Suggestions for affordable wedding venues?

hors d'oeuvres at AOA9 v2G emails:

Hello! A friend of mine is hoping to get married next year and is trying to be budget conscious but still have a great wedding. Any suggestions for venues and vendors that are affordable but quality? Thank you!

We suspect this sort of course follows at least one of two angles:
1) picking a venue or vendors outside the typical wedding industrial complex and/or
2) focusing on just a few aspects of the experience that are really important to you and letting the other stuff go. We're guessing people will have some ideas about how to be creative in this regard.

So, got a suggestion for G and friend? Please share! And sentence or two about why you're suggesting something can be helpful?

Earlier: Lauren wrote about planning her wedding a few years back, and there are some bits in there that should be helpful.

Comments

I'm very recently married and have a lot of info to share. :)

"Affordable" can have a VERY large range, especially when it comes to weddings. That being said...

If you're thinking of something semi-traditional I'd start with:
https://dreamdateweddings.com
Mazzone has a bunch of venues and run specials on their "off-season" dates. I sincerely believe that the value and experience you get with Mazzone cannot be rivaled.

We just had our wedding with them and it was nothing short of amazing. I hope every wedding couple can experience the same feeling on their wedding day. Maria at Glen Sanders Mansion is like my fairy-godmother.

If your guest list is smaller or the budget is more picnic in the park, it probably wouldn't work but there are many ways to have a nice celebration on a modest budget.

I didn't pay full price for any vendor we booked or anything we bought. Some, like our venue, had an "off-season" price. Other venues had wedding expo discounts. Almost all also offered "Black Friday" deals in November. Take advantage of wedding shows and shop around! I used Groupon multiple times for all my wedding invitations, etc.

Editors - feel free to share my email address with G if they're interested!

Do something at a state park maybe? We had our anniversary at Thacher Park. There are a lot of logistics when you do it that way, but it's a beautiful view, there is a pavilion so you don't need a tent, and they have bathrooms so you don't need to rent potties.

The previous comment is what I was going to say. Rent a covered pavilion at a park and get a good caterer who does those types of things. Set up games and fun things to do. You can have an awesome fun wedding without being chintzy for 20% of a wedding that goes through the wedding industrial complex. Or take out a loan and pay it off over 10 years to have a traditional wedding if thats more important to you ;)

Some ways to cut down on expenses:

1) Have brunch or lunch menu, as opposed to dinner.

2) When we got married, we thought it would be great to have an outdoor wedding and rent a tent, but found that all the rentals involved (tent, tables, chairs, food, dinnerware, etc.) priced us out. Rather it was cheaper to choose a venue that provided food as well.

3) Make your own flower arrangements and centerpieces.

4) Keep the guest list on the smaller side if you are able to - it opens up more venues and keeps food cost down per person.

5) Have a buffet as opposed to a seated meal.

6) If you have friends or relatives who have the talents for cake baking or photography, they might entertain providing that service as a gift. For our wedding one of our relatives decided to pay for our photography as a gift.

7) Our sister-in-law and brother-in-law decided that she did not want a fancy wedding dress or a tux, so they wore more casual attire like a white sundress, pair of khaki paints, and a white dress shirt. They looked nice, it just wasn't a formal wedding.

Jenna's state park idea sounds good too. You'll have to prioritize if you have the bandwidth to do some things yourself and where you want to make the biggest investment with your budget.

Many local galleries and theaters rent their spaces for affordable rates.

The Rensselaer Historical Society has a lovely space with a nice side outdoor private veranda. $400 space rental.

You may also want to consider: The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Opalka Gallery, Albany Center Gallery, Bush Memorial Hall at Sage College, The Troy Public Library (upstairs space is GORGEOUS!).

The Ten Broeck Mansion and the surrounding gardens are available for rent for special occasions. www.tenbroeckmansion.org

My sister recently got married at Normanside Country Club. She was also looking for a beautiful venue that wouldn't break the bank. Normanside had everything she was looking for (including a tranquil patio view!!) and she had the perfect day! The rooms including the ballroom and bridal suite were absolutely gorgeous. The food was incredible. My entire family cannot say enough great things about this venue. Definitely worth checking out :)

I'm recently married and hopefully have some good tips to share! I didn't pay full price for anything from our venue to our vendors to what we wore. We gave ourselves plenty of time to plan and save. Most vendors offer discounts at Wedding Expos, so be sure to slog through those! Also many of my vendors offered Black Friday discounts.

It's hard to say what "affordable" means to everyone. But if you're thinking of a more "traditional" venue - be sure to check out off season discounts. Our venue offered a great package for the off season which typically runs from Nov-April. For the price, we got so so much! Everything was included and we didn't have to rent chairs, tables, linens, plates, bathrooms, etc. You'll also save money by choosing Friday or Sundays vs Saturday.


Buhrmaster Barn! Historic barn space for reception, really nice gardens, and space for the wedding party to prep in the downstairs rooms of the historic Pruyn House. I vaguely remember it being +/- $300 (this was several years ago)

good lord, nevermind re: Buhrmaster barn!! I just checked their website and either the price has gone way up, or I'm misremembering drastically. Still a great venue but apparently $2,700 now.

@turquoises - Whoa! You're not misremembering, it's gone way up. We were married there and it was much less expensive than that. (Can't remember specifically how much though.)

The University Club in Albany hosted our wedding and their prices are very reasonable. Beautiful old building with a bowling alley in the basement ????

I had my wedding in October 2016 at Cohoes Falls, at Falls View Park on North Mohawk Street in Cohoes. The park, that is adjacent to the power plant and the waterfall, is owned by National Grid (and not the city of Cohoes). They didn't charge us for the use of the venue, and they didn't force us to purchase insurance for the day (they said that they had their own; Cohoes City Hall said we would have to purchase insurance for the event if we had it on city property in a public park).

We had the reception at the West Albany Fire Company on West Sand Lake. They charged us about $400 for the use of their reception hall for 5 hours.

It was beautiful, overlooking the falls during peak fall foliage. Couldn't have been more happy with the outcome. We had no issue booking the venue several months in advance for the day and time that we wanted, and it didn't cost us a dime for the use of the park. We were one of three couples getting married there that day.

Here are photos of another couple that got married at that park in 2014. More photos can be found if you Google 'Cohoes Falls wedding'.

http://dexphotos.com/recent-work/wedding-photography/wedding-at-the-venue/

Re: price hike at Buhrmaster Barn. Maybe connected to barns being the new "in" wedding venue.

https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/05/why-barn-weddings-and-no-makeup-ceremonies-are-on-the-rise.html

The Wonan’s Club of Albany (725 Madison Ave) is a beautiful historic venue for rentals. Check out their website.

I am not sure what you consider to be affordable but the Shaker Heritage Barn is in the mid-range of costs for venues. The rental includes use of the 1916 Barn and the lovely grounds. It is located next to the airport and is close to several hotels that provide free shuttle service for guests.

http://shakerheritagebarn.com/

I looked at the barn at the Pruyn House 25 years ago and it was $10 per person then or, in my case, about $1200. That was too pricey for us and we went with the Shaker Meeting House out by the airport. It was inexpensive ($300) and perfect. The gardens made for some pretty pictures, too!

Are you in a religious community or are you friends with someone who is? In our church people often marry in simple weddings at our church building with the reception in the fellowship hall and don't pay anything for the venue at all. Even if you aren't a member it doesn't hurt to ask. Some churches see community use of their building as a form of outreach.

Friends of mine just booked with the Hilton Garden Inn Troy and it is super affordable for what you get. They waived the rental charges and have a garden area for the ceremony and then ballroom space for the reception. Everything is included and is under one roof which was very important to them.

best advice and idea I have come across - and please consider weddings have been a big part of my career;

1 - never mention its a wedding
2 - potluck style. have all guests bring a dish prepared by a restaurant. assign 'courses' to avoid having 30 trays of pasta.

Last year we got married at what was previously known as CAC Woodside - wonderful people to work with and pretty flexible.

Check out the Stockade Inn in Schenectady. We were married there in the Fall....Amazing venue, staff, location, and value.

Friends of mine held their reception at Schmaltz Brewery in Clifton Park. They opted for a food truck, and the food was served in a tent outside the building. (They had about 120 guests, but the space works well for a smaller group.) They got perfect weather, food was delicious and the wedding in general was casual.

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