We are having a small affair for our wedding, around 80 people, and we're having a hard time finding a place to accommodate us. Most venues want a guarantee of at least 140 people! We're looking to keep the budget down — and also have some space to dance! Do you know of any places? --Kimberley, Smithtown
Finding a wedding venue that has everything you want for your big day can be a challenge. Because venues typically want a minimum guarantee, holding smaller weddings can sometimes lead to frustration when the amount of people you must guarantee exceeds your actual guest list! In search of venues that hold around 100 with a budget in mind (as well as some room to dance), I’ve found a few options that may be to your liking:
Bailey Arboretum in Locust Valley: If you’ve never paid a visit to this Arboretum, you should do yourself a favor and check it out. The grounds are absolutely beautiful, and they do hold small weddings for a very reasonable cost. With this venue, you can choose to have your wedding indoors or have a tent on the grounds of this location. The maximum capacity for a wedding at the Bailey House is 100, which is close to the number of guests on your guest list. Be sure to check out baileyarboretum.org for more information.
The Hedges Inn in East Hampton: Quaint and lovely, the Hedges Inn is a small venue that can hold 115 guests for your wedding day, with beautiful gardens that are perfect for photo opportunities. You and your fiancé can even stay on the grounds that night, as this place is an inn. If you’re interested in this spot, go to thehedgesinn.com for more information.
Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor: Though this venue can hold up to 140 guests, the spot itself is very intimate. Sitting on 145 acres, the view of gardens and rolling lawns and meadows simply can’t be beaten. The site fee comes in under budget, and is a unique and memorable choice. For more information on this venue, go to the nassaumuseum.org for details.
Veatch House Mansion in Shelter Rock: Having the ability to accommodate groups of various sizes, this spot, located within the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, is a hidden gem. The spot is extremely versatile by giving you the luxury of having an indoor/outdoor setting. That way, you can enjoy dinner within the venue, and still have plenty of room outdoors for dancing! If you’d like to look into this spot, visit uucsr.org for details.
One last suggestion? Be sure to look into the vineyards along the North Fork. Several have relatively small site fees and a maximum capacity of 150 or less. The views speak for themselves, and a tent rental wouldn’t deplete your budget.
Most importantly, research spots that best represent you as a couple. Making sure you stay authentic and true to who you both are will help create guidelines for planning all of the other aspects to your wedding.