Post # 1
My fiance and I are struggling to decide between two different venues. They are very, very different! Except for price – there is only a $1,800 difference between the two. We are inviting about 175 guests and anticipate about 150 attendees. Our bridal party will have four bridesmaids and groomsmen, a junior bridesmaid, junior groomsman, two flower girls, and a ring bearer. Our style is traditional and classic.
The first one is the private club my family belongs to, the Glencoe Club (http://www.glencoe.org/). This venue would be more traditional. It’s a ballroom with an attached smaller room where you could put the dessert table, coffee and tea, late night snacks, etc. There is also an option to rent out the restaurant that is adjacent to the ballroom as a place where guests can have cocktails and appetizers (provided by us), and wander onto the balcony while the room is changed and we are taking photos. The club has two other restaurants and is close to lots of places to eat outside the club in case guests would like to do something different. We can decorate however we want since its a ballroom and there will be lots of room for everyone. A positive is that there are several windows – not always something you get from a ballroom! My parents love this place, as do it. The Glenoce seems like the safe option though. We know exactly what to expect and I’m worried it won’t feel special since we are there a lot.
The second venue option is an upscale restaurant here in town, the Lake House (http://www.lakehousecalgary.com). This venue is a rustic, lakefront restaurant that would certainly be an interesting location. There would be less decorating to do since it has gorgeous wood paneling and brick walls. The view can’t really be beat – lake view! My fiance and I love spending time in the mountains and this place seems very “us”. The downside is that the main room only holds 130 and that’s a tight squeeze. We would have to put some guests in the adjoining room. We can situate the head table so that they can see us but it will still feel like a bit of a separation. As well, the exterior is not as nice as the Glencoe. The restaurant is in a large parking lots beside a strip mall – doesn’t really set the wedding atmosphere. For the ceremony we would use the main room of the venue but there would be some tables off to the side – which doesn’t thrill me. And, after the ceremony, guests would be in the adjoining room but it’s quite small and would not fit everyone. Some of them could go on the balcony but only after they bring in the rest of the tables which will be out there during the ceremony. Also, they will be hanging out in a room which is completely ready for dinner – tables will be set. This also doesn’t thrill me. It would be nice if there were some high tables and perhaps soft seating for guests while they wait for dinner.
I don’t know if what I wrote above makes sense! Regardless, any thoughts or feedback would help us to make this decision!
Post # 2
courtneysokal: i would go with the Lakehouse – its nicer, more wedding-ish. the other one is too buisness-y
Post # 3
Which venue will photograph better? I read something somwhere and I really agreed with it – pick the venue for what’s on the inside, not the outside as those will be your photos and your lasting memories.
Post # 4
jamb: That’s a great consideration. When we were at the Lake House we were concerned by the light and reflections from the water and how that would affect angles for photographing.
Daizy914: Thanks for your input!!
Post # 5
I agree with picking the venue for photos, since that’s one of the few things you’re going to have left of your wedding day in a few years.
I second the Lake House. I had my wedding at a Japanese tea garden (outdoors and great little nooks / views), and everyone commented how pretty it was. Two daughters among our family friends / guests went the more traditional route, and from what I hear, people thought my venue beat theirs, hands down.
Plus, it’s just way more relaxing by a lake than in a ballroom. Couldn’t find too many photos on the website, but I saw a pool, sooo… It just seemed like it would have a harder time being festive.
I don’t think that reflections from the water are going to be a problem; we had a large-ish koi pond, and pictures near it are fine. And actually, we got a pretty cool picture specifically incorporating a reflection! Our photographer posted the photo to her Facebook page, and people commented on it. But if you’re worried, I’m sure your photograph can frame your photos differently so as to minimize glare and reflections.
Post # 6
courtneysokal: hmm tricky. I think I would choose the venue that would best accommodate my guests since whenever I see ppl pushed out to a side room I always feel a little bad for them and wonder who they made mad.
Post # 7
courtneysokal: go with the one where all your guests fit. Don’t assume how many people will actually come – we were really shocked at some of our responses (in both directions). You don’t want to be in a situation where you don’t have room for everyone or where people feel like second class guests because they’re in a different room.
Post # 8
courtneysokal: I think the Lakehouse looks great and the food looks amazing.
The one thing I would try to do, is somehow fit your table between the 2 rooms. As it looks like an L-shaped room, this could be possible.
That way there is no compromise!
Post # 9
courtneysokal: I think there’s no way you can or should pick the Lake House unless you cut your list considerably. Plan and book for 100% attendance-where would the guests who don’t fit at cocktail hour go? What if it’s raining?
Post # 10
carolinabelle: That is a very good point! There is a pub in the little community mall nearby but I highly doubt the older guests will want to go there.
We are going to look at the Glencoe again today – perhaps I’ll take some pictures because I realize the one’s on the website aren’t very good. It’s actually quite nice inside.
I know all the guests would fit at the Glencoe. I think they will fit at the Lake House but I really don’t want anyone to fee like they are in a second-class location.
Another thing to note is that my parents are not too impressed with the Lake House. They thought it was dark (the lights were dimmed) and that it wasn’t where they pictured me getting married so it’s tough to want to pick that place knowing their thoughts. I really loved it the first time I was there though and everytime I’ve visited since!
WHY IS THIS SO TOUGH!
Post # 11
courtneysokal: oh man, thay Lake House is beautiful!!!
The only thing concerning me is the room for your guests. I couldnt really tell from the pictures how “out” of the room they would be. Is actually a separate room or is the room just L shaped? If it is L shaped i would make it work.
Start putting your feelers out to see who may not be able to make it on your day. I agree that the club might not feel as special if you are there a lot. But you can decorate it so much you probably wont even recognize it!
but again, if you can make the guest seating work at the Lake House. I would do it!
Post # 12
Just an update ladies 🙂
Due to the size of the space, we are going with the Glencoe and have booked August 15, 2015. We have booked the ballroomf for the ceremony and the reception and will use the smaller room that is attached to the ballroom as a space for a dessert station, donut bar, chocolate fountain with fruit, coffes, and a loose tea station.
We have also rented out the pub that is in the club and will provide guests with food and drinks between the ceremony and reception. There are pool tables, darts, and tvs in the pub. We will be putting our favorite board games on some of the tables!
As well, we have rented out half of the bowling alley at the club so guests can play a game or two. We will have nachos and socks for them at the bowling alley!
I think it’s going to be lovely. My fiance and I are going to meet with a wedding planner this evening to discuss decorating services and ideas.
Thank you all for your help!!! The Lake House is gorgeous but just a bit too snug for our numbers 🙂