We just took a trip to visit our number one venue! We are pretty sure this place has everything we want as far as holding a ceremony and reception, as well as accommodating our guests!
We met with the woman who was to show us around, and we followed her to the barn and farmhouse in a remote location. This is a huge plus for us, as we hope to have an outdoor wedding, we know that we will remain mostly undisturbed. We are driving down a small country road, and looking up, at the top of the hill is this adorable farmhouse and barn.
The day after Mr. Snapdragon proposed (after the initial shock wore off), I began staking out potential venues for our wedding. Although I’m originally from Ohio, we both knew we wanted to get married in Milwaukee – the place we fell in love and our favorite city in the world. So I visited website after website to check what would suit us best – with location, price and style in mind.
After much scouting, I ran across a familiar building – the South Shore Pavilion, a beautiful space owned by the county parks system right on the shore of Lake Michigan – not to mention, less than half a mile from our house! The price was right, the setting was perfect and the fact that we would be able to use any caterer and other vendors we wanted sealed the deal.
I called just after Christmas to check 2012 availability and was informed South Shore was all booked up. Although it seemed so far away, right there and there I asked when I could book for 2013. The woman on the phone told me if I called the morning of January 3rd, I’d pretty much have my choice of any date of the year. So at 9:30 a.m. on the 3rd, I called. Sure enough, May 18th was all ours. I was a little sad we’d have to wait a year and a half to get married, but our little hearts were set on the venue, and we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. We’d be fine with a longer engagement. That’s what I kept telling myself.
Did I mention we’d never set foot inside South Shore Pavilion when I booked it for our wedding? I’d done a lot of research up to that point, going through photos online and checking reviews and message boards; and from the amazing photos and the outstanding reviews of the space (not to mention, its price can’t be beat!) I was not shy about pulling the trigger before seeing the venue in person.
Our relationship has never been traditional in the way of following typical timeline protocol (i.e. buying a house before getting engaged), so our wedding planning probably won’t be too standard, either. So a couple of weeks after we had the space reserved, Mr. Snapdragon and I thought it’d be a good idea to get a look at it. Continue Reading
As a born and bred Cape Town girl who now finds herself settled in the land of Red, White and Blue, it was only natural for me to have my wedding in Cape Town. Yes, this does, in a sense, mean a destination wedding and it also means dragging a large portion of the guest list across the globe to have them celebrate with me.
This thought excites and terrifies me at the same time; but Cape Town is a city so close to my heart and is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world and so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share it with my new friends and family.
When it comes to planning a Cape Town wedding you really have two options for your backdrop. Wine lands or Seaside. Once you have made this decision the planning may commence…
I opted for seaside.
Yesterday Violet Dude and I, along with our mothers and his grandmother, went to visit the place that I thought might end up being our reception venue. We toured the place, and although there are a few things we’re going to have to do to make it all come together (i.e., chair covers and replacing styrofoam cake plates with china ones) I am really excited about it.
We only went to two places in our search for a venue because there were only so many places within our budget and within the area we were looking. We have to not only stay within budget, but we also have to be in a fair location where the distance is the same for both of our families. My mother-in-law-to-be actually sent me an e-mail with a link to SYB Party Center in Stow, and at first I was a little skeptical because I wasn’t really sure about the location. Fortunately it turned out to be half-an-hour for us, my family, and his family…all coming from different directions!
So, we went to visit the hall and after seeing it and their prices, I had my mind pretty set on what we were going to do. The “nail in the coffin” so to speak was when the woman showing us the hall uttered four words…”Tax and gratuity free.”
I had never really thought about it, but after I got home and added up the numbers, an 18% tax and gratuity fee can add upwards of $1,500 to an otherwise “cheap” venue. Fortunately for us, our hall is owned by a not-for-profit organization which means that our reception would be almost like a “donation” and thus tax free! We’re also helping out Stow Youth Baseball (I always wondered what SYB stood for!) which is awesome as well.
So, a warning to those of you just beginning to look at venues…don’t forget to add in that 18% because that can be a huge budget buster if you forget about it like we did. And be sure to see if there are any not-for-profits in your area with halls like ours!
So, our long search for a venue is over…now on to the less stressful parts of wedding planning!
Disclaimer: this post is chock-full of information! So grab some coffee or tea and a comfy chair.
Exactly twenty days after John and I were engaged, we signed the contract for our venue and put down the deposit. In fact, we had a walk-through of the location nine days after we decided to get married. It is an absolutely gorgeous space and I still have glorious dreams about it. But I must make a disclaimer with all honesty, now that we are almost seven months removed from when we signed the contract.
John and I were too hasty in choosing our venue.
We wanted a location that was unique, beautiful, and had a barn. A barn? Yes, I said it, a barn. Does a place like this exist in Colorado that isn’t a several hour drive away and isn’t run down by time and neglect? Yes!
Our ceremony will be held at the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield. Without further ado, I present the barn! We won’t be getting hitched in the barn, but it is going to be wonderful for some photos.
Early in my searches, one of the first places I considered was Danversport Yacht Club. However, their main ballroom was booked for all of the summer months of 2012, and the minimum was more than I wanted to spend. At this point, I decided to re-visit DYC because they do have another ballroom that I had not previously considered.
|Image courtesy of Danversport.com
The photos really don’t do it justice…the property is gorgeous and well-kept. After a site visit with my MOH in tow, we decided that this location had more of what I was looking for, and the minimum was right where I needed it to be! The catch was … they didn’t have June 16. The next available Saturday that they had was July 14. After a quick call to our church, confirming they had 7/14 open, we decided to change it. I still needed Keith to come and look at it for his final approval, but with my upcoming weekend trip, we wouldn’t be able to go back until Tuesday to put the deposit down. The wedding coordinator told me that they couldn’t hold the date (some weird policy) but assured me four days wouldn’t be a problem, and that they didn’t expect/anticipate someone else to booking that room in that time frame. So I left …. a little wary, but excited.
Violet Dude and I are currently on a search for vendors. Since we are still a while away from our wedding and we’re both currently going crazy with school, it’s been a weekend thing for the last couple of weekends. We’ve gone to one venue and interviewed three different photographers.
The venue was pretty awesome, but he definitely wants to go see a few more just to compare before we settle down…which is understandable. The three photographers were all very good, we liked some more than others, but I enjoyed meeting with all of them.
Here is where my problem is, I’m just too nice. We have one more meeting with one more photographer, even though I’m completely ready to sign with one of the ones we already interviewed. I don’t know if I should go through with the meeting and give the other photographer a chance, or if I should just cancel the meeting and go with the photographer we like. I also am getting sick to my stomach just thinking about when I’ll have to e-mail the other two photographers and tell them we aren’t going with them. I absolutely hate the feeling of disappointing people, and although that’s just part of their business, I honestly hate the idea that I have to tell them we aren’t choosing them. With an unlimited budget, I would choose all of them, but that obviously isn’t an option.
So, for those of you who, like me, hate making people sad or disappointed…how did you write your rejection email? Did you give a reason as to why you weren’t going with them or did you just say you had chosen someone else? Put me out of my misery, please!
The venue that Morning Glory Bear (MGB as I will put him for short) and I picked to have our ceremony and reception is a nice waterfront venue tucked back in a neighborhood. It actually used to be a crappy little restaurant/bar and the catering company bought it and completely gutted and remodeled the place. I love the view and it will make for some great photo ops, but I’m worried about the lack of variety and creativity available for pictures after the ceremony. Since 75% of the venue is physically on the water (see below for picture) it’s literally just the docks for pictures. There’s no beach or really anywhere to go on-site to make for different pictures.
Copyright Cesar Chavez Photography
So, basically MGB and I talked about going offsite after the ceremony to take our bridal party/family pictures. Luckily, there is a nice park about 5 minutes away with a beach, pavilion and another dock to take pictures at. I was worried about finding somewhere that was close enough to not take time away from the reception time and was pretty enough to allow the photographer some creative leeway. In my nervousness to make sure everything goes according to plan, I don’t want this to end up being chaotic! I still want to do pictures at the venue on the docks, especially something like this at the end of the night.
We are nearing the 8 month mark! With each day that passes, I am getting more and more excited. And also realizing all of the things we have left to do. Even with that thought, I still feel like we’re pretty ahead of the game. Speaking of a game, that is the same thing that is putting a bit of a damper on our rehearsal dinner plans. Let me explain…
A few months ago, Christian Morelein, a local Cincinnati beer brewery, announced that it was opening a brand new Lager House downtown at a new riverside development called The Banks. As soon as we heard the news, Apricot Dude and his parents immediately investigated as we are all huge Christian Morelein beer fans, plus the location would be fantastic for a rehearsal dinner. Sure enough, we managed to contact a manager and discuss some options. They will have private dining areas and a full dinner menu. It sounds like the perfect place! Great location, fun atmosphere, good beer and good times!
Lager House model- coming 2012!
Greetings to everyone! I’m so excited to be blogging for Bridal Buds!
Well Mr. Pom and I have been engaged since the beginning of May and will be getting married early next June. I’m pretty positive that up until a month from the wedding, planning anything with his input will be “too early.” And I will be trying to “plan too much out ahead of time.” Anyone heard those phrases yet?
All joking aside though, we got engaged on Lake Winnipesaukee, where we have been going for three years for a half marathon I run. Since the lake holds a special place in our hearts we decided to also get married there. We picked Naswa resort because it had the perfect combination of laid back/tropical and just enough formal air about it. As an aside, the first place we thought about getting married at was actually to be torn down the following summer, oh the joys of wedding planning!
So why am I telling you all of this? Well, and I’ll get into the dress buying more in a later post but, in my opnion you MUST pick the venue before you pick the dress. If I had been nuts enough, and I was on the verge, and bought the dress that was oh so cute but which weighed 20 pounds and in which I couldn’t raise my arms in I would be pretty peeved because upon seeing our location the dress would not have fit the setting at all.
So here it is, in all of it’s glory, Naswa resort where our ceremony and reception will take place!
Have you experienced any issues with buying a dress BEFORE picking the locaiton?