New Jersey

Rustic/Barn Budget Venue

Hi everyone! I'm newly engaged and hoping for your advice. I live in NYC and am on a tight budget for my Summer/early Fall 2018 wedding - $30k all in, so ideally $20k or less on venue + catering/booze. The guest count will be 150 max (hopefully more like 125). I am willing to travel anywhere in the northeast or mid-atlantic regions.

I was hoping to host a rustic wedding somewhere scenic or perhaps at a barn. I was thinking: outdoor ceremony and indoor reception at the same location. We just want to have something fun and relaxed in a pretty setting. We were even thinking of setting up beer pong, giant connect 4, giant Jenga, and other games outside if the budget allows. 

I am open to a classic package that offers catering and everything included at the venue or the DIY, bring everything in and just rent the space method - whatever saves us the most money. Do any of you guys have venues like this to recommend? Or even just advice about the DIY vs all inclusive method in terms of cost-benefit. 

Thanks so much in advance for your help! I thought I would love wedding planning, but now that I'm actually engaged my head is spinning and I don't know where to begin.

Re: Rustic/Barn Budget Venue

  • I'd recommend checking out Jeffrey A. Miller
    venues! They have a ton of different rustic venues and their prices are really
    reasonable. I'm getting married at Anthony Wayne House, which is a rustic venue
    in the Philadelphia suburbs. We're doing an outdoor ceremony and tented
    reception. Jeffrey A. Miller does all of the catering and provides tables,
    linens, all of the plates/cups/flatware, cake and a wedding coordinator are
    also included. We're allowed to bring in our own alcohol, which also saves a
    lot of money. At first, I wanted to go the DIY route and found that it was WAY
    more stressful and ultimately cost more. 

  • edited August 2017
    You sound identical to what I was looking for when I began searching! These are several rustic/scenic/barn locations in north Jersey that might interest you! I'll give you quick details:
    Sky View in Sparta has a red barn and rustic cabin on the premises and overlooks a golf course. There's lots of room for outdoor games.
    Rock Island Lake Club also in Sparta is on a private lake and has a rustic wooden lodge-type reception building. (Prices were a little steep however.) 
    Perona Farms in Andover has a beautiful, large two-floor barn, but again prices there can escalate quickly.
    Jack's Barn in Oxford (kinda far from NYC) has a nice barn for ceremony & reception & you can choose your own vendor (from 3) to control prices. Beautiful bridal suite! Only drawback was the outside grounds were a bit limited for my own personal tastes, but there was space for games.
    Lake Mohawk overlooks a lake and has a rustic feel to the interior. The exterior has a love-it or hate-it factor. The bridal suite is a scenic tower! Ceremony can be on their beach or boardwalk. 
    Sussex County Fairgrounds also has a nice barn space. I'm not sure on their pricing/catering however.
    Ballyowen Golf Club in Hamburg (not far from Warwick, NY) overlooks an expanse of golf course and surrounding hills. The reception room is more intimate with rustic details, a stone fireplace, and windows overlooking the grounds. Only drawback is that the cocktail hour is in a separate building. 
    Crossed Keys Estate & Stone House are two other rustic venues that I've heard about, but didn't visit myself. 

    All of the places have outside locations for ceremonies. Some are just open spaces, others are wedding gardens. The number of people attending might make or break some of these locations. Some max out around 125, others require that as their minimum. And as I'm sure you know... more people attending also equals a higher cost. I was able to have my rustic wedding for 116 guests (156 originally invited) for about $22K, and that was with a top-level catering package. So it's definitely possible!!! Hope this helps you get your search started!!!! Good luck!!!!!!
  • I thought it would be worth posting about my venue in this thread for other brides looking for a venue just like you described! I have an identical budget to yours. Hoping to spend around $30K total on a 120-130 person wedding. I was considering doing a DIY wedding, but it became so expensive when I factored in all of the things that I needed.

    I have chosen the John James Audubon Center. It definitely has that barn/rustic feel. I am having an outdoor ceremony, indoor cocktail hour in their barn, and an indoor reception on their pavilion (which can also be transformed into a more "outdoor" feel for nicer weather). They are catered by Jeffrey Miller Catering who have been fabulous to work with. They provide everything you could possible need, except the alcohol. You mentioned wanting outdoor games and they even provide those at this venue! I think this would be a good match for you or anyone else looking for a venue like you described.

    Here are some pictures that sold me on the venue:
  • Hi! I'm an event planner based in NJ. I recently did a wedding at Stonehouse Gardens in NY. My bride had an ice cream truck, caricature artist and a photo booth. She also had Jenga game outside, smoress and Cornhole. Below is their website. The owners are super nuce and helpful.

  • I also picked John James Audubon as our wedding venue.  It has a rustic/barn vibe for cocktail hour and then a more modern feel for the reception. You can play lawn games, they have a fire pit, and a beautiful area of pictures outside.  Jeffrey Miller Catering is their exclusive caterer and their food is incredible!! 
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