So, we have looked at a total of fourteen wedding venues over the last month. What we thought we would like, we really disliked. What looked iffy online, turned out to be beautiful in person. If anything, this entire search has been fascinating look into the importance of flexible business practices, superior venue maintenance, and incredible customer service, all covered with twinkle lights and the possibility of chair bows.
These things are insanely expensive. Seriously, I could think of so many more things on which to spend money…Pie, bourbon, capybara encounters…
Here is a list of every venue we have seen thus far:
- All inclusive wedding venue in the middle of tech industry central, vague Italian theme with possibility of fireworks. Truly did not expect to like it, and somewhat fell in love with its eclectic yet entirely neutral décor.
- A massive art gallery in the middle of a metropolitan city, in the arts section surrounded by new build luxury apartments and condemned/abandoned lots. Colorful street murals, colorful locals, possibility of finding human poop in public art display.
- Small, gorgeous botanical garden with historic buildings and views of desert. Site of our second date. Amazing. Expensive. Still amazing. Still way too expensive as would have to sell unborn children to pay for open bar at reception.
- Renovated historical building venue space and artist lofts on other side of metropolitan city, located between the police station, the courthouse, and the county jail. Huge cavernous spaces made of brick open to the sky and slightly terrifying elevators. Would need to import oak tree sized decorations to make place seem kind of homey. Used to be the site of large raves.
- At first glance, lovely 1920s home with palatial, classic gardens. At second glace, slightly decaying old home with serious lawn maintenance issues and a featured scum-filled mosquito pond for pictures. Additional feature of feral cats in bamboo forest. Would have liked to learn more, but staff so spastic they essentially locked us out of the ballroom and never offered us any information…OR CANAPES.
- Old orchard in the middle of nowhere with a cocktail barn full of chandeliers and a huge back patio. With the serious lack of restrooms, figure many bushes have been peed upon by drunken wedding parties. Reminds Pastry of his Midwestern roots and reminds me of my grandfather’s house in Colorado where I used to listen to the rain hit the tin roof of the barn. Lots of sparkle lights.
- Historic landmark of house converted into intimate concert venue with midcentury furnishings, professional lighting design, and the ability to bring in your own alcohol. Unmovable concert seating takes up majority of reception space and, upon seeing the back patio, I realized I had combined two different historical houses in my mind to create the perfect place…which was sadly, not this reality.
- Ultra-modern event space near a semi-hip historical downtown, multiple rooms all decked out in white and crystals. They served a mean cucumber martini (I approve), and fed us lots of carbohydrates even though majority of attendee brides looked like they had not had a carb in a year. No green anywhere. Seriously question if we are these kind of people, and simultaneously feel too cool and not cool enough for venue.
- Massive old estate way far north near the mountains, nestled in old orange groves. Great Gatsby themed wedding here would trump them all. Astoundingly awesome customer service and attention to detail. Any wedding here would be gorgeous and classy. Unfortunately, we really are not all that classy.
- Brand new rustic/ modern venue at base of large mountain, closest landmarks literally a ghost town and an abandoned tire shop. Got nail in tire actually on trip to venue and had a moment in which I had to go buy a bag of flaming hot Cheetos while Pastry tried to fix tire in gas station parking lot. Venue a nice mix of modern and rustic with the best view in the area. Only possible hotel is additional 10 miles away from town. Might lose guests in desert or hills. Venue actually provides security “in case anyone wanders off into the desert” (subtext to likely die).
- Massive museum far north of town featuring music related everything. Toured on a family day and got to witness many lost children, crying toddlers, and exhausted looking parents. Even though this is entirely in my wheelhouse, completely overwhelmed by collections. Venue is fancy performance stage which to me just feels like yet another concert. This place would make the wedding seem like a music gig to me, one that we were paying instead of them paying me to perform.
- Hidden garden right next to freeway built by former gardener over 30 years. It’s like TGIF Friday’s, Rain Forrest Café and a Mexican furniture store had a baby with a tropical garden. Completely bizarre and wonderful. As a venue, we worried we might actually lose guests among the giant chairs and random elephant statues. Too many drinks might also equal falling into a fountain or fighting a monkey totem.
- Super modern venue with fountains, patios, and two stories of blank spaces overlooking a beautiful, green park. Park is a special place to us both as when we started talking about this whole marriage adventure, we decided to go look at engagement rings. We went to appointment at a custom ring store and were stood up by the jeweler. So, we decided to make the best of the day, went to the local farmer’s market, grabbed iced coffees, and sat in the flower garden talking about all the things we want to do in our lives together. We then saw ducklings in a fountain, and Pastry got a semi-mortifying video of me squeaking in dog hearing range of how much I love baby ducks. Venue is directly across from that bench where we sat, and the city rents out the park for ceremonies.
- A large zoo toured on the hottest day of the year thus far. Saw many GIANT jackrabbits rustling in bushes, and literally no zoo animals beyond a couple birds. Possibility of reception in giant African tents (with sparkle lights). Venue tour possibly one of the sweatiest moments in my entire life.
“Whatcha lookin’ at, punk?” says the world’s largest jackrabbit. “I judge your appetizer and color scheme choices.”
And, today, we picked one. Any bets on the final winner?
Extra picture: Just because they are super cute.
BABY DUCKS. I LOVE THEM.