Maine

So, I think I've narrowed it down to two venues...

...both in South Berwick and very different from each other. Spring Hill and The Red Barn at Outlook Farm.

Spring Hill is super affordable. They can do cocktail receptions for $20pp (!!!). The building is new-ish and, from pictures, looks OK. It will need a lot of decor to make it our own. I've read that the porch is very beautiful. The photos I've seen of weddings there are nice enough, but it gives me that "big box" feeling (someone actually described the reception room as a big, white box). I could definitely invite more people to a wedding at Spring Hill. I would likely have to have the ceremony outside at Spring Hill which I really, really do not want to do.

The Red Barn as a ceremony and reception venue is ideal to me, but the prices are still steep (although they are very willing to work with me to create a more affordable menu). The room needs little except candles and additional lighting to make it really beautiful, IMHO. My father has already agreed to pay for the food if we can get it to a low enough price (very likely). It's still more than I thought anyone would ever spend on a wedding for me and I'm afraid I'm getting too swept up in it all to really look at the money and what is being spent and if it's worth it.

Spring Hill would be a major savings over The Red Barn, but I'm afraid it's not worth it and that I am settling because of the price. Anyone have direct experience with either venue and can shed some insight? I obviously plan to meet with the coordinators at both venues before making a decision, and my wedding is over a year away, but this is way harder than I thought it would be and it's already stressing me out. TIA.

Re: So, I think I've narrowed it down to two venues...

  • edited December 2011
    I attended a wedding at spring hill. Its "OK". Yes, affordable. The food was OK. Views are nice. The outside wedding ceremony site is literally right off the parking lot. But very pretty. I'd love to get married at the red barn, I've looked at it. I'd definitly go with the nicer venue and try to cut down price with them.
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  • littlefieldmjlittlefieldmj member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    The Red Barn is amazing - no doubt about that.  I chaperoned a prom there when it first opened and thought it would be an amazing place to get married.  They must have had the same thought because they jacked up their prices pretty quickly.  I've never had the food there, but if it's half as good as the ambiance, it's worth the money.

    I've been to a few weddings at Spring Hill.  I don't think it's anything super-special, but it is a nice venue.  The food is a lot better that you'd expect from a generic reception hall.  Yes, the room leaves a little to be desired, but the views from the porch are really pretty.  You could do a lot with the room to make it a personalized wedding, which you wouldn't neccesarily be able to do at Red Barn.  Red Barn doesn't need help being beautiful, but your pictures will also look like everyone else's that has been married there.  

    It really comes down to budget and what you can afford.  You can have a beautiful wedding at either location.  How much debt do you want to go into for one day?  Think of all the extra costs as well - candles, centerpieces, attendent gifts, hostess gifts, favors, personalized anything, the rehearsal dinner, your dress, his tux, groomsmen gifts, parent gifts, photographer, flowers...I could go on.  That stuff adds up quickly (believe me!) and an affordable venue really helps with the bottom line.  My suggestion would be to give a hard look at your budget, and also figure out which venue reflects your lifestyle more.  It's your wedding - make sure it looks like you.  Good luck!!
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  • edited December 2011
    I have been to two weddings at the red barn and they were both amazing! If venue and food are important to you choose the barn... you only get married once :)
    I also know one bride told me they were so easy to work with... less stress on wedding day is priceless!
  • mocha54jmocha54j member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    It's funny, these were our two choices as well. We definitely went with Spring Hill because their food is so much better and you can change the room to the colors of your own wedding and do your own thing. Yes it's a big white box if you leave it that way...but as you know, planning a wedding means deciding your centerpeices, tableclothes etc that change the room itself. Even your flowers change a room.
    One of the major factors for us was pricing. Spring Hill can do a 5,000 minimum for a friday and a 6,500 for a saturday. The Red Barn was a 18,000 minimum....to us, that is crazy high. Think about all the other costs of a wedding...you will end up spending a years salary!!!!!! Plus, at Spring Hill you can take pictures by the water and on grounds. At Red Barn it is all golf course. I do agree, the inside of Red Barn is a stinking fairy tale! AMAZING! But price is just too high...wayyyyy too high. Hope this helps!
    -Jessica
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