Monday, March 8, 2010

Venues, Vendors, and Vino!

I had envisioned my wedding being held at the Antique Auto Museum for years; ever since a friend of mine got married there 5+ years ago. It's a really unique venue, and the museum remains open during the event so guests can wander around. I love the idea of having the guests milling around the galleries during cocktail hour, rather than standing around awkwardly staring at each other. Matt and I had discussed it a long time ago, and thought it really was the perfect location for our wedding - both of our dads are into cars, so it works as a bit of a tribute to the two of them, as well. But we had to figure out where to have the ceremony. The Antique Auto Museum does hold ceremonies there, as well. But in meeting with the event coordinator (who is also a personal friend of mine!), we discovered that logistically it wouldn't be ideal - private parties cannot get into the museum until 5:30pm, after regular operating hours. And they have to clear out by 11pm. So with 1/2 hour for the ceremony, an hour for cocktails/pictures, that leaves us only 3 hours for dinner and dancing, and that was kind of not ok. Our friends and families are partiers, so we want to have as much time as possible for the fun stuff!

So we started looking around at other venues. My parents had recently joined the Hershey Country Club, so we looked at that. But it felt like too much of a "ballroom," and I wanted something different. Matt and I are not your typical couple - we like to do things a little off-the-wall, so having our wedding and reception in a ballroom just didn't feel right to us. A friend of ours suggested the Hershey Theater, which I had never ever considered as an option, but immediately fell in love with the idea. Both of us had graduated in the Theater, and I spent many years performing in dance shows on the stage. It is a beautiful building, and I could just imagine myself coming down the big staircase for a really cool entrance. Unfortunately, upon looking into it and contacting their event coordinator, we discovered that the date we wanted wasn't available. Plus, it would just barely contain our expected guest count - it would be pretty tight quarters. So, that was out. We went back to considering the Auto Museum, but just felt that we needed more time for the reception.

So we talked about church. Neither one of us is terribly religious or connected to either of our churches. FH grew up in the Catholic Church - he was an alter boy and attended CCD classes. But he became really disenchanted when the molestation scandels took off, and hasn't really been to church in years. I did not grow up in church at all, though I do consider myself to be spiritual and have beliefs that I stand by. And the church that I do attend, when I go, is beautiful inside and I have always felt comfortable there. So we went to check out my church and decided our ceremony would be there. It really is beautiful and I think it's going to make for a lovely ceremony.

Now, onto our vendors. When my little sister got married a couple of years ago, they used JDK Catering, and I was super-impressed. The flowers that they did for the wedding were absolutely stunning, and the food was amazing. And their coordinator was so attentive to the two of them throughout the day. There was no doubt in my mind that FH and I would use them, as well - we didn't even consider other caterers in the area.

During our tour of the Country Club, we were handed two big photo albums to look through of a few different weddings held at the club. We were both really impressed with the one album - the photos were beautiful, and captured a lot of the little hidden moments that many photographers seem to miss. So we got in contact with them (Everlasting Images), along with a few others. In the end, we chose the one we'd seen at the club - we just kept coming back to how their photos really "popped" off the page, and their prices were just right.

On to the vino... JDK does not supply alcohol, so we will have to supply it ourselves. Which is find with us, because we get to choose the wine and beer, and limit which types of alcohol will be serves (for example, no tequila!). One of the best parts of the wedding planning process - choosing the wines! We have already had one reds tasting, and are scheduled for a few more. My parents are actually into wine and have the lingo down, so it's fun to test out the various wines with them. We're looking forward to picking a really yummy bunch of wines to serve at our reception!!

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