It was close, folks. Right down to the wire. But the Arabian Horse Inn surprised us all.
Elm Bank started to pull ahead at the last turn, with some lovely pictures of what Paul and I designated when we saw it a "very plain" function room. Turns out that with a little decoration and the right lighting that place spiffed up. I was going to call the man back if we didn't love the Arabian Horse Inn, which we saw on Saturday.
Garden in the Woods also gave a wonderful showing, running strong throughout the race, and leading most of the way. But the worry that high heels would get caught in the woodchips (like horses' hooves getting stuck in the track after a day's rain) was its ultimate downfall. I have to say, though, for anyone reading this and planning their own wedding in the Metrowest area, you couldn't find a more flexible place than Garden in the Woods. Bonnie Drexler should really be commended for her conduct. She did everything she could to accommodate us. It just turns out that many guests would find the woodchips hard to walk on -- no fault of Bonnie's. It's a great place, though, for a casual wedding in the woods.
But they say you just know when love is right... Apparently that applies to both love and wedding venues, because we met Joan Beers at the Arabian Horse Inn and walked the grounds and saw the house (not to mention the horses!) and by the time we walked back to our car, we were ready to walk right back in and give her a deposit check. "Let's sleep on it; Sept. 1 won't disappear before tomorrow," my wise fiance advised. So we did. And we talked that night and tried to poke holes in the venue and the scenario, but we just couldn't. The place is perfect for us. It has a meadow and tree swings and a little bridge over a brook and a pond and horses (which was, frankly, just a bonus). The ceremony will be (weather permitting) on the lawn and a tent will be set up next to the barn, between two strong trees, for the reception. Kids will be able to play and run around and feed carrots to the horses and walk the wooded trail around the property and swing. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll get to do all that, too! The swings will be GREAT for pictures, too.
Bonus is that it's about 15 minutes from our house -- right in Sudbury. Bonus also is that Joan Beers, wedding consultant and co-owner of said Inn, is a sweetheart. She truly wants to make sure everything that day is as we want it. And there's no cut-off time to the party, per say, as she only allows one wedding there per day. It's going to be a fun ride, working with Joan!
So, Brett, turns out we're both getting married at an inn in the same summer. Go fig! At least we live in different states now (could be worse -- could be the same inn)! And I'm not, as you feared when we were little kids, following you around. It just turns out our tastes are somewhat similar, I guess... Must be that sibling thing.