Post # 1
My FI and I recently got engaged and are planning a wedding in 5-6 months. We’ve visited a lot of venues and found two we love – both of which happen to currently have our choice date open. They also seem like they’ll be of similar pricing. I know we have to choose quickly in order to get the date we want.
One venue is right on the water, has in-house everything, including wedding planners, florists, chefs, etc. The only things that would be extra would be photographer, officiant, dj or band if we wanted one instead of ipod, etc. We could get married in a beautiful park nearby (they’d come and bring everything to set up and tear down!) and then the wedding party could take a boat across the water (this would be an extra fee) and have a “send in” with the guests leaning out the windows of this place over the water throwing bio-degradable confetti with the photographers taking photos from the dock. If it was terrible weather, we could hold the ceremony at the reception venue as well. FI is part Persian and loves the idea of incorporating an entree or two from that culture into the dinner. This company actually has a Persian chef and they do many Persian weddings each year. I love the idea of having a place with everything do it and not having to do anything but the invites/place cards/etc. Also, the groomsroom is on a BOAT. How cool is that?!
The other venue is a historic mansion with sweeping staircases and marble floor. There are a couple of different rooms and the space is slightly bigger. We’d have the ceremony and reception here and the brides and grooms rooms are in two separate balcony areas with nice staircases (image the bride coming down a set of stairs and straight down the aisle to the altar! This mansion is gorgeous and doesn’t really need decorations to make it any better, so we wouldn’t need a wedding planner (like the one that comes with the other place). For a small fee, the caterer here could ‘outsource’ the Persian entrees from a local Persian restaurant so we could make FI happy! Oh, we know the manager of this place – thus why they are allowing us to outsource something to another caterer instead of their preferred caterer. They’ll also give us tables and chairs for no extra charge for a 200 person wedding, since we’re friends. They will hold the date for us until after the free tasting coming up next month so we can make a decision.
Both venues seem so great, I have no clue how we’ll choose. My mom, FI and I went to the first one yesterday. I’ve never actually been to the second one I described… my mom and FI are there currently while I’m at work. I’m getting text and picture/video updates as they go throughout the building and talk. Both seem great, but I’m afraid we’d lose the first venue if we wait too long for the tasting of the second one.
Did anyone else have two venues that were completely different but around the same price range that they loved? How did you decide?
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2014 - South Bonson Pier & Community Centre
@Nomster: wasn’t in the same situation, but they both sound beautiful! pics?
Post # 4
@Nomster: That’s tough! Since you haven’t been to the mansion, just a bit of advice that might help you decide. I really want my wedding at a mansion and luckily we have quite a few gorgeous ones around here. The problem in all of them was either a) no heat or a/c and b) the layout was not great. The reception area was like 3-4 rooms and the dance floor was always separate. So, if you were sitting at your table, you couldn’t see the dancing. If that is not a problem for you then great. Just wanted to let you know since that was a no-go for us.
Post # 5
FI and I were torn between two venues, too. We went back for a second visit to both of them on the same date (we had previously gone to each on separate weekends) so both were fresh in our minds. One was a botanic garden with different intimate spaces, had a very natural feel, and the reception would be in a glass building that’s used as a greenhouse during the winter. The other was a beautiful estate with a historic mansion and expansive, formal gardens and rolling hills. We basically went with our gut reactions of what felt more “us.” We both felt that the mansion was too “grand” feeling for how we imagined our wedding day. The botanic garden felt closer to who we are as people, and it had some small touches that really spoke to our interests, such as Latin phrases on the buildings, Greco-Roman style sculpture, view that’s similar to a sentimental place, etc.
If you’re having a hard time feeling that gut response, get a coin and assign heads to one venue and tales for the other. As soon as someone throws it in the air, call what you hope it will be.
Post # 6
Here is venue one (probably a little smaller than the other venue) and the view from it. It also has a nice appetizer hour area. The cool thing about this space is that they have over 80 sets of chinaware and we’d sit and talk to with them to decide on colors and shapes for all the napkins/silverware/etc (all included in the cost). It’s a lot more simple of a venue and the next space seems more glitzy.
Here is space #2:
@Kir32: Thanks for the heads up! I’ll have to talk to FI and my mom to confirm, but I’m under the impression that there are two main rooms and a courtyard. One room would serve as the ceremony site, then when dinner was happening in the other room the staff would change over the other room for dancing!
Post # 7
Does the mansion at least have a day of coordinator? I can’t say enough how INVALUABLE ours was, and did an amazing job, and was so so helpful. For that reason alone…I’d go with the first one! Plus it sounds unique.
But, it’s such a personal decision. You guys know what is best for you!
Post # 8
@TGold: Thanks for the input. I think I’ll talk with my mom and FI tonight about their reactions to the place. Our friends manage the second venue so are able to “hold” the date until the free tasting in January. I’m going to try and see if the other venue can also hold the date for a few weeks. If not, we’ll just have to talk it through and go with the gut feeling. I don’t think I could go wrong with either place!
Post # 9
@antisocialite: Yes, they’ll have someone doing day-of things like making sure everything is on time. They’ll have three staff from the building there as well as all the catering staff. My initial thoughts are that we’d have the wedding planner at the first place because it needs a lot of decorations to get all set, whereas the second place is so grand in itself that hardly anything is necessary.
Post # 10
The mansion sounds better to me. Bigger, bride/groom rooms, and less decorating/planning required.
Post # 11
what one is most easy to get to?
how is parking?
what one matches your colors the best?
who offers the best perks?
Post # 12
I would definitely go with the water option. There seems to be so many great benefits:
A beautiful variety of photo ops with the indoor and outdoor scenery. Love that!
I also like that the chef can authentically prepare in house the cultural items you want.
I am always fearful of long staircases when everyone is staring and there’s tulle in my face (veil)
Simplicity is sometimes the way to go. the fact that you both can add your own touches to make it yours seems ideal. In addition, if you guys aren’t already “glamorous” then it will cost you. Imo of course, you will need to do everything glam to coordinate with the venue. Think invitations, cake, etc. You can send DIY invites to a glamorous mansion wedding. It just seems off.
Either way, you’re winning! As they both sound amazing!
Post # 13
We had a similar problem. We found two venues, both literally on the same road, 15 minutes apart. One is a winery on the beach. The other is an old turn of the century stone pavilion with a huge, gorgeous park on one side, and a beach on the other side of it. We actually ended up booking the ceremony at the winery, and the reception will be at the pavilion so we get the best of both worlds (granted, this was cheap for us to do, total will be $1100 for both venues). I don’t know if that’s an option for you guys?
Personally, I would chose the first one, but I’m biased and I love any venues that are on the water.
Post # 14
Yep one was a Victorian Mansion and the other a botanic garden. In the end we decided based on reviews of the venue, menu options, open bar cost (one venue was significantly higher than the other), and reviewed all the little expenses that could add up at both places. We actually ended up making a chart comparing the two item by item for cost and which we liked at what place more and then decided from there.
Post # 15
We eventually made a list of what we really felt we HAD TO HAVE. It helped us to kick some venues out of the running. When we got down to the final 2-3 we just compared what they offered and menus and guest comfort and then chose one.
Post # 16
Thanks everyone! We’re going with the waterfront one – just seems a bit easier, cheaper, and there’s less for me to stress about. 🙂 Haha.
Thanks for all your tips!