Dedicated October 2019

Did you settle when choosing a venue?

H, on November 8, 2017 at 10:34 AM

Posted in Planning 81

Did you find that you settled when choosing a wedding venue? I'm realizing that what my PERFECT DAY entails is not possible either because it's impractical, doesn't exist, or is $500 per person for a Saturday evening (LOL-- thanks NJ). Did you have must-haves that you stuck with? Or did you let go...

Did you find that you settled when choosing a wedding venue?

I'm realizing that what my PERFECT DAY entails is not possible either because it's impractical, doesn't exist, or is $500 per person for a Saturday evening (LOL-- thanks NJ).

Did you have must-haves that you stuck with? Or did you let go of some of your wants? Did you think you hated X but ended up getting X in the end and not really caring? Did you want a beautiful venue but think that a not so beautiful venue would be more convenient because it had accommodations for guests?

Just curious about everyone else's selections and decisions!


  • golferchick
    Savvy September 2018
    golferchick ·
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    Edit: duplicate post deleted

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  • Mrs. Sitz
    Master July 2016
    Mrs. Sitz ·
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    Kinda. We settled on which room to book at our venue. The room we booked had the best views but, has hideous carpet. The other room we considered had nicer carpet but, the view wasn't nearly as good. So, we picked the room with a better view. I was so worried about the carpet but, once tables were set up, it wasn't noticeable.

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  • DoggoMom
    VIP August 2016
    DoggoMom ·
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    Kind of. The venue we loved was a $40,000 rental fee. Hahahaha no. Quickly changed our mind and found a venue that was almost as amazing for a much more reasonable price of $10k. I think it gave our guests a better experience too. Win win.

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  • Celia Milton
    April 2020
    Celia Milton ·
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    @Elizabeth; here's my list of 'not the most expensive but I love them' places in NJ. (This isn't the funky / way quirky list). I like the staff, I like the way they treat their couples, and their food is great. If you can get out of September, your pricing is going to be much easier to swallow. Nov? It was pretty beautiful here the last two weeks....value pricing.....

    Ballyowen, in Hardyston (They also have Black Bear, in Franklin, but I like Ballyowen better)

    The Charthouse in Weekhawken

    The Olde Mill Inn in Bernards Township (They have a hotel-y part and a more rustic-y part)

    Il Tulipano in Cedar Grove

    The Tides in North Haledon

    Meadow Burn Farm in West Milford (I think)

    Brotherhood Winery (nearby NY state)

    Tourne Winery Suffern-ish

    Highlawn Pavilion (the view....the view.....)

    Museum of Morris County (you need a caterer; we recommend Emily's Cafe; they have dozens of cool venues too.

    Waterloo Village in Stanhope (JAM catering; they also have tons of great venues

    The Inn at Millrace Pond in Hope

    Jack's Barn in Oxford

    Raritan Inn in Califon

    Valley Regency in Clifton, I think

    Bernards Inn, in Bernardsville

    If you can get to a Jan-March head?

    The Palace in Somerset

    The Westmount in Woodland Park

    The Grove, in Cedar Grove

    It's a start, lol!

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  • Gretchen
    Beginner October 2019
    Gretchen ·
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    I feel like I am about to settle. I have not found anything I'm 100% in love with, yet. And I don't want to look forever and have the date I want to get married be filled up. So I am thinking to just go with a place I really like that is open my weekend. It is also not $12,000 to rent it out either like other places I've toured.

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  • HockeyGirl
    Dedicated June 2018
    HockeyGirl ·
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    We did end up compromising on one thing: the city. We originally wanted closer to Denver, but none of the venues there could do what we wanted for our price, and most were pretty rigid/not great to work with. So we found our perfect venues in Boulder Smiley smile

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  • Rachel
    Super May 2018
    Rachel ·
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    I'm not sure it is "settling" necessarily, but we had to modify our vision several times as our wedding planning progressed. Originally we were only going to have like 50 guests and go to Puerto Rico for a traditional DW, but after discussing many things, we decided to change to Spain. When we decided Spain, we thought we may have 10 guests and get married in a beautiful place with almost 0 amenities, but since it was immediate family only, it would have worked. However, the more we have discussed, we both decided have some of our friends there was very important to us, so we expanded our guest list. When we did that, we realize our first plan was not feasible. We finally found a venue that will work for all of our needs, but it is the best of any one of our "important" categories, but it is good enough in all of them. For example, it doesn't have the most beautiful view of any of our choices, but the view is still very pretty. In exchange, it has enough rooms for all of our guests to stay, and it is in walking distance of the village for people to go exploring. So there was a lot of compromising, but I am quite happy with the end result!

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  • snowangel
    Super March 2017
    snowangel ·
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    I'm also a NJ bride, and I didn't feel like I settled at all. Our venue was an absolute dream come true. I think we lucked out in a sense though since we were looking for a wedding during the "off peak" season. Because of that prices were lower overall, and we had a bit more negotiating power which made certain venues possible that wouldn't have been affordable for us during the more popular times of year.

    What venues have you seen? And what type of vibe are you looking for? If you give some more details I'd be happy to share my experiences with some of the venues in the area...we looked at over a dozen in northern/central nj.

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  • bluevelvet
    Devoted October 2017
    bluevelvet ·
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    We did not settle. Hubby was concrete in his wish for an outdoor ceremony. We looked at different parks and outdoor venues and went with the MN Landscape Arboretum as we are members and loved it there. We considered parks for budget reasons but parking was limited or the views were not as nice as the Arb. We asked my aunt if we could have the wedding in her back yard but she felt she was not up to it - we understood and thanked her for considering it. No regrets.

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  • Katelyn
    Dedicated May 2018
    Katelyn ·
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    I'm not sure I consider it "settling" but we are giving up some things and adding a bit of stress to fit within our budget and have the venue that really feels like "us".


    -The only alcohol we can have is the beer on tap (16 different choices, it's a brewery), however that beer is unlimited all night and included in the $3000 venue fee

    -We bring in everything else ourselves, which adds stress and planning, but we can choose what we like (cheaper BBQ catering that goes with our vibe rather than fancy passed food or sit down meal)

    -We have a very small window for setup due to the brewery being open for business prior to our wedding. Also, we can't start setting up until after 5 because that's the earliest they will close. Our wedding is on the 10th anniversary of the day we began dating, but it happens to be on a Sunday. So we would have liked to start earlier in the day, but we're dealing with it

    -They are not equipped with a "bridal suite" or any of those fancy things

    -There is no on site coordinator, just staff there to help with venue related things, like changing kegs

    When considering all of the above, we kept looking for other venues and none of them had the "feel" of this one. We finally gave up and decided to deal with all of the "cons" to have our wedding truly reflect us. So, settled a bit I guess, but we just feel so good about this venue.

    Go with what feels right (assuming it's in your price range), you'll know when you find it.

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  • Sc
    Dedicated June 2018
    Sc ·
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    I wanted an art gallery but they were $700/hour and FH put a halt to that. My Dacia list suggested an old library that was much cheaper so I went with that. I still couldn't see myself having the ceremony there so our ceremony is in s flower garden so it all worked out like I wanted.

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  • KarenO
    Master June 2018
    KarenO ·
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    I love our venue, but we definitely compromised. FH and I had wanted to have a small beach wedding with just immediate family and have the reception closer to home for everyone else, either later that day or within the next week. But, honestly, that was being inconsiderate to some of our family members who would attend, and others would've been upset at not being invited to the ceremony.

    I had the venue in mind for our reception, but we decided to have the ceremony there too. It's a beautiful place right on the river and it's very convenient for like 90-percent of our guests. I'm glad that we're still getting married outside and also by the water, and we hope to do a vow renewal at the beach in the future.

    ETA: We are in PA, basically across the river from Trenton. Our venue was pretty affordable, especially for a Friday or Sunday wedding. We wanted to get married in Belmar, NJ, because we go there all the time.

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  • Amanda
    Master October 2018
    Amanda ·
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    I wouldn't say we settled so to say .. but we are is love another venue more but it was about 560 pp.. we chose the next best at 140 pp .. but we did love them both .. obviously though a venue charging 560 pp is much more extravagant ..

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  • Shinee
    Expert September 2018
    Shinee ·
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    I did a lot of researching before we decided to go out and look at venues. And surprisingly, of the venues that I was looking online, there was only one that was within our budget and gave you the most bang for your buck, which was a huge factor in deciding on a venue. They also had an option for an outdoor ceremony on site which was definitely a plus. We also wanted to make sure that the catering provided would have plenty of food so the guests don't go hungry and for the pricing, the dinner food is going to be amazing, as well as a huge list of hor d'ouevres that will be served, and an open bar Smiley smile

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  • Realyz3
    Just Said Yes October 2018
    Realyz3 ·
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    When we first starting talking about our wedding day, we agreed to keep the wedding small, and I had it in my mind that we could keep the budget low. Then I realized I live in NY, and small in my family is at least 85 people (which is still on the smaller end) so, a low budget just wasn't going to work.

    We could have settled for a decent venue for half the price, and even invited more people. But the more we discussed it, the more we leaned toward paying more per head for the venue we wanted than to choose something we didn't want just to save the money or squeeze in more people. So, we didn't settle. We chose exactly the venue we couldn't stop thinking about. It's costing us more, but it's worth every penny.

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  • Talullah
    VIP May 2018
    Talullah ·
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    I didn't settle. It is everything I wanted & more! There is honestly not 1 thing I don't love about it.

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  • plangalCG
    VIP May 2018
    plangalCG ·
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    I wouldn't say settle, because I love my wedding plans, but it definitely evolved. The "vision" I had at the beginning wasn't what I am planning now. That being said, I never really pursued my "dream venue" because there are places I thought would make awesome wedding locations but that I also knew were completely untouchable. I've been practical from the beginning.

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  • kbrands
    Super December 2018
    kbrands ·
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    We kept searching until we found what we wanted in a price we could afford. We had to sacrifice some other details but it's worth it to have our venue.

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  • Jessica
    Dedicated March 2018
    Jessica ·
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    I looked at about five different venues in person (and brought the FH to my top three). While perhaps we would have been happier with another venue if we even let ourselves look at things outside the budget, we kept our expectations realistic. We ended up choosing the least expensive of the final three, but it was also the one we liked best.

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  • Bemyguest
    Master April 2017
    Bemyguest ·
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    Yes, 100%. We chose something less inexpensive in a less desirable place. I don't have regrets, because idk how much more I'd have been willing to pay, but people with beautiful venues give me some envy lol

    You choose what's best for you, and you learn to live with that.

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