New Jersey

Calling all Ashford Estate Brides or Wedding Guests

Hey Everyone,
   I am in need of some feedback and reviews for the Ashford Estate. I know its a farely new wedding venue and doesn't have many reviews so I'm hoping someone can give me some information the venue and caterer- Merri Makers. 
   I am completely in love with this venue however I also have a lot of concerns and not quite sure if it will be within my budget. For one, you need to hire everyone from the caterer, to valet, to liquor/bar attendees, ect. For most places this is included which in turn helps with the flexiblity of bartering a little. I totally get that you can't really get a deal with renting the estate but not sure about if you can with the caterer?? And it their caterer- Merri Makers good? My concern here is the amount of food you get? Was it a lot or a little? 
   Another thing is the dance floor is really small. They say their max is 275 but their dance floor doesn't even look like it can fit 100 people? So my question is how was the dancing experience, does it look smaller than it really is??

     This is my first choice and more than anything I would love to have my wedding here, however I want to be realistic and know if its worth spending the money...and realistically how expensive having a wedding here would be.

Thank you in advance to all that respond!

Re: Calling all Ashford Estate Brides or Wedding Guests

  • LJN414LJN414 member
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments
    Hi, there! I was married at the Ashford and it was a total dream! I would've married the hubs on a street corner with a twist-tie ring but we feel truly blessed that we were able to have our ceremony and reception there--cannot recommend it enough! : )

    As for the food, my husband's family is off-the-boat Italian and extremely picky, but they were blown away at the Merri-Makers tasting! The Ashford uses a different division of Merri-Makers (not the same one that does PNC, Water's Edge etc.) and they give you the freedom to have any kind of food/menu you want (like, if you gave them your grandma's ziti recipe, they would make it!). The price is reasonable, especially considering the quality of the food and the portions (so much food!!). We had people get seconds and thirds at dinner and say they've never had food that delicious at a wedding before. Oh, and the dance floor is PLENTY big! We only had 177 people so it was packed nicely but even if we had more there would've been room. 

    We are still getting compliments on everything! It really is an ubelievable place and our guests as well as bridal party (we splurged for their rooms) were blown away. Steve, Maggie, and everyone who works there is so sweet. We miss them lol! If you are fortunate enough to host your family and friends there, I say go for it! If you have any questions just message me. I'm happy to help. : )
  • My fiance and I were just googling over the photographs on the website and just fell instantly in love!!! How expensive did it come all together? With our limited budget (since we are paying out of our own pocket) we want to make sure we spend our money at the right place!! :)
  • Hi, Elissabelle! I just PMed you with prices. : )
  • Hi LJN414, I have read other reviews and many of them stated that Main Street catering was better than Merrimakers. I have an appointment with them tomorrow and I'm so excited to see the venue because it looks so gorgeous. I've seen some great places I've been to Oheka Castle and I'm going to view Bourne Mansion in long island as well. I'm curious to get an idea of toal price. And also do they negotiate on priced
  • LJN414LJN414 member
    Fourth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited November 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-jersey_calling-all-ashford-estate-brides-or-wedding-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:90Discussion:360b481c-3add-41b1-8637-1eb69f692395Post:c317955b-ec0e-45a3-bc41-6ae3d413b658">Re: Calling all Ashford Estate Brides or Wedding Guests</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hi LJN414, I have read other reviews and many of them stated that Main Street catering was better than Merrimakers. I have an appointment with them tomorrow and I'm so excited to see the venue because it looks so gorgeous. I've seen some great places I've been to Oheka Castle and I'm going to view Bourne Mansion in long island as well. I'm curious to get an idea of toal price. And also do they negotiate on priced
    Posted by Desiree77[/QUOTE]

    Hi, there! Merrimakers is now the exclusive caterer for the Ashford (and for very good reason, just wait till the tasting!). The total price varies upon so many things (day of the week, time of year, your menu, guest count etc.) but the Ashford website lists the costs for the rental fee of the estate (with and without the overnight rooms) so that should give you a starting point.

    It's not cheap, but beyond worth it! It's truly extraordinary and the staff is incredible. I always said I'd marry my hubby on a street corner (and I would've!) but we feel truly blessed we were able to have our wedding there. It was a remarkable experience for us and our family & friends. Just remember your wedding will be amazing no matter where you end up. Enjoy planning! <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" />

    PS PMed you with some price estimates. Hope that helps!
  • I was married at Ashford it was amazing but almost cancelled because merri makers food was so TERRiBLE. I went to the tasting and literally almost canceled the wedding. We then switched to main street(which is amazing) high quality food and the wedding was perfect. They work with you on price and are not much more than merri makers
  • Hello... I am in love with this place as well but extremely nervous about the food.  My brother was married at Waters Edge (MerriMakers) last May and we were NOT impressed with the food AT ALL.  We have two large Italian families that will disown us over bad proscuitto! Anyways... Can somone PM me about the actual pricing with the caterer for the whole event there?  I saw the site rental place price but not caterer. 

    Thank you!!!



    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-jersey_calling-all-ashford-estate-brides-or-wedding-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:90Discussion:360b481c-3add-41b1-8637-1eb69f692395Post:cb5808c6-723f-419d-8d14-958b53c76f15">Calling all Ashford Estate Brides or Wedding Guests</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hey Everyone,    I am in need of some feedback and reviews for the Ashford Estate. I know its a farely new wedding venue and doesn't have many reviews so I'm hoping someone can give me some information the venue and caterer- Merri Makers.     I am completely in love with this venue however I also have a lot of concerns and not quite sure if it will be within my budget. For one, you need to hire everyone from the caterer, to valet, to liquor/bar attendees, ect. For most places this is included which in turn helps with the flexiblity of bartering a little. I totally get that you can't really get a deal with renting the estate but not sure about if you can with the caterer?? And it their caterer- Merri Makers good? My concern here is the amount of food you get? Was it a lot or a little?     Another thing is the dance floor is really small. They say their max is 275 but their dance floor doesn't even look like it can fit 100 people? So my question is how was the dancing experience, does it look smaller than it really is??      This is my first choice and more than anything I would love to have my wedding here, however I want to be realistic and know if its worth spending the money...and realistically how expensive having a wedding here would be. Thank you in advance to all that respond!
    Posted by ManHattonPhotography[/QUOTE]
  • The Ashford Estate is absolutely BREATHTAKING! I've been to several weddings there throughout the year and am blown away everytime! If what you're looking for is country elegance and luxury, The Ashford Estate is the best venue! I absolutely loved everything from the gated entrance and the tree-line driveway to the beautiful sunken garden and the grand ballroom. There was such a great flow to the weddings. You start out at the chapel, which has a very country and barn-like feel. Then, you walk across the driveway, straight into the main estate building for cocktail hour inside the library and conservatory. The interior design, especially the moldings on the walls just exude luxury. It is very bright and beautiful inside. Once cocktail hour is over, everyone walks on over into the grand ballroom for the reception portion which includes the dinner and DANCING! The grand ballroom is so, so beautiful with lots of large windows and a circular dance floor. The first time I went to the Ashford Estate for a friend's wedding, the ballroom literally took my breath away.

    And the food was just superb! Merri-Makers Caterers did such an awesome job presenting and creating such delicious and aesthetically pleasing food. You eat with your eyes and nose before you taste with your mouth. I can still remember all the delicious hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour! The butlers passing and serving the food were an absolute delight and so professional in their suits and ties. I've been to many weddings, and normally the dinner always tastes the worst, but the meals prepared by Merri-Makers Caterers were delicious! I ordered the filet mignon, and it was perfectly cooked, so moist, and seasoned impeccably. And I loved how we were served coffee at the end of the night. Great service and even greater food! I would love to get married at the Ashford Estate in the future! And even if I don't, I will definitely be using Merri-Makers Caterers as my caterer! 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-jersey_calling-all-ashford-estate-brides-or-wedding-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:90Discussion:360b481c-3add-41b1-8637-1eb69f692395Post:bad453aa-4032-42a2-8758-c710221337f4">Re: Calling all Ashford Estate Brides or Wedding Guests</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hello... I am in love with this place as well but extremely nervous about the food.  My brother was married at Waters Edge (MerriMakers) last May and we were NOT impressed with the food AT ALL.  We have two large Italian families that will disown us over bad proscuitto! Anyways... Can somone PM me about the actual pricing with the caterer for the whole event there?  I saw the site rental place price but not caterer.  Thank you!!! In Response to Calling all Ashford Estate Brides or Wedding Guests :
    Posted by ACMN[/QUOTE]

    Hi, there! The Merri-Makers at Waters Edge is NOT the same division that does the food for the Ashford Estate, so no worries. And they are willing to customize your menu however you'd like (ex: you could bring them your mom's ziti recipe and they will make it). My in-laws are off-the-boat Italian so food was #1 for us, and they were thrilled with everything, as were we! People ordered seconds of our main entree! No complaints here.

    Did anyone PM you yet with prices? If not, I'm happy to. <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" />
  • Honestly I just had a tasting at the Ashford estate, and I was disappointed in the food by Merimakers. The filet was so raw and had no flavor at all I can't believe they served it. The only ok thing was the scallop during cocktail hour. I'm so disappointed since I liked the venue but they need to give brides a choice of caterers. I think they will have more bookings if they did.
  • Hi, Desiree77! I'm so sorry to hear that. A friend of mine was at that tasting too (her family is off-the-boat as well) and they were blown away. But everyone has different tastes. I'm sure you'll find the perfect venue for you with food you love. Good luck with all of your planning and congrats again. : )
  • The Ashford Estate is definitely my number one choice for my wedding venue but I'm from Long Island and dont want to take the drive out to Jersey before I have a realistic idea of whether or not this is within our budget. Could anyone give me an idea of pricing? Thanks!
  • It is very expensive... you pay to rent the estate, minimum $18k for friday or sunday nov - april $20k for may - october for 5 hours - if you add overnight it's like $2000 more accommodate 24 guests for overnight. The catering is separate with a $15k minimum starts at $110 pp. There is a page with all this info - just look up Ashford Estate.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-jersey_calling-all-ashford-estate-brides-or-wedding-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:90Discussion:360b481c-3add-41b1-8637-1eb69f692395Post:40b732e5-a4ab-4f35-a9f6-82f853c2270e">Re: Calling all Ashford Estate Brides or Wedding Guests</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Calling all Ashford Estate Brides or Wedding Guests : Hi, there! Merrimakers is now the exclusive caterer for the Ashford (and for very good reason, just wait till the tasting!). The total price varies upon so many things (day of the week, time of year, your menu, guest count etc.) but the Ashford website lists the costs for the rental fee of the estate (with and without the overnight rooms) so that should give you a starting point. It's not cheap, but beyond worth it! It's truly extraordinary and the staff is incredible. I always said I'd marry my hubby on a street corner (and I would've!) but we feel truly blessed we were able to have our wedding there. It was a remarkable experience for us and our family & friends. Just remember your wedding will be amazing no matter where you end up. Enjoy planning! PS PMed you with some price estimates. Hope that helps!
    Posted by LJN414[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>could you please PM me the cost and what exactly is included in that cost.  Thank you very much.

    </div>
  • Hello folks, 

    I would like to get informaton on the above 2 venues
    1. Cost for venue.
    2. Are they tied to their own caterers, if so the list and how much it costs per person.
    3. Are their caterers flexible on menus (if I want vegetarian would they accomodate)

    Has anyone had their weddign there and if so, please let me know your experience.

    Thank you very much in advance.
  • Desiree77Desiree77 member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited April 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-jersey_calling-all-ashford-estate-brides-or-wedding-guests?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:90Discussion:360b481c-3add-41b1-8637-1eb69f692395Post:e9cad0f4-984d-4d38-8012-04ef756d1746">Info on a Crossed Keys at Andover, NJ and Freylinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, NJ</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hello folks,  I would like to get informaton on the above 2 venues 1. Cost for venue. 2. Are they tied to their own caterers, if so the list and how much it costs per person. 3. Are their caterers flexible on menus (if I want vegetarian would they accomodate) Has anyone had their weddign there and if so, please let me know your experience. Thank you very much in advance.
    Posted by JIASJF[/QUOTE]


    Hi
    If you are interested in the Ashford Estate or Bonnet Island the exclusive caterer is Merri Makers but many brides are complaining that the food is appalling and they are looking into possibly opening it back up to more than caterer. I know that Main Street Catering in Princeton, Nj has 100x better food than Merrimakers. I went to the tasting in Jan 2013 and I couldn't even eat the food it was that bad. Depending on what month you are getting married you will have to pay a site fee of 20-22k for a Friday or Sunday but Saturday site fee is 26k. And they will ask for a 5k security deposit which is refundable after they make sure the venue is in the same condition prior to your wedding. Now for the nasty Merrimaker fee they different menu levels from bronze to Platinum and they raised the prices a bit but the cheapest package 110 per person without tax and admin fees and also liqueur will be semester which is around 3.5k. The highest which is the platinum which is 150 per person.
  • In Response to Re: Calling all Ashford Estate Brides or Wedding Guests:
    [QUOTE]It is very expensive... you pay to rent the estate, minimum $18k for friday or sunday nov - april $20k for may - october for 5 hours - if you add overnight it's like $2000 more accommodate 24 guests for overnight. The catering is separate with a $15k minimum starts at $110 pp. There is a page with all this info - just look up Ashford Estate.
    Posted by debski77[/QUOTE]


    Can you private message me the costs??  I am most likely having my wedding here and would love to know the breakdown.  Thanks so much!!! :)
  • Jeh190Jeh190 member
    Second Anniversary First Comment
    Hello, I am also contemplating a wedding at Ashford Estate. Has anyone been there recently, and, if so, has the quality of food improved? The menu looks outstanding, but I have friends and family with very discerning palates. Thanks!
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Please start a new thread instead of digging up year + old threads.

    @KnotPorscha - zombie thread
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