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Connecticut

Unique Venue Options

This is my first knot post! My fiance and I recently got engaged and are planning on getting married June 2014. I have been looking online at venues and am having a hard time finding a place that is both unique and budget friendly. We are thinking around 100 guests, hoping to spend $15,000 or less. I really like rustic, barn type settings, but really anything that is open, interesting could work. I am not a big fan of typical banquet hall venues. We are only looking for reception, as the ceremony will be in a church. Also, it would be easier if it was an all-inclusive place (catering, etc.) rather than just a venue rental since I will be planning from NC, but if I really love the space that is more important. Do you have any suggestions on places to look?

Thanks!

Re: Unique Venue Options

  • You can look at the Lace Factory. It is very unique and  a lot can be done. 
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    Check out Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby.  Prices are reasonable (the list is prices with taxes already included), they do not take on a service charge, and gratuity is at your discretion (but obviously always appreciated).  Everything is included as far as food/cake/drinks so no running around trying to find catering, cake, etc, although you do have your choice between 2 bakeries for the cake so that's the only real outside meeting you have to do in terms of food and drink.  It has a rustic feel to it as well.  My wedding is there in June 2013, if you have any questions feel free to PM me.  I might also have a price list I can send you if you want.
  • I had my reception at the Mystic Aquarium (http://www.mysticaquarium.org/), it's not barn-like but it was definitely unique.  I think we were in the price range that you are talking about, and they have an on-site caterer.  Decorations can be minimal because the aquarium is pretty festive / interesting on its own.

    Good luck finding somewhere you love!
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  • The Lace Factory is awesome, but $3,500 to use the property for a Saturday. You also need to use Cloud Nine Catering or else you have to pay $2,000+ to use an outside caterer. All of that being said, you could probably pull off a wedding there for $15,000 for 100 people, but it would be tight. 

    I would look into the Dudley Farm in Guilford. They quoted us $1,500 to use the space. They say it can hold 80 people, but you could definitely put some in the downstairs are (which isn't ideal, but it would work) or in a tent outside. Might be worth a look. http://www.dudleyfarm.com/munger.htm
  • We had our reception in the River Room at Latitude 41 in Mystic Seaport (also reserved the North Lawn) and loved having our pictures taken all around the Seaport. It has a rustic elegant type of feel and is definitely different from your typical ballroom. 

    Good luck!

    http://www.mysticseaport.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPage&page_id=5176174E-65B8-D398-71E4158DB4DF905E
  • Ditto the Mystic Aquarium. We had our ceremony and reception there, but you could do just the reception. It's great because it's basically already decorated for you, and absolutely unique. 
  • I was looking for something similar and I'm booked at Lighthouse Point Park Carosel.  It does run 3000-3500 just for rental (nothing included) so you would have to do a lot of leg work, but you can use whatever you want for catering and you can bring in your own alcohol.  You have to see!  I got the last Saturday in 2013, so look fast!  I don't know what our total will run since we didn't have it, but I think you can keep it under 15.

    http://www.beyondthelensphotographyblog.com/wedding/liz-brendan-love-wedding-light-house-point-park-new-haven-ct/

    http://www.kellyprizel.com/lighthouse-point-park-wedding-new-haven-ct/
  • We're having our recpetion at Pavilion on Crystal Lake in Middletown.... it's rustic with big windows overlooking the lake... check out their website http://www.pavilioncatering.com/weddings.htm

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  • We are getting married at Wrights Mill Farm in Canterbury, CT.  It has a couple different options to have your reception and I think you would love the open pavilion that they have.  It is a barn that is totally open with wood beams that you can decorate.  I am not sure where you are looking in CT but this place is very reasonable.  They were on "Four Weddings" on TLC and the food got a perfect score from the other brides.  The bride who had her wedding here won.
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  • We just went to a wedding at the Webb Barn a couple of weeks ago and it was a cool place. The couple got married outside underneath a big tree and the reception was inside the barn. It's worth looking into.


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  • For a rustic look I would go with Pavillion on Crystal Lake in Middletown, Barns at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown or Bill Millers Castle in Branford.  All three is full package (food, bar etc;).  Bill Miller's is by far the cheapest one out of the three.  Good Luck :)
  • We got married at Wickham Park, it is a beautiful garden with a tented area and log cabin.  They don't have an on site catered but there is a caterer that does an all inclusive package including the park fee.  We did our entire wedding for 110 people for $18K including my dress. HTH!
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  • the water's edge. I believe is in Westbrook.
    Grasy hill lodge.
    and there is another I know but can't remember. :) I'll send you a pm if I remember
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  • I got married at the Barns at Wesleyan Hills in Middletown.  Everything is included, but it may be a bit over your $15K budget.  Send me a PM if you want more info.  I included blog from my photographers with pictures from the barn

    http://www.photography-and-more.com/blog/2012/05/married-carrie-and-matt-the-barns-at-wesleyan-ct-wedding-photographer/
  • Check out Tyron Farm. We wanted to look into it but we fell in love with another venue. Good luck!
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