Kelly
Just Said Yes October 2017

(Paging Celia) Suggestions needed - Rustic NJ Wedding on a Budget?

Kelly, on September 9, 2016 at 4:50 PM Posted in Wedding Attire 0 63
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UPDATED Smiley smile

Hi all,

I am newly engaged and new to Wedding Wire. We have begun the wedding planning process and are quickly realizing how expensive it can be. We both really do not want to put ourselves in debt for one day, but still want it to be a day to remember. We would like to spend up to $15,000 for the venue and catering. I am looking for suggestions for a rustic wedding reception venue for 150-175 guests. Our families are heavily concentrated in the South Jersey area so that's where we are primarily looking, but also open to exploring DE and PA if necessary. We are also open to exploring non-traditional catering options such as food trucks, heavy appetizers, etc. instead of a 3-course sit down meal to cut down on cost. I am looking for rustic/vintage but am a crafter and more than willing to make center pieces and other decor to transform a venue into the rustic look that I am going for. Thank you in advance for any suggestions you have!!

63 Comments

Latest activity by Jessinlove, on September 9, 2016 at 9:58 PM
  • AlmostMrsE
    Expert October 2017
    AlmostMrsE ·
    • Flag

    Put "paging celia" in your title. She is awesome at suggesting NJ venues.

    ETA: Also, heavy appetizers may not be as cheap as you think. Just an FYI

    • Reply
  • Melody
    Master April 2017
    Melody ·
    • Flag

    She beat me to it ^.

    • Reply
  • MelissaErin
    Master December 2016
    MelissaErin ·
    • Flag

    I don't know the area specifically, but $10k-15k for 200 guests seems reallly tight. You might need to bring that guest list down to make it possible

    • Reply
  • JoRocka
    Master September 2016
    JoRocka ·
    • Flag

    I'm paying that for 29 guests.

    You're not going to be able to do 200 guests for 10k.

    • Reply
  • AlmostMrsE
    Expert October 2017
    AlmostMrsE ·
    • Flag

    I read right over the 10k-15k budget for 200 guests.

    Yeah, Uh okay. While we wait for Celia....

    In NJ Rustic weddings are becoming a "thing" so these places are a lot more expensive than ballrooms. Don't feel bad, I didn't realize this either. Also 10k-15k for 200 isn't going to work in NJ, and isn't going to work in the rustic places you're thinking of.

    10k-15k is a good budget for about 100 guests or less, on a sunday, in off season for our wonderful state.

    But Celia would really be able to help you with venue options if you make a more realistic guest count.

    ETA: Off season is like Nov - April. At least thats what a lot of the websites for the venues i've seen here said.

    • Reply
  • kbb
    VIP October 2016
    kbb ·
    • Flag

    That's gonna be tough. I'm in the south where weddings tend to be cheaper. We're at about $16k for 100 people and that's doing BBQ for our dinner.

    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Just Said Yes October 2017
    Kelly ·
    • Flag

    Thanks all for the comments so far. Just want to chime in that I'm not including band/DJ, photographer or ceremony in that budget. Really just want to get the food and venue within that budget. We're looking at probably 150-175 guests.

    • Reply
  • A. L.
    Master July 2017
    A. L. ·
    • Flag

    I think you're looking at maybe, maybe 50-100 guests for that price.

    • Reply
  • Amyd38
    Savvy September 2016
    Amyd38 ·
    • Flag

    Take a look at Lakeside Manor in Gibbsboro/Voorhees. They were down to one of my top 2-3 places (and I looked all of SNJ/PA). You provide the booze, which greatly cuts down on the cost.

    • Reply
  • Judi
    VIP June 2017
    Judi ·
    • Flag

    Look into the Pantages Renaissance in Scotch Plains. They offer a promotional package for less than 60 per person including open bar, cocktail hour, and dinner. The place is decent enough, and the food is supposed to be good.

    This is my plan B in case plan A doesn't work out, and we are getting married around the same time, so I might kick myself for sharing this, if you take my date lol

    good luck!

    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Just Said Yes October 2017
    Kelly ·
    • Flag

    Just came across them yesterday Amy! Definitely a possibility within our price range Smiley smile

    • Reply
  • BookcaseHat
    Master July 2017
    BookcaseHat ·
    • Flag

    @Kelly - you may want to update your original post with the info that $10-15k is your budget for venue and catering (rather than for the whole reception). Otherwise you may get a lot of comments from people who didn't read your update!

    • Reply
  • SummerS
    Master January 2016
    SummerS ·
    • Flag

    OP, even if you go to your high-end at $15k, that works out to $85pp with 175 guests. From what I've read here, in your region that's next to impossible even for food & drink only. When you factor in the venue rental cost, then you'd have even less to spend on food and drink. You will most likely need to cut your guest list (or of course up the budget). Just for perspective, for venue, food and drink my per person price was much more than that and I'm in the South where things are sometimes less expensive (though I'm in a large metro area so it's definitely not as cheap as you'd think!)...and even that was heavily discounted for being an off-peak season, daytime wedding.

    • Reply
  • P
    Savvy September 2026
    Priscilla ·
    • Flag

    Why not go for a ride out in the country and stop where you see signs? You'd be surprized at how welcoming strangers can be and you'd make new friends. You can even put up notices on church boards that you are looking for a venue. There's pleanty of bored ladies/men that would love some excitement in thier communities. Diy ideas the manson jars with xmas lights in them. Look up shabby chic on etsy for ideas. I'm also a crafter so tons of ideas.

    Just a quick search found http://johnsonslocusthallfarm.com/events/weddings/ max $8k can hold up to 300 guests

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    I'm very flattered, and I hate to be that messenger, but it's not going to happen for you. Most venues rustic or not, are going to run 90-100+, not including 7% tax and 20ish percent service on top of that. You're looking at prime season (October is the new June) so no deals to be had....

    (I'm just all bad news, aren't I......)

    You could look at renting a venue and bringing in food trucks, but that is a recipe for chaos for that many guests. And honestly, your 70 year old aunt does not want to stand in line for a taco. It looks fun on OBB, but trust me, in real life? Not so much.

    The first thing to do is cut that guest list, and the great thing about that? Once you cut all the cousins, it's not one person, it's 20. Once you get rid of the co-workers, the neighbors, the friends of you parents you don't know, the people from college you haven't talked to in four years, the list kinda limits itself. You could totally do this for 80 guest on that budget. And guess what? You'll get to spend time with each of them~

    Your wedding is not a family reunion, a class reunion, or a chance to invite everyone you've ever had a glass of wine or anyone you feel obligated to invite to to celebrate with you. It's a one in a lifetime (ideally) milestone to be shared with your nearest and dearest. And none of us have 200 of those. And even if you DID? You can't even say hello to 200 guests in 4 hours.

    Now, once you have a grip on the list you can try these venues and caterers;

    - Perona Farms; the barn is gorgeous

    -Valley Crest Farms in Lebanon ; you bring your own caterer but it's cheap and cute and there are horsed.

    -Jack's Barn Talk to Darren

    -Willow Wood Arboretum in Chester

    -The Conservatory at Sussex County Fairgrounds

    -Waterloo Village in Stanhope

    -The Spa at Camp Okawasin in Blairstown

    -Camp Rickabear in Kinnelon

    And you'll need a fab officiant (hint hint)

    -

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    @Priscilla?

    Stop. Just stop it now. This is not, "hey kids, let's put on a show!!!"

    • Reply
  • MMB
    Master January 2017
    MMB ·
    • Flag

    Priscilla, WHAT?

    • Reply
  • AlmostMrsE
    Expert October 2017
    AlmostMrsE ·
    • Flag

    I want whatever Priscilla is on.

    • Reply
  • JoRocka
    Master September 2016
    JoRocka ·
    • Flag

    Are you fucking kidding me? 'Plenty of bored ladies that would love some excitement in their communities'

    Your antiquated misogynistic ideas suck. Go back to the 50s.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    Priscilla....that venue is lovely but it's 8500.00 (plus tax) without a carrot stick.

    • Reply

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