If you are looking for something untraditional -- and unforgettable -- look no further than Madison, CT. An easy drive (up Rte. 95) or train ride brings you to the only beachside restaurant/hotel in the metro area. The Madison Beach Hotel and adjacent Wharf restaurant offer a beachside lobster bake (indoors or out) with a dedicated event planner for much less money then any other place we looked at. The only ""catch"" is that you need to limit your guest list to 75 people... which can be a blessing in disguise if there are some people you don't really want to invite! The food was amazing, with lobster, steamers, and corn on the cob all cooked in the traditional New England clambake style (sand pit with seaweed). And the venue is literally steps away from the beach, which means awesome photo opportunities. There were other meal options for people who didn't like seafood, and all of it was absolutely amazing. They had some "extra" lobster, and brought the tails and claws to the head table. It was especially great for us because all our guests booked rooms at the hotel, so no one had to drive anywhere after the reception. We had a post-reception party at the less formal ""Crow's Nest bar/lounge that's connected to the restaurant, and had a casual brunch on the front porch (overlooking the water!) the next day, catered by the hotel free of charge (we brought our own mimosas). There is also an excellent florist right down the road, and a cute town to explore. Our wedding was amazing, affordable, and hassle-free.