Saturday, March 20, 2010

This Venue's Too . . .

Why must the first wedding decision you have to make --the venue-- be the decision with the most long-term consequences? Your venue dictates the 'feel' of your wedding, if it's going to be outdoors or inside, how many people you can invite, and so many more important issues! It seems that you should be eased into weddings . . . like choosing your cake flavors first!

After the pin-ster and I had been engaged for about 9 months, we decided it was (finally) time to crack down on the venue choice. We scoped out locations online and narrowed our options down from approximately one kajillion to a handful of possible locations. We didn't call ahead, or set up any appointments to meet with coordinators. We just winged it (wung it?) on our own, rogue-style.

Our first stop was Hacienda de las Flores in Moraga (due east of Berkeley). The location was beautiful, flowers were blooming everywhere (I guess the "Flores" part of their name is true), and the grass was Wizard of Oz-technicolor green.

The ceremony site (set up for an upcoming wedding)

Looking good, my man!

The inside was small (yes, we snuck in . . . the door was open [shh, don't tell])

Though the site was very pretty, as the sun moved overhead, it got hot. Shirt sticking to your back hot. And we just not going for the "very very dewy look" on our wedding day. Moraga can get hot as hades in the summer, so after checking the place out, we decided that . . . this venue's TOO HOT.

We took our dripping selves back to the car to head to the next stop (after re-fueling at Taco Bell for some double decker tacos!). Piedmont Community Hall is a city owned (read: bargain price) location which looked promising.

You can have your ceremony in front of the groovy fountain.

The reception area looked bodacious. Big windows, high ceilings, old chandeliers. (Photo taken spy-style [through the windows], due to the whole not-calling-ahead thing.)

The Pincushions liked the Community Hall, but we didn't like that being city-owned, it was open to the public. That meant that during our wedding, we could have extra 'guests' (strangers) roaming by our ceremony, or peeking their heads into our reception. That was a deal breaker for us. So, this venue's . . . TOO CROWDED.

Lastly, along Highway 1, we visited Cypress Meadows in Half Moon Bay. It looked promising on the website. I'll show you the photos we saw of the site online first:

Fab view during the day

and the night. Wowza! [Source for both]

Now here is what the location looked like when we visited. You might noticed a slight difference between their photos and ours. . .

The view when you drive up to the site. Looked just like a house to us.

And in the back, instead of an awesome view, we found this (after peering over a fence). . .

Lots and lots of fog.

We should have known that with the site being right along the coast, fog could be a big problem. We got there in the early evening and it was frigid already. So, Mr. Pin Cushion and I decided that . . . this venue's too FOGGY!

After a day of "not-quite-right" locations, we were a bit discouraged. Did any of you find sites that you liked, but something was not quite right? What were venue deal breakers for you?

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