Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hunting for a Venue, Part Two

Mr. Spice and I weren't feeling too great about getting married in Carmel. When we got home we were wet and tired. To top it off, after a bit of research, I found out that the City of Carmel does not allow weddings at their parks and beaches. So while we had a Plan B ceremony site, we didn't have a Plan A. Unless we went to a State Beach 15 miles away.

Humm. This easy breezy beach, organic wedding that I pictured was starting to not feel easy or breezy.

So venue shopping quickly became an all hands on deck search. With the number of people we were having (60), renting out an event space and renting everything wouldn't be cost efficient. So it became a numbers game- we were looking for a venue that provided everything with a low enough minimum that we could hit it with 60 people. I am good with math so I hit the ground running.

I can't tell you how many venues we looked at! A couple dozen or more?? In order to spare you the bad and the ugly. Here are the top three that we didn't choose and why:

1. The Cliff House. Located on Ocean Beach in SF, it's such an old restaurant that my Dad use to go there as a kid with his Mom and order Shirley Temples.

Here's what the place use to look like!! WOWZA:

And here it is today:

If Mama Sugar didn't want us married at the beach, I'd bring the venue to the beach. Here's the Ceremony site over looking the beach:

And the reception would be just indoors:

The room didn't exactly go with my color theme. BUT the Coordinator was willing to work with us to drop the minimum for the off season- through the month of April. And they were working on becoming a Green Restaurant and starting to serve a local sustainable menu. Perfect.

Well, kinda, while we never actually ate here- we hadn't heard great things about the food.

2. The Historic Sand Rock Farm located in Santa Cruz. I don't know how I found this place, but the pictures left me totally intrigued. So one Sat in the mist of all the venue hunting, Mr. Spice and I drove down to Santa Cruz for the day to check it out. We loved it; well, parts of it. It wouldn't be on the beach, but who cared. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The Inn. Amazing from the outside, a bit too old school on the inside.

The Redwood Grove. One possible Ceremony Site.

The old Wine Cellar. This is what made us fall in love. We would have either had the ceremony or reception here.

A path on the property.

And finally, the back up reception site, the old historic barn. I can still picture it all set up in my head.

In the end, it was just a bit too pricey (although I swear the owner would have worked with us to make it work), and again it would require our guests to fly and drive over an hour and half from the nearest airport.

3. Epic Roasthouse. Located on the SF Waterfront, this is a brand new restaurant that has an amazing view of the Bay Bridge. We went for a dinner and loved it. Even got to talk to the Chef.

They have a private event room that connects to a terrace:

Here's the outside of the restaurant at night:


While we loved the location, the room would fit 60 folks with no dance floor. That is something we could live with, but there would be no ceremony site. Humm. Where to get married? This venue is still in the running for the rehearsal dinner.

Up next, the hunt is over!!

Did anyone else go on a massive hunt in over four counties to figure out where you wanted to get married??

*Unless noted all pics by myself or Mama Sugar.

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