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New Hampshire

Venues, Music & Photographers oh my!

Hi Everyone, 
I got engaged in March, but I am just starting to plan and post on here.  We are looking to get married in about a year.  We haven't picked a date yet, since you are really at the mercy of availability!  We are looking to have our wedding somewhere between the Seacoast (or North East MA) to the White Mountain Region.  We would go for Southern Maine as well.  Does anyone have any favorite venues?  Being 3 hours from the location now makes it hard to plan, I wish I had the time to visit every place I am interested in, but its just impossible :/  

I'd also love DJ and live music suggestions.  I'm fine with a DJ, but my finace wants live music, may be we can have both. I've been to weddings where someone plays off an ipod, and found it to be dull, I just prefer and interactive DJ. I have also been to one  where the DJ  called the Bride by the Groom's ex wife's name, so I would reallylike a good one!  Photographer suggestions are welcome as well.

I'm still working on the budget and will narrow it down when I am able to get an idea of how much reccommended vendors charge.  I'm frugle, but not crafty enough for DIY.  I'm happy to pay for good services, but I am finding that setting a budget under $20k may be nearly impossible since I am afraid a meal won't be enough food!

Thanks for all your help!!

Re: Venues, Music & Photographers oh my!

  • Kfudge0714Kfudge0714 member
    edited December 2011
    first of all welcome to the board!!! and congrats on your engagement =)
    I have found these boards very helpful throughout the planning process, so I hope that you will too!  I'll share with you my vendors so feel free to check them out!

    Venue- Brookstone Park in Derry, NH
    Florist- Freshwater Farms in Atkinson, NH
    Photographer- Kristie Lemire
    DJ- DJ Dave Lynch
    Cake- Jacques

    Venue, Florist and photographer are all booked. DJ is 95% there and haven't spoken to anyone from Jacques in person or done a tasting but I have heard only good things about them so I know that is who I will be using.

    Goodluck and have fun with the planning!
  • mariegramariegra member
    edited December 2011
    Welcome and congratulations.  I think the biggest driver of costs is the number of guests that you plan to invite.  The next biggest cost=your venue.  Saturdays are more expensive than Fridays or Sundays.  Some venues have a minimum $$.  If you plan for about $90+/- per head for food, cake and bar, that is probably a good benchmark.  Then there are more 'fixed costs' like dress, tuxes, limos, etc.  Doing a wedding under $20k is do-able, (ours was about $17k in the end).  Allow for extra unexpected charges at the end---we ended up going higher than our initial quotes on the florist and DJ and limo/transportation vendors.  Don't forget to budget for tips.  Dress alterations also cost more than anticipated.  There were a few items that we splurged on, such as uplighting and guest shuttles, (but don't want anyone driving after drinking all night!).

    Since our engagement, (March 2010), we had about 18 months to plan and save.  It's a good idea to stash a little $$ aside in a separate savings account every week if you can.  I am happy to say that we will not be going into debt for any of the wedding expenses.

    The wedding is now only 10 days away, so I'll be posting a full recap in about two weeks.  We've booked:

    Venue:  The Shattuck Golf Club, (near Mt. Monadnock), Jaffrey, NH
    Photographer:  William T. Moore Photography, Bedford, NH
    DJ:  Drew Rissler, Get Down Tonight Entertainment, Salem, NH
    Videographer:  Brian Norton, New Creations Video, Nashua, NH
    Florist:  Daffodils Florist, Jaffrey, NH
    Uplighting:  Boston Uplights
    Limousine:  LA Limousine, Wilton, NH
    Guest Shuttles:  Thomas Charters, Swanzey, NH
    Cake Baker:  Cakes for All Occasions, Templeton, MA
    JP:  Jane Rokes, Keene, NH
    Ceremony Guitarist:  Don Sanni, Nashua
    Save-the-Dates & Shower Invites:  Vistaprint.com
    Invitations:  CardsandPockets.com
    Gown, Veil & BM Dresses:  Modern Bride, Bedford, NH
    Tuxes:  Mens Wearhouse, Nashua, NH
    Shoes:  DSW Warehouse, Nashua
    Garter:  Etsy
    Rings:  Shnayder Jewelry, Nashua (e-ring) & Sam's Club, (for FI's band).
    Hotel Block:  Best Western Sovereign Hotel, Keene, NH
    Hair & Makeup:  A Nashua-based hairdresser, (not sure if she'd want me to post her name on here, but she works at a local salon).
    Mani-Pedicures:  Ava Nail Salon, Nashua, NH

    **For more info on vendors and our planning, click on the Planning Bio (link in the siggy at the bottom).
    September 2011 Board-April Siggy Challenge-Honeymoon Pics
    image image
    Planning Bio-updated August 16, 2011 NH Knotties Site
  • kpkeaneykpkeaney member
    edited December 2011
    I'm using Jane Rokes as our JP too!  She wrote an awesome ceremony for us!
    Anniversary Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011

    Congratulations and welcome to the board! Do you know what type of venue are you looking for (ocean-side, rustic, luxurious, etc.) or are you open to different types?

  • edited December 2011
    Congratulations and welcome!  Everyone here was so helpful during my wedding planning- I think it's such a big help to hear reviews from people, good and not so good! 

    We LOVED everyone we used, and I would absolutely recommend each of them to anyone, a hundred times over.  I'm happy to answer any questions!

    Good luck!:)
  • mariegramariegra member
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-hampshire_venues-music-photographers-oh?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:101Discussion:c943992a-5810-4037-bd85-4abc9ddafecbPost:27522f21-22c4-4f49-b68f-ea3df06875dd">Re: Venues, Music & Photographers oh my!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm using Jane Rokes as our JP too!  She wrote an awesome ceremony for us!
    Posted by kpkeaney[/QUOTE]

    How great?  You have her the day after us!  Isn't she great?  We just love her.  She wrote an amazing custom ceremony and we're doing a 'hand fasting' ceremony.  She's even driving from Keene, to do our rehearsal in Nashua , since we didn't want to have to have everyone in the wedding party drive an hour away to Jaffrey for the rehearsal. 

    I would definitely recommend her as an officiant!
    September 2011 Board-April Siggy Challenge-Honeymoon Pics
    image image
    Planning Bio-updated August 16, 2011 NH Knotties Site
  • DrPB2b13DrPB2b13 member
    edited December 2011
    Congratulations, and welcome!

    Several brides on this board have planned absolutely beautiful weddings for well under $20k, so don't panic - it definitely can be done.  The biggest thing to figure out cost is going to be your guest list, so do what you can to get a rough number.  My FI and I sat down and totalled up the family and close friends we'd like to invite, and added about 15 or so onto that, and that's the number we went by when looking at venues and figuring out costs.  Typically venues (or caterers) are what dictate the actual cost because they'll charge per person for food and drink, so your guest list number will definitely dictate what you can afford as far as a venue goes.  Some venues require you to use specific caterers, but there are places that allow you to bring in your own caterer, or even your own food, which can cut costs a lot and help you to accomodate a much bigger guest list :)

    Admittedly, I am NOT having a wedding even remotely close to under $20k, but I am getting married at Searles Castle in Windham, NH, if you're interested in checking it out.

    My DJ is Josh "J Boogz" Field from E.C.F. Entertainment.  If you're really interested in live music, ECF also works with a live band, The Boston Common, and they offer great combination packages for band AND DJ.  Josh is really great though, he's very interactive without being cheesy, and is fabulous at reading crowds.

    For photography, I'm using Catharine Morris.  She's higher priced as far as photographers go, but we just had our engagement session with her and I LOVE what I've seen so far, and I can't wait for our wedding photos!  She is totally worth every penny for me.

    Other vendors:
    Florist: Lyndsey Loring, out of Dover; will deliver to NH, MA, and ME
    Cake:  Probably going with Jacques Fine European Pastries, they are DELICIOUS, though pricey
    Linens:  Ordered my own through cvlinens.com, cheaper than renting
    Dress:  Marry & Tux in Nashua, I had a great experience there.

    Good luck, and happy planning!  This is a great board, and we're always happy to help you out with recommendations :)
    Mrs. Abbe Peanut Butter || Planning Bio
    June 2012 February Signature: Favorite picture of you & FI
  • edited December 2011
    Venue:  Castleton, Windham
    Photography:  Artifact Images, Dover
    Cake: Pi2, Dover
    DJ: NuImage, Reading, MA
    Videographer: iWed Video
    Florist: Lyndsey Loring
    Limo Bus:  Grace Limo, Goffstown
    JP:  Dan Griffiths

    I am also having a wedding costing over $20,000 but that is because my parents took over the venue, DJ and also added about 100 extra people to our list.

    You can do it if you plan right, use off days and months as well as trying to shop around and if you can find venues that let you supply your own catering and alcohol. 
  • FireDancer04FireDancer04 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Research, research, research. I planned my wedding with 60 guests for under $10k. My first budget and plan was 100 guests and a budget of $10k. Thats not including a honeymoon, which we didn't go on.

    June 4, 2011
    Ceremony: Alvirne Chapel, Hudson, NH
    Venue: Londonderry Country Club, Londonderry, NH
    Cater: Castle Caterer's Manchester, NH
    DJ: Dave Lynch
    Photographer: Beth Wallace
    Florist: Lyndsey Loring
    Day of Coordinator: Anise Sayer
    Cake: Emily Shuman
    Seamstress: Dress Making by Dolly, Hudson, NH
    invitations, centerpieces, decor: all done by me

    It's very easy to get caught up in the dress, venue, photography, etc. It took 2 years but I got what I wanted for the price I was willing to pay.
  • edited December 2011
    First off, Congratulations!!! My advice is take it one step at a time. First find what your budget is going to be. Second tour and research venues. If you can't pick a date, just decide on a month or season and see what the availability is at each place. Sometimes places offer package deals with other venders, so it may be a better deal to use the package.
    Once you have the venue and the date, more things will fall into place. You will probably overwhelm yourself looking at everything all at once. New England Bride Online and The Knot are great resources to finding venues.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
  • edited December 2011
    Congrats and welcome! I was married 2 weeks ago and I posted some reviews of my vendors if you scroll down the list, but I will list here who I used for everything.

    Venue: Granite Rose- Hampstead, NH
    DJ-Billy Rearts- Main Event DJs
    Photographer-Details by DiFranco
    Cake-Jacques Pastries
    Flowers- Susanne's Weddings (centerpieces) and Village Bouquet (everything else!)
    Alterations: Dressmaking by Dolly
    Makeup: Candice French
    Hair: Christine Jolicoeur
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you for your suggestions everyone. We are looking for something further east, toward the NH/ME Seacoast and up toward the mountains in the Rt 16 area.  We are open to a Water side or Mountain venue.
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