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Massachusetts-Boston

Very specific requirements for venue!

At this point, we really just need to hear back from a bunch of venues, but I was hoping maybe some of you could help me out.

My partner and I are looking for a venue that fits these requirements:

- large enough for at least 120 people
- open in the fall/winter
- can accommodate a ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception (with dancing), INDOORS
- in Greater Boston or Metrowest
- around $3000 or less for the facility rental or $10k or less for rental + catering

We can be flexible to an extent. For example, dancing is preferred, but we won't die if it's impossible. We'd prefer to have the reception in one room. We can maybe stretch our budget a bit more, although not likely. We'd prefer to stay near the city because we live in Boston and have no car.

Budgetwise, we're already cutting costs as best we can. We'll be DIYing invitations, programs, flowers/centerpieces, favors, and so on; we're getting attire on sale (and I'm getting a bridesmaids dress instead of a wedding gown) and relying heavily on our wedding website to save on paper. We're hiring a friend to do photography, and if we can't scrape up the $2-3k for a DJ, we'll have someone in charge of an iPod. We're happy to cut other costs to make sure we get a venue big enough for all our friends and family, and we don't want to change the season so we can move outdoors (especially because there's no guarantee the weather will be nice at any point in New England).

Venues we're looking at: Endicott Estate, Commander's Mansion, Charles River Museum of Science and Industry, Colonial Inn, Stonehurst, and the Lyman Estate.

All suggestions--or details about the above venues--are welcome!
Anniversary
now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
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Re: Very specific requirements for venue!

  • I think if you have your wedding at the Artists for Humanity it might be tax deductable since its a non-profit organization. Might offset your total cost in some way. Good luck!
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Also, there is no reason to spend 2-3K on a DJ. There are DJs in the Boston area for 1200 and under.  Also, think about having a Sunday or Friday wedding or an brunch or lunch reception. Saturday nights are premium times, though winter might be more cost effective.
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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Museum of Science is expensive- you might just make do with your budget if you do a lunch reception.
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  • My venue, Zukas Hilltop Barn, would meet your needs in their indoor season (Nov-April) EXCEPT that its an hour drive from the city. I only had to go there 3 times before the actual wedding, however, so zip-caring it might be doable. Winter rental rate is $1800 (cheaper on off days) with onsite ceremony, and the food package we did is $68 a person including taxes, tip, and cake. You get a lot for your money; it's kind of like having a DOC included for free. The only downside is limited bar options; they only offer consumption bar, won't limit it to beer and wine, and you can't bring in your own. If your $10,000 limit includes alcohol, then, it might be a bit much. Still, for us it was worth it since our crowd isn't big drinkers.

    Overall, I might encourage renting a car and checking out venues near Worcester. You would have tons of options out here in your budget. I can't even believe the rental fees close to the city! Good luck!
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    @laurynm84 Do you have any DJ recs? We're budgeting $2-3k to make sure we don't go over budget. And by Museum of Science and Industry, I mean the one in Waltham (not the one in Boston!!). MoS in Boston is waaaaay out of our range.

    We're going with a Sunday off-season wedding, so that helps.

    @Xstatic3333 Thanks for the tip! I do have some family in Central MA (Worcester, specifically) and was also looking at a potential location in Ashland (seemed too pricey). We'll look into Zukas!

    Has anyone looked into the Crowne Plaza in Newton? We got an AMAZING quote from them that's pretty much inclusive of everything except the DJ, photographer, and officiant.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
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  • phira - we were originally looking in this price range, and we made a huge spreadsheet with venue options.  we inquired about saturday nights only, so the prices may be even cheaper - however, the two that jump out at me are the Cushing Center in Norwell MA ($875 + $500 in police detail & caretaker fees for 8 hours) & the Whittmore-Robbins House in Arlington ($2000 for 8 hours).  If you're flexible on locale the cushing center seemed like a great deal, as it includes all tables and chairs.

    Feel free to send me a message if you need anything!
    kelciegorman
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    @jesseanwedding2014 Thank you!! We'll definitely check both out.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
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  • Old Sturbridge Village - and they have great package rates!
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Thanks @**cantwait**. We'd consider it, but we'd prefer not to go that far out of the city (no car, busy schedules).
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    For a DJ, Curtis knight entertainment has a lot of good reviews on the Knot. We are interviewing them next week. For 6 hours music it's $1100, I think.  They are based out of Billerica.  
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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    For venues we looked at the Quincy Marriott- they had some good reasonable packages. We also were looking at Saturdays in June or July, so for a winter Sunday wedding they might work for your budget. I want to get married outside, and I was not impressed with their terrace. 
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  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Check out Norwood country club or Easton country club (not sure if this is too far). They both had a good all inclusive packages.  Oops sorry about the Museum of Science mix up.. ha ha!

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  • Fran1985 Fran1985 Narnia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    @phira we are using Greg Gervais from Boston Live Events. We haven't had the wedding yet but he did two weddings that my MOH went to and was apparently awesome. He is 1200 for 5 hours I think. If you PM me I can send you his email. I really liked the look of the Museum of Industry. 

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  • I'm in the Gardner area and over here we have The Old Mill in Westminster if you are looking for a New England theme, they hold that amount upstairs and if it's a nice day your ceremony can be just outside next to the lake. The Colonial Hotel in Gardner is all-inclusive and would fit your budget, they have a beautiful ballroom, as well as the PACC in Gardner that would be way under budget, which is also on a small lake. Good luck finding the perfect location!
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    We just got back from the Saphire Estate and the Villa (in Sharon and in East Bridgewater) and we're kiiiind of in love. We're worried because the reviews on Yelp are generally terrible (the non-filtered ones anyway), and we're not excited about having to drive so far to get there. But if anyone has any feedback about either location, or working with Saphire in general, definitely let me know!

    I preferred the Saphire Estate, but my fiance prefers the Villa (which, I admit, has a better set-up for cocktail hour). It's mostly an aesthetic preference--the Estate is much more ... classic and light, and the Villa is much darker and Mediterranean. Anyway, feedback appreciated!
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
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  • Beat Train Productions is a great DJ and reasonable.
  • You should look @ the Exchange Conference Center in the Seaport. They are a great deal. Rental fee includes your coordinator, tables, chairs, silverware, etc... set up/take down.

    They also don't charge you a 18% administration fee which is HUGE! Just sales tax (and leave tip up to you).
  • @phira did you end up choosing a venue?
    I just booked Endicott Estate.  I'm surprised you never heard back from them because they were very responsive to me.  Maybe you should try again if you are still looking? 
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    @Mitch617 I should have updated the thread! We ended up booking the Saphire Estate. I think that what happened with the Endicott Estate is that their contact form wasn't working so I sent an email to the available address, and it got lost. Either way, we really love the Saphire Estate; with the discount they're giving us for an off-season Sunday, we'd prefer them to a venue where we'd have to get an additional caterer.
    Anniversary
    now with ~* INCREASED SASSINESS *~
    image
  • For those of you looking at places like Endicott Estate - what are you finding in terms of catering costs?  I love the look of Endicott Estate, Bradley Estate, etc., but I worry that the price of the rental + catering is going to be out of our budget, and can't find any sensible way of figuring it out without contacting multiple caterers for price quotes.  Is that what everyone else did?
  • I'm in the beginning stages of this right now, contacting caterers. At first I was thinking catering costs about 100 per head but as I read these boards and research online, I've found that some people had catering they loved for 50 or under per head. The rental on a Friday night for Endicott was 3000 plus 400 required for police detail (town law since alcohol will be served). I figured with stocking our own bar and picking our own caterer (rather than pay whatever the venue says we have to pay per person), things would stay relatively affordable. Watch out if you have a long guest list though. At Endicott, over 150 would need a tent and at Bradley I think it's smaller. Believe it or not a tent costs an extra 2000-4000 I hear....
  • @phira good to hear you booked a venue! Sounds like a great deal!
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