Friday, June 15, 2012

The Venue: Part 2

In my last post about venues, I described how we narrowed our list down to two venues that we would actually go and tour.

Personal image / The mom's driving us... like going on a date before you can drive... except, you know, to check out wedding venues. :)

So I'm not going to share the name of the venue here that we looked at and didn't love but let me just say, I was disappointed we didn't love it. Looking at photos, it looked like a beautiful space for a wedding but unfortunately, it just wasn't as magical in person.

*Special shout out here goes to my FFIL who totally called that we wouldn't like it. When I sent the two venues to them to check out prior to touring, FFIL said that this venue just really wasn't doing it for them because it just looked like an old building. I saw their point, but definitely thought we would like it more in person... I was wrong. Good call by my FFIL!*

So we went to the first tour (our venue! Eek!) and loved it. As soon as we got in the car, we all agreed that we loved the first venue. It was beautiful, exactly what I was looking for in both price range and style, and we were absolutely thrilled with the person who gave us our tour. The majority of the lunch break we took before tours was about how we would set up the day at that venue, where we would take photos, all of that. But regardless of our love for them, I still wanted to check out the second venue. My thought was basically if we don't tour it, I'm always going to wonder what if...

So off we went to our second tour. Immediately, I had a bad taste in my mouth. We entered the venue, which was pretty, and were taken to an office to talk before the tour. Unfortunately, that talk took a good 20 minutes... way too long, in our opinion. The owner of the building gave us a detailed history of the venue. Now, here's the thing - I'm definitely interested in the history, but we didn't come here to get the history! We came to see the venue. Give us a pamphlet about the history and take us on our tour. Not off to a great start.

As we were touring, I have to admit I did really like bits and pieces of the venue. We especially liked that they had a hair and nail salon in the same building, as well as really wonderful preparation areas for the bride and groom. Seeing the rooms, though, there were a few flaws that we just COULD NOT look past.
  • First, in all of the rooms except one (and that one we didn't like at all, it was just a plain, white walled room - more on that in just a second) there were pillars throughout the space. While the spaces were pretty, they screamed "reception" to us and not ceremony. There was literally no way to set up any of the rooms we liked so that everyone would be able to see us during our ceremony.
  • The white walled room I just mentioned? That's the "destination room." There, they fill up the room with sand and faux trees, project a picture of the ocean on the wall, and pipe in ocean sounds to give you a destination wedding. *scratches head* I'm sorry... WHAT? This is Indiana. If you want a destination wedding, hop on a plane and go somewhere with a beach! I understand that destination weddings can be expensive, but if you're in Indiana and want the ocean (or something similar), why not go up to Michigan and get married on one of their stunning beaches? Needless to say, the destination room concept didn't sit well with us...
  • Which leads me to my next point: we had a very, very different vision of what was "gorgeous" than the venue owner did. He kept talking about how "gorgeous" the destination room was and it made me really question his judgment.
After our tour concluded, we went back to the office where he said he would show us "a few photos." Before I go any further, I have to point out that pretty much as soon as we saw the final room, we were done and ready to go. I knew this wasn't the right space and Mr. Otter agreed, so we were just looking at photos as a courtesy.

At that point, the photos began. And they kept coming... and coming... and coming. I'm not kidding, we probably saw around 10 folders of photos and it took at least another 30 minutes! The photos weren't in a slideshow or anything, so at the conclusion of clicking through each album, he would have to go back and select another album... It was excruciating!

And again, he was sharing with us how "gorgeous" and "stunning" all of these tablescapes were... we just didn't like them. They were pretty much a dead ringer for the photo I showed of what I didn't want; tall centerpieces, busy tables, a linen plus chair covers plus sashes plus colored napkins... Just not our style. At the conclusion of the too long photo montage, he asked us if we would like to see a more complete price sheet, customized to what we were thinking for our day. We politely said no and ran out of there.

Phew! Someone tell me I'm not the only one who had a really, really bad venue tour? 

Up next: I'm sharing THE venue!

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