Need Help with Venue Ideas

Hi, all! I'd love some help with venue ideas. My fiance and I want to have a fun and casual wedding in a different sort of venue. We've been to our fair share of reception halls for weddings lately, and although they are lovely, it's just not us. We're looking at a pretty small budget but right now we have a guest list of about 160 (which may need to be reevaluated, but anyway...)

We currently live outside of Princeton. My fiance's from Freehold. I'm from the Lehigh Valley, and within the next two years, we'd like to move back to the Ambler area. So we are open to having our wedding around any of these places.

Help! Not sure where to start looking for offbeat venues. :) Thanks so much! 

Re: Need Help with Venue Ideas

  • What kind of per person cost are you thinking about? Small budgets can mean different things to people.  Are you looking for  $80 a person or $50 or less?  That would help.
  • Hello!
    I felt the same way when me and my fiancee started to look for venues. We know we didn't want the traditional wedding hall or country club wedding. We know we wanted an outdoor wedding so we started to look at different arboretums and garden settings. We also have a pretty small budget with a guest list of 150 and we actually recently decided on Tyler Arboretum in Media, PA. 
    It is absolutely gorgeous and definitely different. They have several different outdoor ceremony sites, a really great patio/porch scene for cocktail hour and an outdoor tent over a stone slated patio area that leads to an indoor space for the reception. The scenery and everything is great and it's a really perfect place for someone who wants to do a lot of DIY decorations. We were able to book a Sunday in May for a very reasonable price and I think what really did it for us was they have a really excellent rain plan in the barn which I liked because it didn't make us feel like we would be missing our or losing something just in case it did rain on our day. 
    Tyler uses Jeffrey Miller Catering exclusively and they're really great because you really get to customize what you want the food to be based on your budget. They also don't compromise on the quality just because your budget is small but all of their plans, additions and adjustments include a lot of care and love. For example, they pretty much make everything in-house, from scratch..they make their own bread and gelato/ice cream! It's also BYO which definitely cuts down on costs because a lot of caterers will bring their own alcohol and charge you top dollar. 
    We are definitely SO excited about getting married at Tyler so check it out!
  • We looked at Propecy Creek Manor in Ambler. Beautiful place. They are around $100 a person.The cost wasn't the issue, it was the person who gave us our tour. It was a young guy and we just could not see putting our wedding in the hands of someone that seem to have so little experience and we did not see anyone else around. We are thinking of booking Commonwealth in Horsham. We loved the place and the girl that gave us our tour will be the one we will be working with. We felt so comfortable with her.
  • Thanks so much, ladies! :) Very helpful.
  • Miss2015, my friend got married at the Commonwealth last February. Beautiful place! 
  • @Miss2015 - how much was the Manor at Commonwealth per person (ballpark)?
  • We ended up choosing Morris Arboretum. You can choose from a variety of caterers so the price per person is very flexible. Morris is BYO and does not charge a corkage fee. We ended up coming with Company's Coming Catering. They are about $70/person and a small family run business- (and the catering contract comes with a full service wedding planner and photo booth!!). We loved Morris for its natural beauty and unique feel. The ceremony is held outside with your choice of about 6 locations, the cocktail hour is typically outside of the visitor's center (which was just renovated!) and the reception is under a tent attached to the visitor's center. We are so excited to get married there!
  • My fiance and I booked the Swedish Museum in FDR Park, where Jeffrey Miller is the exclusive caterer and it is definitely a unique venue- we are so excited!  We searched everywhere, and this was the best balance of affordable and different that we found.  There's tons of lakes, unique architecture, beautiful museum space, and lots of outdoor options.  Plus, we get to work with Jeffrey Miller who are SUPER flexible with pricing and options and we can bring in our own alcohol- they also have an amazing reputation for quality.  What makes it even better is that it's right in the heart of Philadelphia!  
  • @Eantdeschamps, that's wonderful! I used to live about 5 minutes from Morris. It is so beautiful. I figured they would be through the roof money wise though. Good to know! 

    @Kittytango, thanks, I will check that out, too! Jeffrey Miller is the exclusive caterer at a lot of places people have suggested. Must be great!

    Thanks for all of your help, everyone. It's so nice to get some guidance. Hope you all have wonderful weddings! 
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