having 100 guests will be your biggest area to save in.  Less money on linens, food, drinks etc.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Congratulations on your engagement!  You will likely get LOTS of advice on venues!

    I got married (ceremony & reception) at Willowdale in Topsfield.  It is a restored mansion, and they mainly do tented weddings (the tent was great) and you have full use of the house, including 4 overnight guest rooms if you want to use them.  You may not want a tented wedding in Oct/Nov, though.  But in case you want to see the venue: http://willowdaleestate.com/

    We were very happy, and spent under your budget and we had 130 people.  I think with 100 people you'll pretty easily be able to have a Boston/near Boston wedding for your budget or under, but of course it depends upon the details.

    I learned that EVERYTHING can be negotiated, and you actually might have time on your side because many venues and vendors know that if they have a free date in Oct/Nov of this year, if they don't book you they will likely not book anyone!  You may just need to be open to a non-Saturday night time slot.

    Good luck!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from lizinboston. Show lizinboston's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Henderson House in Weston will fit your budget!! It is a gorgeous Old English style Tudor Mansion. The website does not do ANY justice, so you really have to go and look at it in person.

    The Newton Marriott is nice, but it is just a typical hotel ballroom with no windows, but they will work within your budget. They do have a nice area for ceremony and pictures right on the Charles River.

    I am going to be honest, Elm Bank is pretty pricey, but it is worth looking at, the gardens are GORGEOUS.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    vicki, thanks!  Yes, there is a dance floor in the center of the room, and the tables go down each side of the room.  I'm pretty sure all they have are the rectangular tables that seat 8.  Let me see if I can find a photo of the dance floor...
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    OK, here we go.  Our photographer was awful so this is all we have of the dance floor, but you'll get the idea, I guess.  We don't actually have one picture of the whole room from the back. 


     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Hi Vicki!  Congrats and welcome!  Venue hunting can be overwhelming, but I think you have a really reasonable budget for 100 guests.  The first thing I would do is think about what is most important to you in a venue.  Do you want:  a view, gardens/outdoor space, location (Boston vs. suburbs), hotel for your guests to stay in, type of food, etc etc.  With your budget you will have LOTS of options, so best to try to narrow down what you want first. 

    Next, I would think about where you want to spend your money.  That was actually the first thing I did:  I budgeted reasonable amounts for everything:  dress/clothing, photographer, videographer, ceremony, flowers, etc.  That way you can see how much you actually have for the venue/food.  That can help guide you to what you need to find for a per person price (don't forget most venues add an admin fee + tax that can add almost 30% to the per person price).  This way you sort of work backwards and make sure you stay within budget.

    If you like, I have a spreadsheet I made to do this that I can email you.  Just post your email address (spell the @ and dot com out so it can't be harvested off the boards).

    Once you have a per person budget in mind and have narrowed down your list, the girls on ths board can raelly help suggest venues to look at!  Good luck!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkandpearls. Show pinkandpearls's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Good morning all,

    I am also recently engaged and wondering if anyone can provide tips/suggestions on how to negotiate with venues and vendors?

    Thanks!
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    In Response to Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area:
    Hi! I was curious about the Henderson House but the pictures just looked terrible! Are there hotels near there? Do you have any photos?


    Henderson House in Weston will fit your budget!! It is a gorgeous Old English style Tudor Mansion. The website does not do ANY justice, so you really have to go and look at it in person. The Newton Marriott is nice, but it is just a typical hotel ballroom with no windows, but they will work within your budget. They do have a nice area for ceremony and pictures right on the Charles River. I am going to be honest, Elm Bank is pretty pricey, but it is worth looking at, the gardens are GORGEOUS.
    Posted by lizinboston

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    In Response to Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area: Hi! Thakns for your input. I just emailed MOS. It does look nice! And you said it was not too expensive? Can you share with me any additional input? This is very helpful.
    As far as Elm Bank, I have heard it is pricey. I am waiting to hear back from the caterer and then I imagine we will have a better idea of what the cost would be.

    We looked everywhere in and around the boston area.  Elm Bank was our second choice, and ended up going with the Museum of Science. We used the outdoor pavillion beacuse it was July but they do have a skyline ballroom, that can be used as well for colder weather. They prices there are very reasonable for food compared to the hotels we looked at (seaport, hyatt harborside etc.) but i am sure that there are hotels that are similiar in price.    We loved Elm Bank, but ended up deciding on the MOS because we liked that it was in walking distance to our hotels.   Elm Bank can be done cheaper beacuse you can pick your own caterer, and most of the time caterers are cheaper than a hotel for food. However, you do have to pay the facility fee to have the wedding there.  Caterers can save you a bundle, for example $40 for chicken/fish compared to $80-99 at many hotels.   Only having 100 guests will be your biggest area to save in.  Less money on linens, food, drinks etc.
    Posted by ajuly09

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    pinkandpearls - the biggest advice I can give you might sound sarcastic in its simplicity, but there's really no trick other than mustering up the courage to ask so don't let fear stop you and just ask where they have flexibility in the prices.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kathanne. Show kathanne's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    I just got engaged in January and booked at Glen Magna Farms in Danvers for a reception in December.    The event manager there is very nice, and was very helpful with coordinating with the other vendors (caterer, liquor etc).  My budget is slightly less that yours and I was able to make it work there.  I liked it becuase it doesn't have the standard ballroom feel.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkandpearls. Show pinkandpearls's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Kargiver- thanks!!

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Fear is a destructive force as is our (most girls) being raised with a misconception of what it actually means to be nice.  Asking for a discount isn't mean or rude, it's simply a financially wise and reasonable thing to do that's neither good nor bad. It's a question that they can answer affirmatively or negatively.  Life will go on either way for them and you with no ill feelings no matter what their decision is.  Think about that right before you ask so you don't feel like you're gonna vomit (or is that just me?). :)

    Oh, and try to avoid telling them things about your budget unless it's really true.  Things like, "We'd love to have it here but we can't afford it unless you waive the rental fee," are uncool because if they don't waive it and you end up choosing them anyway there will be bad blood off the bat stemming from your deception.  If you WILL have to walk away because of it, though, there's no harm in saying so.

    There might be a little bit of a trick now that I think about it.  Take the tour and let them get to know and like you before you ask for a discount.  Managers are much more willing to accomodate people they like and perceive as pleasant and fun to work with.  Not everyone is.  If they want to have you over a bridezilla that might come along instead they might be more willing to negotiate.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from bianca01. Show bianca01's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Hi,
    I just recently got engaged and had a lot of the same concerns. My budget is slightly smaller than your (~22,000) and I really wanted to have a boston wedding. I am getting married next January, ~90 people attending, at the Four Seasons. I am doing my entire wedding (ceremony, reception, dress, flowers, band, etc) for $22,000. What really saved me is negotiating. I was able to negotiate with nearly all of my vendors (except for the cathedral).
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALS76. Show ALS76's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Congratulations!  Good luck with your planning.  I got married last year and had my reception at the MIT Faculty Club in Cambridge.  The Club is right on Memorial Drive and has really pretty views of the Boston skyline along the river.  The main ballroom does not have floor-to-ceiling windows, but has large windows.  I had a similar budget and we had about 125 people.  The MIT Faculty Club worked for us because there was quite a bit included in their prices (open bar, cake, etc.) and the food was really good.  In addition, it is in Kendall Square, so it was very convenient for hotels and our guests from out of town were able to take advantage of public transportation.  Not sure of their availability for the fall, but it is worth a try.  I was married in October and we booked it about 11 months in advance.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from vickidunk. Show vickidunk's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    In Response to Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area: Hi! Thank you for your response! I didn't know that the dance area was in a seperate room...hmmm. NOt sure I like that! Thank you for letting me know! This is why I love these discussion boards!
    Vicki - Congratulations! I'm also having my wedding at the Henderson House. It is absolutely gorgeous and I would definitely recommend seeing it. It's different from a hotel ballroom and the dining area is completely separate from the dance floor. I think some people dislike that so I just wanted to mention it. As far as nearby hotels, I think the Newton Marriott is the closest. We have our room block at Hotel Indigo which is also close and convenient to highways/T.
    Posted by cicirose

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Also check out the two Harvard Clubs of Boston (Downtown and Back Bay)--they are both gorgeous and you don't have to be Harvard-affiliated to host an event there.  They might fit into your budget, depending on what you are looking for as far as other items (e.g. band or DJ? designer gown or not? tall or short centerpieces? ceremony on site? want a video? fancy stationery? etc.)  The reason I bring up all these things is that each of the choices I listed above can add $1000+ to your budget for the fancier of the two options.  Without knowing your tastes, it's really hard to know how far your budget will go.  But I think you should be able to afford a lovely Boston or Cambridge venue with that guest list, as long as you are careful about prioritizing which "extras" are important to you.  Some flexibility about the date will help too.

    ALso check the Cambridge Hyatt (great view).  The Regatta Bar in the Charles Hotel is pretty, but we didn't like their ceremony space--may not be relevant to you depending on whether you want on-site ceremony.  The Hampshire House in Beacon Hill is gorgeous.

    If you have connections to any area universities, let us know or research their facilities on your own.

    To ballpark, I would expect a downtown hotel wedding to fall between $150-250 per person--more if we're talking about a lavish affair at the Fairmont Copley or Boston Public Library or something...


     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Jasmine, we are talking with the Charles Hotel and to have it at the Regatta bar is pretty pricey, about $25-30k, depending on what you get for meals, but I was a little shocked to see their sticker prices. For instance, they charge $2,000 for room set-up, and the fees, tax, and gratuity are really high. Than again we were budgeting for 140 people.

    I would check out the Sheraton Commander, it is a gorgeous historic hotel right in Harvard Sq. and they have 4 packages to choose from. I am meeting with them in April for a summer 2011 wedding. The coordinator was by far the nicest woman I have talked so far. She really knew her stuff, has worked there for 10+ years, etc.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from candice211. Show candice211's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Congratulations Vicki!!!

    we are planning our wedding for fall 2011 - Oct 7th to be exact. 

    We are having ours farther outside the city than most people - in Groton at the Barn at Gibbet Hill.  We absolutely LOVE our venue, although i think it really is the place and venue that suit you and your fiance as a couple that make it the right choice. 
    We looked at 6-7 places before choosing Gibbet Hill, and I remember that most places definately had lower rates come Nov 1st.
    If you are really looking to book Sept/Oct in New England, we did not find any locations that were willing to budge on their rental or set up costs for a Saturday night.  They all recommended either moving a month to sometime after Oct 31st - or booking for a Friday Night, or Sunday Afternoon.

    I am a bit newer to these boards but so far have found the feedback and advise from these posts to be REALLY helpful. 

    best of luck!!

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasmine09. Show jasmine09's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Peonie--didn't realize how much Regatta Bar is.  Our quote wasn't quite that high, but it was for Sunday night and over a year ago that we were inquiring.  Thanks for updating the post.  I do remember thinking their ceremony set up fee was excessive and the ceremony space wasn't that beautiful.

    ...the more I read about this, the more happy I am with our venue and pricing...  Wedding planning is a lot of fun, but I am relieved too that I don't have to do it again!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    Jasmine,

    I know...I mean it is a gorgeous venue, but you can get a much better deal at The Inn at Harvard or The Commander. And yes, wedding planning is stressful and I am not even officially engaged yet!
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Newly Engaged - Wedding Location in or around the Boston area

    I chose the New England Aquarium because their prices were more reasonable than some of the hotels in the city. You do have to use their caterer, but the food and service is excellent. The minimum food and beverage requirement for a Saturday wedding was $60pp in 2007. The cost to rent the venue was between $2500 and $3000. Chairs, tables, linens, china and all that is included. If you rent the outside pier, the tent is included.
     

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