Where should I host my Wedding, Graduation, Anniversary, Birthday, or Corporate Summer Party?

One of the most common questions we get is, “Where should I host my party?”  The answer may seem obvious, but there are actually many different factors that go into the perfect place.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

Hosting the party at your house:  Hosting your party at your house can be the best decision you ever make.  Think about it this way; at your house you don’t have to pay to rent space, you don’t have a set timeframe, and you don’t have restrictions with vendors.  You can use the extra money you save to add a bigger tent, upgrade your food, and use better vendors (photographer, DJ, etc).  Also if you have lots of friends at your event, you never have to let the party stop since you don’t have a time range for your rental.  You might be surprised how many Corporate Parties, Weddings, Anniversaries, Birthdays and Graduations we do at private residences.


Hosting the party at a public park:  Public parks can be both economical and beautiful, but with some restrictions.  For the most part, public parks are very reasonably priced.  They are also frequently in quite beautiful locations such as on the ocean/lake, in the woods, or just a lush greenscape.  And for Corporate parties, it is nice for families to be able to see their work friends and also have a place for their kids to play.  There are some negatives to weigh though.  One is that public parks can have many restrictions.  Generally you have a set time.  Most also do not allow for alcohol to be served (something a lot of private parties have).  Also you typically can’t set up a tent wherever/whenever you like (you may need specific tents to be delivered at specific times which increase the cost of rental).


Hosting the party at a lower cost indoor venue.  Lower cost indoor venues are places such as the Elks, Moose, and Knights of Columbus Lodges.  These places will come at a cheap price, and include things such as the Tables, Linens, and other items you would normally have to rent.  For the budget conscious they offer a great value.  However there are some negatives.  Typically they do not have as much outdoor space for guests to mingle on a nice day.  They also almost always require that they do the bar, normally at inflated prices (how they make their money).  But if these things don’t bother you, it can be a great way to save some money.


Hosting the party at a higher cost venue.  Higher cost venues would be the Estates, Castles, Manors, and other more established venues.  They will typically charge a large premium for rental (such as $5,000) but will offer many nice amenities.  Most will include a coordinator who can help guide you in the direction of Caterers, rental places, and the like.  They will also have a “WOW Factor” when guests see the beautiful site.  Negatives can include things like the overall cost, the restrictions on vendors, and the added cost in labor for the many rules venues place on vendors.  If the money isn’t an issue, and they allow the vendors you want, they can offer a truly magical party for both Private and Corporate clients.

Things to Think about When Planning an Event

When people call us who are planning an event for the first time, they often aren’t sure where to start.  It doesn’t matter if it is a Wedding, Graduation, Rehearsal Dinner, Birthday Party or Anniversary; a lot of the same details apply.  So here is a brief guide to help you through the confusion.

Have you set a budget:  Whether this is a small graduation party or an elaborate wedding, it is ALWAYS a good idea to have a budget.  Of course you won’t hit the nail on the head, but it will give you a framework to decide if you can afford those extra Hors d’Oeuvres, that tent, or upgraded linens

Do you have a rough guest count:  Guest counts are never perfect, but they are a starting point.  Be honest with yourself about how many people will actually show up.  If you invite 175 guests to your wedding, the odds of everyone showing up are slim.  Knowing your guests, try to imagine who will show and who will not.  This will give a better preliminary guest count, and help give a more accurate picture of your budget.  And as your event gets closer you can always change the count, even after signing the contract.

Have you picked a menu:  Here at Clambake Charlies we are very flexible.  If you don’t see the exact menu you are looking for, don’t worry.  We will gladly custom design any menu you want.  Want a Basic Clambake with Baby Back Ribs?  No problem.  Want an Ultimate Clambake but want Stationary Displays instead of the First Course?  Go right ahead.  Whatever you need, just let us know.

Do you need any rentals:  You might not know that we are VERY competitively priced on all the rentals you are considering.  If you have an Anniversary party in the middle of August, you might want a tent to provide shade from the scorching sun.  Worried about rain in June?  You can add sides to your tent.  Do you want a podium for your Wedding speeches?  Yup, we offer those.  Want to add some flair to your Buffet Tables?  Ask about our Contour Linens.

Are you serving alcohol:  When people plan Weddings they automatically ask for Bartenders.  What most people don’t consider is the risk of putting a bin of alcohol out at your Graduation or Birthday party.  Without a TIPS Certified Bartender and Liquor Liability Insurance, the homeowner is on the hook is anything goes wrong (underage drinking, someone trips in a pothole, etc).  So even if you don’t NEED a Bartender serving guests, it might be a good idea to think about one from an insurance standpoint.  Sometimes it is cheaper/easier to be safe rather than sorry.

Welcome to Clambake Charlie’s Blog

We specialize in catering Clambakes for Weddings, Rehearsal Dinners, Graduations, Family Get Togethers, Birthday Parties & Corporate Events.