Author Topic: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help  (Read 4195 times)

FrugalRubles

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« on: October 08, 2015, 09:19:23 AM »
Good Morning All,
My fiancé and I are "trying" to plan a wedding. Our wants are simple, yet trying to plan a wedding within 2.5 hours of NYC for a reasonable budget is proving to be a headache. We come from the land of large, expensive, ornate affairs, which isn't us, but we do want to have a large gather of family / friends.

I am from Long Island, my lady is from Western Massachusetts. I come from a very large extended family, and I would like them to all be able to celebrate with us. We want the destination to be a reasonable drive from both areas, so we are OK with up to 3 hours. We assume most guests will spend 1 night in a hotel.

Wants
- Outdoor Reception, ideally in a very green area (fiancé has used jungle as her dream setting)
- Open Bar
- Band
- Range of Guests is 120-180, depending on $.

- We aren't particular when it comes to food. We love BBQ and think that may the direction we go in. We do not want a large sit down dinner, but more of an informal fun event for everyone to mingle.

No matter where we look, we are getting quoted of $40k+ no matter what we do. We keep drifting further and further from NYC / LI to try to get a more reasonable price / place. Even when we find a beautiful space that doesn't do weddings, they still want $5-10k for the site fee and in those instances we would need to bring in a tent / bathrooms for that # of people.

My guess is that our best bet is a large pavilion somewhere, which would give us the outdoor space, coupled with adequate bathrooms and coverage in the event of rain (we do have a tent hook-up if we do it in Mass). We would expect the guests to mostly be staying for at least a night, if not 2, so a nearby hotel would be great (or at a hotel).

I am looking for any / all guidance, especially in regards to a specific venue. We are going up to the Berkshires this weekend, hoping to check out a few places there.

Thanks in advance!





norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7933
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 09:30:08 AM »
My friends got married here, and I loved it : http://www.fullmoonresort.com/

I don't know the price, but it seemed like they expect your wedding party/guests to book all the rooms on the property (there aren't actually that many, so it's not hard to do), and then that makes your cost as the person getting married less. It would definitely meet all your requirements so I'd get in touch with them. Equidistant from both areas (well, a little farther from LI, but not from NYC), they often host musicians, and it was casual, outdoors ceremony with an indoor reception, a bonfire one night and a brunch Sunday all on site. Just a terrific spot.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 09:32:45 AM by norabird »

FrugalRubles

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 09:50:52 AM »
My friends got married here, and I loved it : http://www.fullmoonresort.com/

I don't know the price, but it seemed like they expect your wedding party/guests to book all the rooms on the property (there aren't actually that many, so it's not hard to do), and then that makes your cost as the person getting married less. It would definitely meet all your requirements so I'd get in touch with them. Equidistant from both areas (well, a little farther from LI, but not from NYC), they often host musicians, and it was casual, outdoors ceremony with an indoor reception, a bonfire one night and a brunch Sunday all on site. Just a terrific spot.

Very cool, I will reach out to them. We are hoping to do a full outdoor reception, but this sounds close.

little_brown_dog

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 10:11:14 AM »
http://www.rusticbride.com/massachusetts/page/2/
barn/farm weddings, but could be alot of green fields/etc.

180 people is a MASSIVE wedding, hence the high price quotes.  I would really caution against having a guest list so large that you limit yourself in all other areas of the budget before you even get started (and definitely don’t assume you’ll be okay cheaping out on décor, etc…the vision and “feel” of the day often becomes very important to brides and grooms as they go along in the planning process). I have been to quite a few large weddings where it was clear the entire budget had been blown on just feeding/seating everyone, and there was barely any money left over to spend on décor/music/etc. The result is an expensive wedding that still somehow ends up looking “cheap.” Go for the quality of the event as a whole, not the quantity of guests.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3998
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 10:18:34 AM »
STATE PARK.

My sister found a state park with a covered pavilion.  Rental was almost nothing.  The pavilion had bathrooms.  They had to bring in the food (they used a caterer) and I think could not do any alcohol, but I am sure that depends on the state.  The park had cabins, some people camped, they had a live band that played.  It was really fun.

Also broke the rule that cheaper weddings last longer, lol.  They got divorced in ~2 years. 

UnleashHell

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6333
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Florida
  • Chapter IV - A New ... er.. something
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2015, 10:23:23 AM »

FrugalRubles

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2015, 10:37:19 AM »
http://www.rusticbride.com/massachusetts/page/2/
barn/farm weddings, but could be alot of green fields/etc.

180 people is a MASSIVE wedding, hence the high price quotes.  I would really caution against having a guest list so large that you limit yourself in all other areas of the budget before you even get started (and definitely don’t assume you’ll be okay cheaping out on décor, etc…the vision and “feel” of the day often becomes very important to brides and grooms as they go along in the planning process). I have been to quite a few large weddings where it was clear the entire budget had been blown on just feeding/seating everyone, and there was barely any money left over to spend on décor/music/etc. The result is an expensive wedding that still somehow ends up looking “cheap.” Go for the quality of the event as a whole, not the quantity of guests.

It's definitely on the large side, but my mom is 1 of 12 and I have 30+ first cousins. I understand your perspective, but I feel like the advantage of the outside wedding is that you spend a lot less on the decor. I don't care too much about most of that stuff and think the people that you want there are worth paying for. I really don't care about it "looking cheap" either - open bar, rocking band and fun group is all we want / need. I will definitely check out your link.

STATE PARK.

My sister found a state park with a covered pavilion.  Rental was almost nothing.  The pavilion had bathrooms.  They had to bring in the food (they used a caterer) and I think could not do any alcohol, but I am sure that depends on the state.  The park had cabins, some people camped, they had a live band that played.  It was really fun.

Also broke the rule that cheaper weddings last longer, lol.  They got divorced in ~2 years. 

Thanks for the insight (and sorry to your sister). I agree and have been trying to find one for a bit. We do want alcohol but this seems to jive much more with what we are looking for.

its your lucky day

https://www.osv.org/weddings-functions



Will check it out, thanks!

Easye418

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2015, 11:37:41 AM »
Huge wedding.  $40k sounds right for the scenario.

We did a completely outdoor barn wedding (besides the Catholic church part for obivous reasons) and everyone loved it.

We found a guy who owned a farm and had his land renovated for weddings.  He was just in the beginning stages so we got in on the dirt cheap.

After all the fees (venue fee $2k, dj $1.2k, food $3.5k, photography$2k, decorating (part of photography), transportation/shuttle ($1k, a bitch), booze (we got to bring our own :) $1k, etc.), we came to just around $10k-$12k for 80ish people.  We went a little crazy on the food, beef tenderloin, pig roast, chicken, etc.

Everyone said it was the best wedding they have ever been too.  We really hit a home run on the venue and booze.  Comparable places charged $10k plus for outdoor barn wedding.  I would say I saved over $10k+ on a similiar wedding at a different venue. 

We spent two weeks out of the country in Belize at fancy pants resorts and racked up $10k bill.  Wouldn't have it another way, it was literally the greatest experience of our life on our honeymoon.

Had the wedding,honeymoon,ring (paid in cash) all paid off on 0% CC in less than 12 months. 

Spend on the things that matter to you.

If I couldn't bring alcohol, I assume half of my family wouldn't of showed up.  Irish pigs.

I really don't care about it "looking cheap" either - open bar, rocking band and fun group is all we want / need. I will definitely check out your link.

Lol. I don't think its possible to "look cheap" if you have an open bar, rocking band, and fun group.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 11:41:53 AM by Easye418 »

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2015, 01:35:58 PM »
120-180 people is crazy!  I don't think I know that many people who I'd want at my wedding.  I think we invited about 80 people, maybe 60 came.  Potluck reception, held at a local university garden.  We did provide wine and other beverages, no booze.  Had a DJ for dancing.  Spent maybe $3K tops.

little_brown_dog

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2015, 01:36:16 PM »
1 of 12, man that’s a lot of extended family! I think what I was mainly getting at is to watch out for those extraneous guests outside of extended family and close friends– you know plus ones/dates you don’t know, 2nd cousins, coworkers, parents’ friends, friendly acquaintances that aren’t really actual friends and you probably won’t be talking to in 2 years, etc.  If it comes down to paying for these people, or say having the full open bar you really want, I vote for the bar :)

Definitely agree if you can make the food/bar and music strong you won’t look cheap. Cheap happens when you have 180 guests but then make them pay with a cash bar, or completely forgo any semblance of tasteful decoration.

Easye418

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2015, 01:48:05 PM »
1 of 12, man that’s a lot of extended family! I think what I was mainly getting at is to watch out for those extraneous guests outside of extended family and close friends– you know plus ones/dates you don’t know, 2nd cousins, coworkers, parents’ friends, friendly acquaintances that aren’t really actual friends and you probably won’t be talking to in 2 years, etc.  If it comes down to paying for these people, or say having the full open bar you really want, I vote for the bar :)

Definitely agree if you can make the food/bar and music strong you won’t look cheap. Cheap happens when you have 180 guests but then make them pay with a cash bar, or completely forgo any semblance of tasteful decoration.

Cash bar is the standard for cheap weddings.

It could be worse tho, I went to my cousin's wedding who banned alcohol AND dancing.  Really religious and strict.

FrugalRubles

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2015, 06:30:01 PM »
Huge wedding.  $40k sounds right for the scenario.

We did a completely outdoor barn wedding (besides the Catholic church part for obivous reasons) and everyone loved it.

We found a guy who owned a farm and had his land renovated for weddings.  He was just in the beginning stages so we got in on the dirt cheap.

After all the fees (venue fee $2k, dj $1.2k, food $3.5k, photography$2k, decorating (part of photography), transportation/shuttle ($1k, a bitch), booze (we got to bring our own :) $1k, etc.), we came to just around $10k-$12k for 80ish people.  We went a little crazy on the food, beef tenderloin, pig roast, chicken, etc.

Everyone said it was the best wedding they have ever been too.  We really hit a home run on the venue and booze.  Comparable places charged $10k plus for outdoor barn wedding.  I would say I saved over $10k+ on a similiar wedding at a different venue. 

We spent two weeks out of the country in Belize at fancy pants resorts and racked up $10k bill.  Wouldn't have it another way, it was literally the greatest experience of our life on our honeymoon.

Had the wedding,honeymoon,ring (paid in cash) all paid off on 0% CC in less than 12 months. 

Spend on the things that matter to you.

If I couldn't bring alcohol, I assume half of my family wouldn't of showed up.  Irish pigs.

I really don't care about it "looking cheap" either - open bar, rocking band and fun group is all we want / need. I will definitely check out your link.

Lol. I don't think its possible to "look cheap" if you have an open bar, rocking band, and fun group.

This is sort of what we are hoping for, can I ask where yours took place (and how long ago)? We haven't found 1 place we have loved yet.
As for the guest list, good chance it does end up cut down a bit, but I think 125-140 is still the lower range. Out of curiosity, did your location have separate bathrooms built or is 80 people the limit on whatever facilities were available? Did you need a tent also?

We found a few places where we can bring our own booze, which would help a lot.

120-180 people is crazy!  I don't think I know that many people who I'd want at my wedding.  I think we invited about 80 people, maybe 60 came.  Potluck reception, held at a local university garden.  We did provide wine and other beverages, no booze.  Had a DJ for dancing.  Spent maybe $3K tops.


I like the potluck idea, but with at least half the folks from out of town, it may be difficult.

1 of 12, man that’s a lot of extended family! I think what I was mainly getting at is to watch out for those extraneous guests outside of extended family and close friends– you know plus ones/dates you don’t know, 2nd cousins, coworkers, parents’ friends, friendly acquaintances that aren’t really actual friends and you probably won’t be talking to in 2 years, etc.  If it comes down to paying for these people, or say having the full open bar you really want, I vote for the bar :)

Definitely agree if you can make the food/bar and music strong you won’t look cheap. Cheap happens when you have 180 guests but then make them pay with a cash bar, or completely forgo any semblance of tasteful decoration.


Yes, it is a big family. We don't have too many opportunities to all get together. Even if I cut a number of them, the number is still up there.
It's Irish Catholic family, so the open bar is pretty much a requirement...haha.

The truth it we just want a big outdoor party, when you add the word wedding, they triple the pricing.

1 of 12, man that’s a lot of extended family! I think what I was mainly getting at is to watch out for those extraneous guests outside of extended family and close friends– you know plus ones/dates you don’t know, 2nd cousins, coworkers, parents’ friends, friendly acquaintances that aren’t really actual friends and you probably won’t be talking to in 2 years, etc.  If it comes down to paying for these people, or say having the full open bar you really want, I vote for the bar :)

Definitely agree if you can make the food/bar and music strong you won’t look cheap. Cheap happens when you have 180 guests but then make them pay with a cash bar, or completely forgo any semblance of tasteful decoration.

Cash bar is the standard for cheap weddings.

It could be worse tho, I went to my cousin's wedding who banned alcohol AND dancing.  Really religious and strict.

Banning dancing is a bit harsh, but to each his own. I've learned better than to discuss religion and politics with those who consider themselves experts..ha.

Easye418

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 469
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 08:26:15 PM »
Sorry. Forgot to mention I got married in IL

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3039
  • Location: WDC
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2015, 09:10:25 PM »
My sister didn't want a fancy wedding, but they wanted the mingle part you describe. They rented a huge house in the outer banks (NC) for a week and 24 immediate family members stayed there together for one week. Others were invited for the wedding day, and could stay at nearby hotels or go in together and rent another beach house down the street. It was the best wedding ever and it was just a bunch of family having fun on the beach and then a giant barbecue afterwards. We also bought a bushel of crabs (already steamed and seasoned).   Don't know how that would work for 180, but I do know e families are extremely close because of that week getting to know each other and I think nothing now of going to my sister's I laws to celebrate asks giving or Christmas. Also, it made my sister and her husband the anchor of the family. We all want to do things together and they a re the common tie.

Grid

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 464
  • Age: 6
  • I kept dreaming of a world I thought I'd never see
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2015, 10:53:39 PM »
My sister didn't want a fancy wedding, but they wanted the mingle part you describe. They rented a huge house in the outer banks (NC) for a week and 24 immediate family members stayed there together for one week. Others were invited for the wedding day, and could stay at nearby hotels or go in together and rent another beach house down the street. It was the best wedding ever and it was just a bunch of family having fun on the beach and then a giant barbecue afterwards. We also bought a bushel of crabs (already steamed and seasoned).   Don't know how that would work for 180, but I do know e families are extremely close because of that week getting to know each other and I think nothing now of going to my sister's I laws to celebrate asks giving or Christmas. Also, it made my sister and her husband the anchor of the family. We all want to do things together and they a re the common tie.

That sounds like an amazing idea.  I mean some of the idea of a wedding is to have the families get to know each other a little bit better, and it takes more than a few hours at a reception for that to happen.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2957
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2015, 11:51:34 AM »
Do you have a yard, or do you know anyone at all with a large yard?  Lots of people in my family have large yards, but they think backyard weddings are tacky (stupid rich people). Anyways, I think its worth thinking about.

How far west when you say western mass? West enough that pennsylvania is a reasonable trip? And I've heard that the middle of long island can be cheap, like Windows on the Lake.

Also apracticalwedding.com is a good resource.

elaine amj

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3048
  • Location: Ontario
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2015, 01:42:59 PM »
What about finding a B&B with large grounds?

A few years ago, we were thinking of throwing an anniversary party. We wanted outdoors, BBQ, cheap, fun. I very strongly considered a place nearby that rented a group of rustic cabins. The other option was what someone else suggested, a giant vacation house rental. That might be hard for 180 ppl though. (I was looking at just 50 ppl).

Try thinking outside the box. What about a church in the countryside with large grounds? If they don't typically get the wedding crowd, even $1k rental fee might sound very generous. The only thing is by the time you rent the dance floor, giant tents, etc, it can get very very  expensive.

What about a community/city/park with a covered pavilion? The pavilions are usually very inexpensive to rent and the grounds are usually pretty. The pavilion could be where you put your band and dance floor (and emergency shelter for rain) and should cost a whole lot less than renting giant tents, etc. Many municipalities will rent out picnic tables. Or if the park has enough of them, they might let you use/set up for you enough picnic tables for your needs.

I would avoid saying wedding in your initial conversation. Like you said, prices jump 500% at that word. Just say event for 180 people. Make it sound more like a community bbq. After you get your price quote, then you can let on that it is a wedding.

cdttmm

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2015, 04:57:43 PM »
http://www.lookpark.org/special-occasions.html

Western MA, up to 200 people, outdoors, beautiful. Should be able to have BBQ catered fairly easily.

FrugalRubles

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2015, 08:34:28 AM »
My sister didn't want a fancy wedding, but they wanted the mingle part you describe. They rented a huge house in the outer banks (NC) for a week and 24 immediate family members stayed there together for one week. Others were invited for the wedding day, and could stay at nearby hotels or go in together and rent another beach house down the street. It was the best wedding ever and it was just a bunch of family having fun on the beach and then a giant barbecue afterwards. We also bought a bushel of crabs (already steamed and seasoned).   Don't know how that would work for 180, but I do know e families are extremely close because of that week getting to know each other and I think nothing now of going to my sister's I laws to celebrate asks giving or Christmas. Also, it made my sister and her husband the anchor of the family. We all want to do things together and they a re the common tie.

This is a great idea. We've thought about doing something like this, but I think my lady still has some ideas of wanting wedding event. She is open to ideas but I have to plant some of the seeds further in advance.

My sister didn't want a fancy wedding, but they wanted the mingle part you describe. They rented a huge house in the outer banks (NC) for a week and 24 immediate family members stayed there together for one week. Others were invited for the wedding day, and could stay at nearby hotels or go in together and rent another beach house down the street. It was the best wedding ever and it was just a bunch of family having fun on the beach and then a giant barbecue afterwards. We also bought a bushel of crabs (already steamed and seasoned).   Don't know how that would work for 180, but I do know e families are extremely close because of that week getting to know each other and I think nothing now of going to my sister's I laws to celebrate asks giving or Christmas. Also, it made my sister and her husband the anchor of the family. We all want to do things together and they a re the common tie.

That sounds like an amazing idea.  I mean some of the idea of a wedding is to have the families get to know each other a little bit better, and it takes more than a few hours at a reception for that to happen.

Agree completely.

Do you have a yard, or do you know anyone at all with a large yard?  Lots of people in my family have large yards, but they think backyard weddings are tacky (stupid rich people). Anyways, I think its worth thinking about.

How far west when you say western mass? West enough that pennsylvania is a reasonable trip? And I've heard that the middle of long island can be cheap, like Windows on the Lake.

Also apracticalwedding.com is a good resource.

We do know some people who do near her family, but it hasn't been an option she wants to pursue just yet. They live outside Springfield. Penn isn't really a reasonable trip, but then again, asking everyone to rent a house in Rhode Island or the Jersey Shore isn't either!

As for weddings on LI, you are still usually looking at $100+ per person, plus tax, service, and sometimes 20% admin charges. We are hoping for something more natural vs. the catering hall / neon light vibe.

What about finding a B&B with large grounds?

A few years ago, we were thinking of throwing an anniversary party. We wanted outdoors, BBQ, cheap, fun. I very strongly considered a place nearby that rented a group of rustic cabins. The other option was what someone else suggested, a giant vacation house rental. That might be hard for 180 ppl though. (I was looking at just 50 ppl).

Try thinking outside the box. What about a church in the countryside with large grounds? If they don't typically get the wedding crowd, even $1k rental fee might sound very generous. The only thing is by the time you rent the dance floor, giant tents, etc, it can get very very  expensive.

What about a community/city/park with a covered pavilion? The pavilions are usually very inexpensive to rent and the grounds are usually pretty. The pavilion could be where you put your band and dance floor (and emergency shelter for rain) and should cost a whole lot less than renting giant tents, etc. Many municipalities will rent out picnic tables. Or if the park has enough of them, they might let you use/set up for you enough picnic tables for your needs.

I would avoid saying wedding in your initial conversation. Like you said, prices jump 500% at that word. Just say event for 180 people. Make it sound more like a community bbq. After you get your price quote, then you can let on that it is a wedding.

This is certainly an option. We haven't found something yet, even if we reduced to 125 or so.

Agreed that piecing it altogether yourself can get expensive. The city park with covered pavilions are what we want, but using that with a band and alcohol is proving to be the issue.
Agreed on avoiding using the word wedding.

http://www.lookpark.org/special-occasions.html

Western MA, up to 200 people, outdoors, beautiful. Should be able to have BBQ catered fairly easily.

Thanks, will check this out.


prestache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2015, 04:11:41 PM »
A bit late to the game here, but I somewhat recently got married on LI.  We did not do it in mustachian fashion, but it is definitely possible to do so.  Check out the vineyards on the North Fork - the one where we got married had a hefty (nearly 10k) site fee (though it is much less off season and somewhat less peak-season if you do a Friday or Sunday instead of Saturday night), but otherwise it is what you make of it -- beautiful outdoor setting, all facilities provided, and you can bring in any type of vendors (catering, band, etc) that you want.  Good luck!

Exflyboy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6240
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Corvallis, Oregon
  • Expat Brit living in the New World..:)
Re: NYC / New England Mustachian Wedding Help
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2015, 08:15:02 PM »
I suppose eloping is out of the question?

We spent about $2k.. the "other $38k" we spent doubling the size of our house..:)