Yeah me too, but since since CTE and I are planning a winter wedding, our venue options were kinda limited - asking our guests to sit outside in early December was NOT an option. Sure, our winters grow wackier every year but a balmy December day is a pleasant (err unsettling in the larger scheme of our changing planet) surprise not a given. And I am looking to avoid any and all surprises on 12.3.11 - that is unless of course they are chocolate, shiny, sparkly or smell good!
With that said, CTE, I and some trusty elves set out researching venues. We relied upon personal recommendations and websites to identify our targets. The perfect place for us had to be budget friendly, allow outside food and drink, have plenty of room for the ceremony and reception (no or an unobtrusive flip), have a great location and most importantly have a responsive management staff (!GEESH! - shouldn't this be a given???). Neither of us likes to dilly-dally, so we readily ruled out the misfits and narrowed the places we wanted to visit down to two:
The Trolley Barn (TB) appeared to have loads of rustic charm just ripe for a "Color Purple/Juke Joint" theme. The space was wide open with loads of potential. Lambert Place (LP) offered a cosmopolitan vibe with its lounge area scoring major bonus points with its separate ceremony and reception areas.
But when it came down to visiting, we never even made it to TB. The place is only open for visits from 10 am til 1 pm (or something like that) M-F and on the weekend by appt only. CTE and I have tricky schedules so we couldn't readily fit this into the plan. We were easily able to visit LP one afternoon and it was love at first sight!
Save for not allowing outside food, the place had everything we wanted. So a few days later, we signed on the dotted line! Wahoo!