Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sandy Burr -- booked

Sandy Burr looks beautiful, but I called the director of events and she said the place is booked for 9/1. Of course it is! But she was very nice about it, so much so that I told her I'd consider looking at Sandy Burr for a future event. And I meant it.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Garden in the Woods -- better than I thought!

I've loved Garden in the Woods for nearly 6 years. It's one of the best kept secrets of Metrowest, except to its faithful members and visitors.

It's so much different in the winter than in the summer, when everything is abloom. (Say it -- abloom -- it's a fun word.) So Paul and I stretched our imaginations again this afternoon when we went to visit. Bonnie Drexler, one sweet and helpful person, might I add, but also the program and volunteer manager at the Garden, showed us around a little bit today. They are building a new stage area in the old nursery section (which has been moved to a farm the New England Wildflower Society just bought near Deerfield) and have planned seating for up to 150 people, Bonnie said. The fee for a ceremony and a reception is a modest $1200.

The area will be lovely. We are sure of it. The minor sticking point is having the reception inside. The education center would be the backup and I have to say, not a fancy one. We saw photos of previous wedding setups there and really, it'd take some decorating.

Of course, we could always rent a tent and put it up if it says it might rain. Paul thought of having the reception outside -- setting up tables behind the new theater, which I thought was a great idea. So that may be a good option.

Also, Paul mentioned that we may want to put on the invites "bring a pair of walking shoes to walk the trails." It would be a wonderful thing to see people enjoying the rest of the Garden, as it is one of the most relaxing and naturally magnificent places I know of around here.

Garden in the Woods is right at the top of our list.

Now to call the Warren Center and see if it's available on Labor Day weekend Saturday and how much it would cost. Because that was a nice place, too, with an indoor setting with charm and appeal.

I've also written to the owners of the Arabian Horse Inn to see if we could take a tour on Saturday.

Wish us luck that we can get a decision made and a deposit down before we head out on our vacation next week!

Did you plan an outdoor wedding and it rained? What did you do?

Tower Hill -- out

We went yesterday to see the place. It was beautiful. But the events coordinator there still hadn't returned my email from Saturday. "Maybe she's on vacation," I thought. So I email her again this morning and get a call from her about noon. When I ask if Sept. 1 is open she gives me a snooty "Ha! This year?!" I thought I heard something about no snoots. Tower Hill's out. They can keep their gorgeous Orangerie and we'll keep our $4800. Yup, just for the pleasure of renting the space for 5 hours. I think we'll do better things with our money, actually...

I said to Paul this afternoon, "What's really important about that day? It's that we can celebrate with our friends and family, not to spend a whole lot of money for the pleasure of having it in the prettiest place around. It's not worth the money." Sometimes I think he loves me a little bit more when I'm a cheapskate like he is... ;-)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The date/venue update

People keep asking us if we have decided on a date for the wedding yet... And the real answer is "We're hoping for Sept. 1," but we can't say anything definitively yet because we need to have a venue booked before we can arrange pretty much anything else. So the venue hunt is the first and most important thing right now.

Of course, that doesn't prevent all the other little details from fluttering around my brain in the meantime.

We went to see four places on Sunday with Ryan and Alice. Elm Bank had lovely grounds, very open fields. But the function room was very plain, even though they had a tent extension to one of the sides. It would take a LOT of decorating.

My initial worry about Broadmoor was right on -- very woodsy. Which is nice, except there's no place big enough for 80ish guests for either the ceremony or the reception. There's hardly even room enough for a tent to be set up.

We went to see Sherborn Inn on the way to see the Warren Conference Center. Elm Bank, Broadmoor and Sherborn Inn were all surprisingly close to each other -- like a mile or two. Anyway, Sherborn Inn does have a wonderful setting. The woman who helped us and showed us around also clued me into the Director of Events' "almost obsessive compulsive" personality -- which I just LOVED. It means she'll make sure everything will be perfect, which is usually my job and I'll be happy to give it up on our wedding day! I wanna be worried about my smile, not how straight the napkins are. ;-) There's a big open area outside (with trellis), so we could have the ceremony out there and the reception inside. It's a charming inn.

Then we headed to the Warren Conference Center and Inn. Lots of land and lots of outdoor ceremony possibilities. The function room was also nice. Not fancy or charming, although not as plain as the Elm Bank room.

I've also added a few places to our list of possibilities, namely Hunt House Inn and Arabian Horse Inn, both of which are very close. Hunt House may not have a place big enough for a reception for the number of people we want to invite, but we'd have to look at pictures of previous weddings there and see the place before we make a judgement call.

Paul and I are going tomorrow afternoon to scout out Tower Hill, which is probably my first choice at this point. I'm not sure if they even have the date open, which is key, but it'll be worth a look. Tower Hill is about 30 minutes from our house.

Garden in the Woods is also a possibility -- the woman there called me back yesterday and seemed very eager for us to take a look around. Apparently they are building a new mini-stadium that would hold up to 150 people, so I'll be anxious to see this new space. We have an appointment to see the place with fresh wedding-venue-hunter eyes on Thursday afternoon.

I'd like to get this part of the wedding planning process nailed down before we leave for our vacation (we're off to Cancun with Ryan and Alice). If we could have a deposit down somewhere, I'd feel better and wouldn't worry about the wedding plans when we're away.

Wish us luck with Tower Hill... ;-)