Monday, March 10, 2014

A Simple, DIY, Hudson Valley wedding - picking a venue

We began a Hudson Valley Wedding series earlier this year and now Amber is back to discuss finding a venue in the Hudson Valley. Read her introduction post to learn more.

Poet's Walk (Red Hook, NY) by Thomm Quackenbush

One advantage of having a wedding in the Hudson Valley is the huge variety of venues that could fit whatever your heart desires. There is everything from small outdoor parks to buildings that might as well be castles (there might be actual castles, really). So, how do you choose?

Pearl Tassel Earrings, 1920s Earrings by merryalchemybridal

For me, I already had a few requirements for a venue before I started looking, and gained a couple while looking, that definitely helped narrow down my options. The place had to be:

1) mostly outside (with the ability to put up a large tent or an inside option in case of rain.)

2) I didn't have to use their caterer/wedding planner/etc.

3) In the general vicinity of $2,000-$5,000, depending what was included.

4) Some indoor bathrooms, even if just for me and the wedding party.

5) A place to stay for the weekend - or longer.

6) Near a body of water would be great.

7) Free for my wedding date. (You can also choose your date based on the venue, I just choose the date first)

8) Fit around 100 people.

9) a BBQ! or place we can set one up.
BBQ Rub - 6 oz by RockerboxGarlic

So, as you can see, there are a ton of things to think about when choosing a venue. At the very least, you should have an idea what you want your wedding to feel like, especially when it comes to formality (generally, inside is considered more formal) and have an idea how much you want to spend as it’s easy to get your heart set on a venue only to find it’s twice as much (if not more) than your budget. It’s also good to have an idea how much work you want to do. There are some venues that will do everything for you and others that leave it all up to you. If you are looking for something less formal, on a low budget, and don’t mind some work, keep in mind friends' and family’s backyards - or even local parks, generally they only charge a few hundred but you might not be able to have alcohol or have to leave at sunset.  And keep in mind that, if you're renting a tent, tables and chairs, they generally don't deliver on the weekends, so you'll need the venue to be okay with delivery on Friday and pick-up on Monday for a weekend wedding.

Bird Necklace * Copper Swallow Necklace by ScrapsandPaper

Whatever it is you want, try not to fall in love with a venue that doesn’t fit all your needs, unless you’re so in love with it that it’s worth changing your plans. Even if your needs seem impossible to meet as mine certainly did, the perfect - or nearly perfect- place is out there, just keep looking!

Ring Bearer Pillow Embroidered White Brocade by HuzzahHandmade

For me, after a few inquiries to local farms, B&Bs, and other such places, I came up with either no response or something incredibly out of my price range (one was $5,000 to use the property, not including any rentals or a place to pee, let alone stay - oh, and some of the info they sent was about how it’s impossible to have an awesome wedding for under $30,000 and that you have too meet with their wedding planner who would help you budget). Eventually, I read an article mentioning websites where people rent out their homes (or second homes) for vacationers to stay in - and some allow weddings! After basically messaging everyone in the Hudson Valley on who looked like they might have a big enough backyard, I found a few that would do and one that was just perfect! We visited and placed a deposit.  I was also incredibly lucky that I contacted her when I did, as she was intending to change the minimum rental to a month, but put it off as not to disappoint a bride!

So keep your eyes open! Anywhere you look could be the perfect place for you and your love to get married and, if you look in unexpected places, you’ll often be rewarded with a lower price - though possibly more work - but a certainly unique experience. Good luck!



  1. There are also tiny nature conservancy spots that might be available to rent. Places that you can hire for birthday parties for kids would likely be able to accommodate a wedding too. Then if you do something outside remember to have a back up plan for rain!

  2. Your wedding sounds like it will be fun Amber! Nothing like a BBQ wedding! :)

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