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Massachusetts-Boston

Smith Barn/Brooksby Farm

Hello, I just got engaged and am starting to look at venues. Anyone have any experience with Brooksby Farm/Smith Barn in Peabody, MA? I'm interested in having a budget rustic type wedding. I'm going to call the event manager on Monday as they don't use email but I was looking for some opinions as well. Anyone have any other affordable venue ideas? I'm looking to have the ceremony outside and then the reception at the same location. Thanks in advance!
 




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Re: Smith Barn/Brooksby Farm

  • Congrats! I went to a wedding there in September 2012 and it was great. They did a BBQ buffet and encouraged guests to wear cowboy boots. I heard they do not have any type of air conditioning, so just make sure to consider that if you are planning a summer wedding. We went in late September for an evening wedding and it was great weather.
  • Hi! Congrats :) We just looked there a couple months ago. It is beautiful, as you probably already know from the photos online!  We haven't decided on our venue yet, but Smith Barn is still in the running.  The venue fee is just under $5000 I believe, and that includes tables, chairs, basic white linens, and the bartender.  On-site ceremony fee is an additional $500.  They give you a list of 5 caterers to choose from in a variety of price ranges.

    As PP said, there is no AC so be aware of that if you are thinking of a summer wedding.  I'm pretty sure there is heat though if you are doing spring or fall and have a chilly day.  The coordinator is very nice and knowledgeable... the no email thing is a little off-putting but it seems to have been ok for past couples!  The bar is either consumption-based or cash-only.  This place books up very quickly, just FYI - we looked at it at the end of October and they had only ONE Saturday left for the entirety of 2014, but 2015 was still pretty much open.  Good luck on your search!! :)


  • Thanks! Yes, I would love Sepember of 2014 but I know that realistically it's not enough time to save and a lot of places are booked already. We'll probably end up doing spring of 2015 so the no AC shouldn't really be an issue, but I was hoping the fee was way less than $5000 :(
     




  • Thanks! Yes, I would love Sepember of 2014 but I know that realistically it's not enough time to save and a lot of places are booked already. We'll probably end up doing spring of 2015 so the no AC shouldn't really be an issue, but I was hoping the fee was way less than $5000 :(
     




  • off topic- I keep double posting and I don't know how it's happening. The first time I try a reply it tells me that "body is required"?? any one know what I'm doing wrong?
     




  • Have you checked if the fee is less in March? Lots of places are cheaper January through April,
  • Mitch I still haven't called. I've been emailing a million other places- it's kind of inconvenient that they don't email. I probably won't even bother because they only rent starting mid April ( I wouldn't want it any earlier in the year than that anyways) and I really can't afford almost $5000 just for a venue alone.
     




  • Mitch I still haven't called. I've been emailing a million other places- it's kind of inconvenient that they don't email. I probably won't even bother because they only rent starting mid April ( I wouldn't want it any earlier in the year than that anyways) and I really can't afford almost $5000 just for a venue alone.
     




  • I agree email is so much easier when you are trying to check places out. Maybe look at other barns/farms. How many guests are you having? I live in arlington and there is a little barn that hosts some weddings nearby in Winchester.I have no idea on cost but they seem down to earth and budget friendly http://www.wlfarm.org/private-events/. Also Holliston has a barn that can hold small weddings at a good price http://holliston.drupalgardens.com/sites/holliston.drupalgardens.com/files/2012 Brochure Website Version.pdf Good luck!
  • There is no heat, so I'm sure they won't be booking any March Weddings there.
  • Mitch, the guest list is looking to be about 180 right now. It would be much easier if it was a smaller wedding, so many more venue options! Those places you linked look so nice but aren't big enough. Right now my top 3 choices are Dell- Lea Country Club in NH, Camp Kiwanee in Hanson and Bittersweet Farm in Westport.
     




  • I finally called. $3200 for Fridays and Sundays. $4700 for Saturdays. I think $3200 is doable. $4700 not so much. Anyone know what time the reception has to end by? I forgot to ask when I called. This is why if they only used email it would be so much easier. I don't understand why they wouldn't.
     




  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Wait- $3200 just to rent the place, not including food or anything? whoa baby. I'm getting married at Wachusett Mountain and their prices are pretty great and listed right on their website. You might see the dinner and think $50 per person is a lot but that is the total cost for EVERYTHING- rental, dinner, appetizers, chairs, linens, bridal suite, coordinator, the whole shabang in one easy price :) 

                                                                     

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  • $3200 includes the barn, tables/chairs and the bar. You can only pick open bar or cash bar, no partial. I know it sounds crazy to me too. Although it is the cheapest rental for an actual barn I've come across in Mass & NH!

    How many people does Wachusett hold? I'll take a look!
     




  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Oh that's not too bad then. I'm not sure Wachusett's limit because I'm having under 75 but I think when the coordinator was showing us around she said 200. It's not a barn but it's still very rustic since it's a ski mountain. They offer an indoor room or an outdoor draped tent, I'm doing the tent. 

                                                                     

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  • @leese19, We were in the same situation with barns in general - they were all too small and WAY expensive.  Smith Barn is the only one I found within a reasonable distance of Boston that could hold our guest list (about 180, same as yours), but the price was still a little hard to swallow.  I feel like the magic number for most barns or other unique venues is 150 guests for some reason - and we just can't cut it down that far!

    Check out Flag Hill Winery in Lee, NH.  The vineyard is GORGEOUS if you are considering an outdoor ceremony - and then the reception would be in their tent (which is up year-round and included in the rental fee).  I found their fees very reasonable and the food looks amazing.  We didn't go to visit because the FI has a thing against tents, but I thought it looked lovely.

    Also, LaBelle Winery in Amherst has a really nice indoor space.  Not a barn, but still has a rustic feel to it.  Not sure of pricing though.

    Good luck - we are still trying to nail down our venue!


  • @mwillette, sounds like we're in the same boat! Have you gone to look at Smith Barn in person? I'm probably going to call to try to schedule a tour. Tomorrow we're going to look at Zukas Hill Top Barn in Spencer. I originally wrote it off because their indoor space isn't big enough but they have a beautiful tent. I kind of gave up on barns and started searching for venues with a nice outdoor ceremony area and either a tent already set up or option to use one.

    Thanks for the suggestion of LaBelle! Looks beautiful but I have a feeling it's pricey. I sent them an inquiry just to see though.
     




  • Oh and Flag Hill is beautiful! I think I had that on my "no" list since there's no hotels nearby, but now where looking at Zukas which also has no hotels within 20 minutes! So maybe I'll take another look.
     




  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    @leese19 if you are looking for 200 people I don't think Smith Barn will work- it is pretty small even if you use both upstairs and downstairs.

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  • @leese19 if you are looking for 200 people I don't think Smith Barn will work- it is pretty small even if you use both upstairs and downstairs.

    really, you think? our guest list is about 180 so we're not even at 200
     




  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper

    One of the things that surprised me about Smith Barn was that I thought it was way smaller than it seemed in pictures. They were setting up for a wedding of 80 people downstairs and I thought it seemed really tight. But its worth taking a look.


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  • Yeah I'm going on Saturday just to see but I feel like ultimately it may end up being out of our budget with catering also. And I've fallen back in love with Camp Kiwane. I'm going to go check it out next week finally. I'll let you know how it goes. 
     




  • I did check out Harrington Farm online. It's beautiful but more expensive than Smith Barn.
     




  • Smith Barn's capacity is 240 according to the coordinator (120 on the first floor, 120 in the loft).  However, I feel like it would be SUPER cramped at max capacity... and if your group is the dancing kind, the dance floor would probably be really small for that many people.  Just not comfortable.

    @leese19, did you end up going to see it on Saturday?  Also curious how Camp Kiwanee works out once you visit.


  • @mwillette7, I did see Smith Barn on Saturday. I like it. But I'm not in LOVE with it. I took FMIL w/ me, not FI so I don't have his opinion on what he thinks of it in person. FI and I went to Camp Kiwanee yesterday with my aunt. They were not impressed. They also jacked the prices WAY up since I started inquiring and no one told me before I went- I would not pay the price they are charging now. So now I have NO idea what to do and am feeling pretty discouraged. I feel like I'm going to end up settling for a place I don't love just because everything is booking up.
     




  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    @leese19 how much was camp kiwanee when you went?? I didn't realize they had done an increase, that's too bad. Don't be discouraged though, there are plenty of venues out there, its just about finding the one for you.

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  • Hi ladies! I'm checking out Smith Barn next weekend. I am also looking at other venues mentioned above. I've heard that although Smith Barn's rental fees are high, their 5 catering choices allow you to find a good deal on the food... unlike many venues that have one exclusive caterer or do the food in-house. I've heard that Saturdays are already booking fast for 2015 but I am very open to a Friday, considering the $1,500 savings.

    QUESTION - does anyone know what the rain plan is? I read in a Yelp review that you would do your ceremony in the barn, but the guests would all have to sit at the tables. That sounds a little awkward, although I suppose the only alternative is to do it tented.

    The barn IS heated, however no AC means Summer is a wild card. A friend of mine went to a summer wedding there on a 95 degree day and although she said it was beautiful, it got really hot inside.

    Other venues I've looked at (which might be up you ladies alley if you like barns):

    Hardy Farm in Fryeburg, ME: AMAZING venue if you are having a smaller wedding. Brand new venue at a charming historic farmouse with a renovated barn, a beautiful farmhouse AND log lodge onsite for your guests to stay. If you're doing a wedding for 120 people or less check it out. The rental fee sounds a little steep - but they are very flexible with all different vendors, and you get the place for the whole weekend (plus it includes beautiful lodging for your closest family/friends.)

    Mount Hope Farm in Bristol, RI: A little slice of heaven - beautiful grounds, with 2 options: hold your reception in their nice barn (max 140), and you can also do a big tented wedding by the bay with cocktail hour in the adorably rustic Cove Cabin. Rental fee is slightly less than Smith Barn but they only use one exclusive caterer, so you may spend more on food/extras.

    I am also looking at Bittersweet Farm this weekend! Anyone know anything about that?



  • @LaurenMH84, the rain plan IS inside of the barn. I don't like the idea of people sitting at their tables during the ceremony either but I figured it wouldn't be that bad since the barn is a pretty setting. 
    They only gave me a choice of 4 caterers and Cloverleaf Catering was the least expensive- I researched them all. 

    My guest list is at about 180 so those other venues are too small :(   I was considering looking at Bittersweet Farm but another poster on here said when she went to see it they told her it only fit about 175 would fit comfortably with a dance floor. Even though I know not everyone on our guest list will show up I know I need to plan as if they will. If you have a smaller guest list I would definitely check it out!

    I'm going to look at Crystal Lake Golf Club in RI tomorrow- moving away from the rustic theme I wanted but it seems very affordable.

    @Fran1985, Camp Kiwanee is now $4000 for a Friday and $5000 on a Saturday! When I went they only had 2 Saturdays open in the whole entire year of 2015. I just cannot afford $4000 for venue alone!
     




  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    leese19 said:
    @LaurenMH84, the rain plan IS inside of the barn. I don't like the idea of people sitting at their tables during the ceremony either but I figured it wouldn't be that bad since the barn is a pretty setting. 
    They only gave me a choice of 4 caterers and Cloverleaf Catering was the least expensive- I researched them all. 

    My guest list is at about 180 so those other venues are too small :(   I was considering looking at Bittersweet Farm but another poster on here said when she went to see it they told her it only fit about 175 would fit comfortably with a dance floor. Even though I know not everyone on our guest list will show up I know I need to plan as if they will. If you have a smaller guest list I would definitely check it out!

    I'm going to look at Crystal Lake Golf Club in RI tomorrow- moving away from the rustic theme I wanted but it seems very affordable.

    @Fran1985, Camp Kiwanee is now $4000 for a Friday and $5000 on a Saturday! When I went they only had 2 Saturdays open in the whole entire year of 2015. I just cannot afford $4000 for venue alone!
    Wow! totally agree- one of the reasons I didn't pick Smith was because 5000 for just the venue was crazy. thats a big increase, unfortunately I think its because the rustic theme is so in. 

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  • I toured Bittersweet Farm on Sunday and I LOVED it. I feel like it is even prettier in person (had to use a little imagination with the snow-covered grounds, though!)  @Leese19, you are correct - the MAX capacity is 175 and I think that would be a bit snug. We are still going to look at Smith Barn next weekend, and my guess is we will decide between those two. Good luck at Crystal Lake, I've heard good things about them as well!

    I definitely recommend Bittersweet Farm for any of you ladies planning a rustic/country wedding for 150 guests or less. It has sort of a "homey" feel rather than the typical banquet/function hall - a comforting, warm ambience - but still elegant. The prices are reasonable and I hear the food is awesome. Their wedding coordinator we met with was really nice and helpful, they seem very flexible, and I feel like we would really be "taken care of" leading up to the big day.  The one drawback for me is that there is a restaurant/tavern downstairs that would be operating during the wedding. While I am sure the patrons would respect their boundaries, I would be nervous about the noise levels from downstairs carrying into the room during important moments (for example - during a toast, or if it rains and your ceremony is inside!)
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