Rustic/Barn Budget Venue

Hi everyone! I'm newly engaged and hoping for your advice. I live in NYC and am on a tight budget for my Summer/early Fall 2018 wedding - $30k all in, so ideally $20k or less on venue + catering/booze. The guest count will be 150 max (hopefully more like 125). I am willing to travel anywhere in the northeast or mid-atlantic regions.

I was hoping to host a rustic wedding somewhere scenic or perhaps at a barn. I was thinking: outdoor ceremony and indoor reception at the same location. We just want to have something fun and relaxed in a pretty setting. We were even thinking of setting up beer pong, giant connect 4, giant Jenga, and other games outside if the budget allows. 

I am open to a classic package that offers catering and everything included at the venue or the DIY, bring everything in and just rent the space method - whatever saves us the most money. Do any of you guys have venues like this to recommend? Or even just advice about the DIY vs all inclusive method in terms of cost-benefit. 

Thanks so much in advance for your help! I thought I would love wedding planning, but now that I'm actually engaged my head is spinning and I don't know where to begin.

Re: Rustic/Barn Budget Venue

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  • Hello! 

    I was in a very similar situation when I began planning- my fiance and I live in NYC and decided that we wanted to plan a wedding in an area where the prices were a bit less after touring a few NY venues. We landed on John James Audubon Center outside of Philly, and couldn't be happier with our choice! The venue consists of different areas of the property you can use, all very rustic. We're getting married outside in the apple orchard, followed by cocktail hour in a barn, and then reception in their open-air pavilion. The staff there is amazing, and super easy to work with, even out of state. 

    They have the games you're looking for too (included in wedding packages) - corn hole, and a few others. And they will give you tables outside for beer pong/flip cup, which we will be using!  

    The exclusive caterers at the space are Jeffrey A Miller, and their food is out of this world. They are BYOB, which has helped us save a lot of money as well. They have a few other venues in the area too that are all also the rustic/outdoorsy vibe. I would highly recommend John James Audubon or any of the other JAM Catering venues! 
  • nicepadidnicepadid member
    First Comment
    edited July 2017
    hi, I have the exact same situation as you in terms of budget. Can you please share where you ended up booking for your venue?
  • If you are looking for a rustic/outdoorsy venue then I would suggest checking out the John James Audubon Center. It is right outside of Philly which makes it very convenient and the property is absolutely beautiful...very natural yet still with the amenities to make you and your guests comfortable. The caterer is Jeffrey A Miller and not only is the food amazing, but they really work with you to create your own special day. They can work within a budget and craft the menu to be exactly what you want, so you're not getting a cookie-cutter wedding day. We are getting married at Audubon in 2 months and we couldn't be more thrilled with our choice. Also, Jeffrey A Miller caters at several properties in PA that have the rustic vibe, so they are definitely worth looking into!
  • Totally agree with the opinion about the Audubon—it is rustic yet chic and a little nontraditional (which I like) and very scenic/outdoorsy.  I also really like the caterer. It’s gourmet farm to table food that is innovative but will still be a crowd pleaser. Getting married there in June. So excited!
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