Venue Help

My fiancee and I have looked all over the portland area for a venue that seems to suit us and I can't find one ... we have a relatively small budget and want to have about 70 people attend.  The venue we have dreamt up will be able to do both a ceremony and reception at the same place.  So far we have checked out: Mariner Church, Harbourside, Fireside Inn, Seasons Banquet Hall, Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, the Lucerne, Italian Heritage Center, the Blacktie Co, Grace and several venues in NH.  Right now I'm just at a loss ... any suggestions in the Portland or North Conway, NH (where we had our first date and he proposed) would be wonderful.  I'm at a loss and getting frustrated.
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Re: Venue Help

  • What was it about all those venues that you've already checked out that you didn't like?  That would definitely help us with suggesting places!

    As for North Conway (or the immediate surrounding area), you could check out The Red Jacket, King Pine, The North Conway Grand Hotel, Stonehurst Mannor, Darbyfield Inn, Mount Cranmore...I could go on and on (I kind of grew up there).
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  • It is hard to explain why I didn't like any one specific venue, some it was because the event coordinator my fiancee and I met with didn't click with one, one venue the lady actually made fun of our wedding plan to our face.  Others it was too dark, others were too pricey despite the initial number crunching pre visit.  We want somewhere that is bright and full of windows (or outside) ... we liked the Seasons (on Warren Ave in Portland) but it was a little out of our price range and very very dark, more suited for an evening wedding.

    My fiancee and I are doing a late morning Sunday brunch wedding, something that will be over around 3, so family and friends can travel home when it isn't late.  So a darker venue with no windows would feel odd.

    Thank you for all your help!
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  • I know this is not in Portland proper, but have you looked at the Woodlands in Falmouth? It's got a beautiful place for a ceremony out on the patio overlooking the golf course, and they serve really great brunch. The coordinator there is very friendly as well. It was definitely one of the more reasonably priced options I looked at in the Portland area. It's about a 10 minute drive from downtown.
  • I actually got married at Seasons last summer - but I understand what you're saying about it being dark for a daytime brunch wedding.

    Some of the North Conway area places I mentioned are similar to that, but some are smaller, like B&B types of places.  I will continue to try to think about places there.  That's cool that you got engaged there.  I camped there from birth to 11 and then lived there from 11-22. 

    I'm not sure if they have a cheaper price for Sunday brunch, but what about D'Millo's in Portland?  I just attended a funeral reception in one of their rooms and it was very open and bright.  They're regular prices are expensive, so I have no idea if there's a discount for early/Sunday weddings.
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  • @Iclemence-- We actually checked them out and my mom didn't like the venue, I can't remember why, she was really against having it "out in falmouth"

    @hcorrigan34 -- My fiancee and I actually had our first date there ... he was in VT at the time and me in Maine, so we thought it was a nice central location, ever since we've made a yearly visit to relive our first date, this year he popped the question at the Whitter house rec field (where we shared our first kiss). .... it was perfect.  Please do think of some amazing places in NH if you don't mind.  I would love to get a new perspective.
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  • have you tried the italian heritage center?? not sure of pricing but its a pretty nice place...
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  • Spring Hill in South Berwick, Maine. Very nice place with a lot of windows. The price isnt inexpesive but it isnt overly expensive either. Very beautiful location.
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  • We're renting the upstairs dining room at RiRa-- a little more unconventional, windows overlooking the ferry's, laid back. We wanted something a little different that would still be within our budget.
  • We are also having a low budget wedding with about 70 guests.  If your open to Old Orchard Beach, we are getting married at Joseph's by the Sea.  The pictures on the website don't do the place justice, so I highly recommend visiting.  It is set back from the ocean just a bit and the entire wall facing the ocean is all windows.  In one room, the glass windows open up and it is stunning!  You can get married inside or outside on the back lawn, facing the ocean.  The price is very reasonable, and the food is delicious.
  • I did check out the Italian heritage center and wasn't overly impressed. I've heard lots of great things about Joseph's by the sea before, I'll have to check them out for sure Best part of this is the one place I checked out and we loved, I had emailed yesterday saying they were out of my budget and was sorry we couldn't work together the coordinator emailed back with how can we make his work instead of the typically response of thank you and best of luck. So we've been working the numbers down ever since. Fingers crossed :)
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