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Monday, April 25, 2011

Who Wants To Be My Venue? Part Two.

When I left off, I had narrowed down my list of potential venues to three, yes 3. I was very eager to take the next step and actually look at them. I will admit I was a tad jealous of other brides who had a lot longer list and I was a bit nervous that my venue list only included three, what would we do if those three weren't what we wanted...or too expensive...or ended up not wanting to accommodate our requests. The venues have a lot of power over the direction of a wedding.

My mom and I scheduled the first meeting and went together because Mr. H was unable to get off work at that time. My mom had spoke with the lady and outlined our thoughts: winter wedding, outside, 150ish guests, doggy in attendance. On the phone she said "Not a problem, we can work with this".

We drove 10 miles west of Durango to Kennebec Cafe, a charming cafe nestled at the base of the La Plata mountain range. I adore this cafe, their food and atmosphere. She had just added on and finished a full wrap-around patio outside: bonus. The inside was open and modern, with fireplaces scattered throughout.

Image via Kennebec Cafe's website

We arrived and sat in the entry area for 15 minutes waiting for the lady, apparently she forgot and went on a quick walk: strike one. We did a walk through of the building and she proceeded to ask us the exact same questions my mom had gone over with her on the phone: strike two. She then told us that only half of the restaurant would be available at the time of our wedding, making it only able to hold 50 people: strike three. You'd think after three strikes we'd be out like trout, but we stayed and filled out an 'application'. That's when strike four occurred, her menu prices. Being that this is a restaurant, she obviously does the catering herself, which was fine so we discussed our desire to have a casual dinner. And the casual menu cost per head? $20 to $30. I don't think we could have gotten out of there fast enough. On to venue number two.

We scheduled our next two visits the same day because they were in the same area. The first was a recommendation from a family member who had been to a birthday bash at this private home mansion, called the Retreat at Thunder Ridge. The couple was in the beginning process of offering their home as a wedding venue, but we would be the first to get married in the winter. This home is spectacular:

 Image via Thunder Ridge website
The couple actually provides this home as a retreat for ministries. Because of this I was actually a little hesitant; we are not a religious couple at all, and we didn't want someone else to have expectations of how we should be married. The couple was incredibly nice and accommodating and shared pure joy with our vision. They were okay with the pooch and were on board for the outdoor winter ceremony. Their home in winter? To die for:
Image via Thunder Ridge website
Then we started talking logistics. This is going to be a party, and we have friends (including us!) who like to celebrate with plenty of libations. We like loud, booty shaking music. They weren't really on board for Jager shots or hard alcohol period. Mr. H really enjoys Jager. They also wanted all of our guests to take their shoes off when in the mansion. I understand their concern, it being winter and potentially muddy out and they had beautiful wood floors from some far off land. It just wasn't going to fly because we like liquor and we would prefer our wedding photo album to not include our guests socks. The other kicker for me? This guy was a world traveling big game hunter and he liked to proudly display his 'kill's' on every.inch.of.wall space. Me in my prettiest on my wedding day, with a dead zebra/bear/big horn sheep in the background is not what I picture. Although it works for some couples who can rock the look of stuffed animals:
Image via Offbeat Bride/Photo by Donald Norris

Even though this mansion was incredibly beautiful and the couple were delightful, logistically it just wasn't going to work for us. Next up, we crossed our fingers hoping that the third venue would be a charm!

Was anyone else deterred from a venue because of the potential for off the wall photos, like guest's socks?

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