Massachusetts-Cape Cod

Newbie in need of Ballymeade/Sea Crest/Wychmere advice

My first post!  Here goes...

I'm attempting to find a venue for late august-october 2012. I know it's a little late in the game (I feel like everyone on here has been planning Cape weddings for at least a year and a half in advance!) but I just got engaged and I live in California.  I'm originally from Mass and spent all of my family summer vacations on the Cape.  I have to do everything through my mom and it's definitely slowing things down so I'm trying to narrow the venue field so I can send her to a few places and make a decision.

Ours guests are coming from all over (FI's family is from California and France) so
we're going for Cape Cod elegance (but with a little sass).  We'll have 120-150 people and the easier the accomodations for our out of towners, the better. We also we probably doing a Friday night wedding to save on cost and widen the field of available dates.

Wychmere is my holy grail but I'm exploring other (edit: less expensive) options as well.  I love the way Ballymeade's setup looks but it's not on the water and I want beach pics. And Sea Crest is on the beach, has the easy accomodations, but is not as flexible/affordable as ballymeade with the catering and open bar policies.

Summary: HELLLP. :)  Any advice from Ballymeade or Sea Crest brides (or Wychmere brides who managed to find ways to save $$) is very much appreciated.

Let the planning begin!

Re: Newbie in need of Ballymeade/Sea Crest/Wychmere advice

  • edited December 2011
    Well the Seacrest is an all around fun place for most of the guests to stay and have a great time on the nicest beach in Falmouth.  Waiters on the beach, pools, gym, gift shop ... sort of a resort but fun and easy sort of a special weekend they will remember. 
    The food is great and it's newly remodeled.. but it is a big bustling hotel resort gig... 

    Ballyemeade would provide a much quieter and more elegant spot for the wedding and reception and you can hire your own caterer and have the place more or less to yourselves.   They also have the nicest ever coordiantor, Christine Antone. 

    It is also so much easier to get to Falmouth than furthur out on the cape on a Friday.  ( we have TRAFFIC!)

    I think you and your wedding party and family would have a lot of fun staying at the seacrest and that your out of towners  would enjoy making a mini vacation out of it...

    They have a pretty nice reception site and you can get married on the beach there if you want.( not very private though. )

    So if you are more of a party type Seacrest..If you want a more elegant  wedding and reception go with Ballyemeade.. 

    worked at and been to a lot of weddings at both places .. hope this helps a little...
  • clage22clage22 member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I had my reception at the SeaCrest 2 weeks ago. I will be doing a full review soon of all of our vendors, but I would highly recommend the SeaCrest for your reception. I had my ceremony in a Church, so I cannot speak to their ceremony sites, but I have seen ceremonies done on their beach and also in their "courtyard". While the beach ceremony would be fairly public, the courtyard ceremony is also a nice option. It is in a nicely landscaped area that overlooks the beach and ocean. If you are looking for a Church there is a Catholic Church within walking distance from the SeaCrest. With your flexibility between August and October you shouldn't have a problem finding a venue. As far as the reception, even though it is in a big resort, you have your privacy during the reception. Guests have the freedom to be inside or outside and there is also an area that serves as a "porch" where guests who do not want to dance and party during the reception can sit and converse without screaming at each other over the music. If you did a fall wedding they would even allow you to open the windows and tun the a/c off for a nice cool breeze! I should be posting my full review in a few days!
  • ND2011ND2011 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm a Wychmere bride...a few weeks away. It's definately not cheap, BUT you can find ways to save. What you do need to work out is your budget to determine if with the minimum + admin fee + taxes, it works for you. If it does, you can easily work with the vendors to stay within that #.  We bartered with most of the vendors to get a price we wanted and they're almost all willing to accommodate. Also, you can do things like buying the non-floral design elements yourself which saves a lot (dollar tree has awesome vases for literally $1/ea).  I couldn't imagine doing my wedding anywhere else....the renovations are amazing and it's gonna be supremely elegant. Hope that helps! :)
  • cmartinesqcmartinesq member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We're getting married at Ballymeade and they have been amazing so far. Our guests will be staying at SeaCrest (which is just over 2mi away) and we'll be having an afterparty there. We are doing bridal party pictures on the beach before the ceremony. I feel like it's the best of both worlds. I couldn't be happier with Ballymeade!
  • edited December 2011

    We got married at Ballymeade last October and LOVED it. Seacrest wasn't available during our time frame so we never looked at it, but from what I understand accommodations are easier there.

    What I liked about Ballymeade was, as Midgemoto said, they were quite flexible. We had Chef Roland as our caterer, and an open bar through Ballymeade, and the cost was very reasonable as far as I was concerned. We wanted golf course more than beach though, so there is that. Our pictures came out gorgeous there, but you could certainly travel to the beach for photos.


    For accommodations we have room blocks at Mariner Motel and Inn on the Square, and had a shuttle to drive people back and forth. Some groups rented houses in the area which was much more affordable since it was after Labor Day-- so that is something to think about. You will probably save a lot of money if you do it after Columbus day also.


    As for size, our wedding was just the same size as you mentioned-- invited a little over 150, ended up with 120, and the main room at Ballymeade was the perfect size.


    Hope that helps. Also we booked our Oct wedding in Nov, so you aren't that late! Aug and Sept are busier but once you get into Oct I think it slows down a little. Good luck.

  • edited December 2011
    For what it's worth, we looked at Seacrest and they had all Saturday nights booked in 2012 through the end of September. So we then inquired about a Friday night, however I believe the issue was, you couldn't do a room block for 2 nights - meaning our OOT guests wouldn't have been able to 1. potentially stay there Saturday night and 2. if they did, get the room block rate. 

    Seacrest does have a SUPER beachy feel, they big ballroom literally looks onto the beach and is really pretty with tons of windows, updated carpeting, etc. While it is a more public feel, I think in September there would be less people there. I would say with all of your OOT guests that it would be ideal.

    Wychmere is GORGEOUS. If you can make it happen, hands down do it there. It was my # 1 choice and I tried to negotiate with them, but the only thing they would do is add in a complimentary champagne toast. 
  • edited December 2011
    And BTW, CONGRATULATIONS! :) Wedding planning is so much fun :)


  • kmurph286kmurph286 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    We are getting married next June at Ballymeade.  I was originially thinking the Flying Bridge or the Coonamessett Inn and had planned to look at a few other places.  When we saw Ballymead we absolutely fell in love with it.  The simplicity yet elegance of the rooms are amazing and I loved the round bar and deck and that the cocktail hour will be in a seperate room.  So far, Christine from Ballymeade has been great to work with.  We plan on doing beach photos, we are getting married at St. Patrick's in Falmouth Center and the beach is only a minute away from there.  Good luck.
  • clage22clage22 member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    The SeaCrest actually only does room blocks for 2 nights. It is a 2 night minimum stay for all rooms booked there in the summer anyway. They did let some of our guests have the discounted rate for 3 nights as well, which I thought was nice. Also, at our wedding from inside the reception room all you really see out the windows is the beautiful ocean, the only way you see all the people on the beach is if you are standing right up at the window. Regardless, all of our guests only raved about the view, I didn't hear once person comment or complain about there being too many people on the beach. From the outside the guests cannot see in because the room is raised up off of the beach. Hope this helps your decision!
  • edited December 2011
    fabulous advice all around, thank you everyone! I will see what my mom thinks of all of them and hopefully I can make a decision soon. I'm intrigued by the idea of having everyone stay at seacrest but then doing the ceremony and reception at ballymeade. i will update when I get her input as well. The best part is that i have glowing reviews of all three on this thread so I know I really can't go wrong. thanks again everyone, you all have calmed my nerves considerably. :) 
  • edited December 2011
    Hi There!
    I know you have gotten many responses so far, but just wanted to post my feedback as well. My fiance and I are from CT and grew up going to Cape Cod with our families. We knew right when we got engaged that we had to have a beach side wedding at Cape Cod. We took a tour of Balleymede and LOVED it- especially Christine the coordinator- she's amazing! We didn't book it, only because it was further from the beach than we wanted. Wychmere is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! They were in the process of renevating when we went to view the site, so I haven't seen it since the updates took effect, but I'm sure it's even more beautiful now- only problem is- it's super expensive! At least for our budget. But as another bride posted on here, you can get it cheaper if you figure out your budget and what you want ahead of time. I'm getting married on September 16th of this year (ahhhhh under a month to go), and we chose The Popponesset Inn, which is in Mashpee (New Seabury) on Cape Cod. I just wanted to suggest it, because it has the best atmosphere for a wedding on the cape. The room sits about 50 feet away from the water and your whole backdrop of the wedding is the beach. Our coordinator is amazing and very helpful (Jennifer Perry)  I highly suggest booking an appointment to view the venue, if you're interested in a wedding right on the beach! Laughing Congratulations on your engagement and Best of luck to you in your planning! You'll have a blast!

    -Deanna
  • edited December 2011
    Deanna - thank you for the advice! I'm actually doing an impromptu trip back east the same weekend you are getting married- I've decided I have to just see these places myself. I looked at "Poppy" (as you locals call it;) ) online and it looked VERY Cape Cod. I might have to swing through Mashpee as well.

    Anyone have any actual wedding photos from Ballymeade? there isn't much online. I feel like a photostalker, but I'm just trying to see what the indoor space looks like with actual people in it and I can't find anything!  You google "wychmere wedding photos" and a frillion links to photographer blogs come up. I found plenty of Poppy and Seabury as well but Ballymeade is a mystery :)
  • edited December 2011
    I got married at Ballymeade in June...... we loved it! Our guests loved the location too.
    We had room blocks in Falmouth and hired a bus to transport guests back and forth.
    I fell in love with the built-in bars that  Ballymeade has.  We also had Chef Roland for catering and to this day our guests are still talking about the food!!

  • edited December 2011
    Hey-
    How did your trip to Cape Cod go?! Did you find a venue? If you ended up swinging into the Poppy that weekend, I was there :) haha. If you haven't booked a place yet and you're interested in seeing photos of the Poppy, definitely let me know. I have a bunch of the room set up for the wedding ceremony as well as the reception (which makes a huge difference to see it that way). I highly recommend the Popponesset Inn, they took great care of us and the entire day flowed smoothly. Jennifer Perry is amazing and I couldn't have asked for a better day! 

    Hope you found a place, if not- best of luck!
     
    -Deanna
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