Post # 1
This week I visited 9 possible venues. Some are immediately off the list, but after those I feel stuck.
Here’s the contendors:
1. Piedmont Community Hall: There’s a great redwood grove ceremony space (I absolutely LOVE IT … and so does fiance). There is a cute courtyard, and the hall itself is nice – not spectacular but not plain either. Fiance and I loved it so much when we visited (even though it was raining) that I took my mom there the next day. It wasn’t as magical a feeling, but I don’t know if it was because it was sunnier so there were other people around, if it was because fiance wasn’t there, or something else. The downsides to this venue: It’s more than we wanted to spend on venue alone and it’s in a public park. They put up signs to tell people to stay out, but there are a few yelp reivews saying not everyone listened. Can use any vendors.
Images from Here Comes the Guide
2. Wedgewood – Crystal Springs: Again, ceremony site is great. It overlooks a ravine – breathtaking. I’ve read that it can get very windy there. It’s also a mile away from the reception site, so guests have to drive. The reception room is blah to me – it looks very stereotypical cheapish wedding reception room. It’s hard to imagine personalizing it. So what’s still keeping this in the running? The price and the inclusive but customizable packages. It really feels like they will make the wedding what I want but with them doing most of the work.
Images from Wedgewood Crystal Springs Golf Course Website
3. UC Botanical Gardens: Redwood Ceremony Grove is AMAZING (possibly better than the redwoods at Piedmont except there isn’t a center aisle for me to walk down), reception space is kind of funky (not in a bad way – just unique). I think it could be super cute. Weather would be super unpredictable. Last June, there was one wedding there where everyone had to wear heavy coats and the next week it was in the 80s. You also have to pay for parking and the reception site isn’t near parking, so someone would have to drive the elderly guests to the reception, drop them off, park, and walk back themselves. Price is a bit more than I want to spend but not crazy more. Approved list of caterers.
Images from http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/rentals/facilities.shtml
Which would you do or would you keep looking? Why?
Also, how many places did you visit before deciding? I have a bunch more that I’ve looked up online and the obsessive part of my personality wants to visit all of them to make my decision, but I know that isn’t feasible. Advice?
Post # 3
The first one is amazing, I loved that picture.. Is it way out of ur price range?
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2013 - Pavilion at Rocky Neck State Park
The first one! It is so much more unique than the other two. It just looks so much more grand and open.
Post # 5
I love the first. However, if it is out of price range, I would say do the 2nd. You can dress up the room, do uplighting, and make it look better.
Post # 6
Post # 7
I don’t know if you’d want to spend this much, but from what I can tell you seem to be loving that great fusion of beautiful/grand nature scene with a beautiful/elegant sort of ballroom feel, maybe a country club would be a good way to go? I looked into one a while back that was really great and more affordable than some places and my guess is they would mind that people are not interferring with your wedding.
Out of the options though, not only does it seem like its an affordable option for you but it seems like you really feel that you will get what you want from the second option which is beautiful by the way.
Post # 8
I have to admit that the 3rd ceremony venue is the venue of my dreams, I would kill to be married surrounded by redwoods in just that way. That said, I vote for venue 1. You still get the redwoods, I really like the character of the reception hall, and I wouldn’t worry too much about strangers being around. Most people will respect that there is a wedding and won’t gawk too much 🙂
Plus, being able to choose your own caterer/etc might save you money in the long run!
Post # 9
in order of preference
allowing outside vendors is major pro in my book and i like the pics
edit – also the 2nd venue is windy. which means def cant have hair done, and even an updo would most likely be affected, even if you hairspray it into submission
Post # 10
Wow! So many quick responses.
@MrsRichard: According to The Knot’s budget tool, it is almost 6 times what I should spend on the venue (yikes!), but I do have a little wiggle room because of unexpected (and not yet set) contributions that my parents are going to make. I’m working on seeing where else I can cut costs to make it work!
@mandyhartwell: It is so grand and open! That is such a great way to put into words what I’m loving about it.
@gelaine22: Do you (or anyone else) have suggestions for what kind of things to dress room #2 up? It’s hard for me to think of things that won’t mess up the walls. Also, has anyone used uplighting at a daytime wedding? It seems more night time to me and we are definitely doing day time. Pictures?
@instantcoffee: Thank you for the suggestion. We visited there too. I love the inside, but not so much the outdoor ceremony space. Because I don’t qualify for the resident rate, it’s almost as much as Piedmont Community Hall, and I like there much better. If you have any other suggestions, though, I’d love ot hear them!
@mcp3x: Thanks for the country club suggestion – I’ll start checking some out!
@thepainter: @newname_99: Thanks for your input!
Post # 11
@DaniLyn: Most venues close curtains so it gets a different feel. That combined with the right lighting makes a HUGE difference. You can also get draping. However, keep in mind that you may end up spending a considerable amount to make the room look better to you so if that venue is not MUCH cheaper than I dont know if I would want to pay for all of that.
Post # 12
I love the forest type ceremonies. I really love the first option, but still i would keep on looking as well.
Post # 14
I voted for the second choice for these reasons:
1) That ceremony location is TO DIE FOR. Not that redwoods aren’t beautiful, but I live farther north than you, where there are redwoods in spades. The trees at the other ceremony sites are so dinky and small looking, it really doesn’t matter that they are redwoods. Basically, unless the redwoods are big and tall, I don’t see them as a huge advantage. And, especially if you specifically ask you photog to get good depth of field in your photos, shots of you and your Darling Husband with that ravine in the background would be amazingly romatic. Just amazing. I know a bit about photography, and if I had to chose a place for amazing ceremony photos, that would be it.
2) It’s in your price range, which will save you a budgeting headache later.
3) It seems like they offer better service there, and that will take care of things for you. That will save you so much stress, and I think dealing with the challenge of the reception hall is worth it. While I admit that the first option has a better reception site, it seems like you’d be paying more money to do more work yourself. The second hall, decorated how you want it, filled with your loved ones, will look amazing.
Post # 15
I love the first one Piedmont Community Hall. Both the reception and ceremony look stunning and welcoming. Plus the guests don’t have to travel too far between the sites.
Post # 16
I LOVE number 1 but I don’t think you should go significantly over budget. I voted number 3 because I agree, that reception area in 2 is very meh.