Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hunting for a Venue, Part 1

Once we decided on Spring, had a clearer idea of our budget, and crafted an approximately 60 person guest list, we were ready for some venue shopping!!!

As I mentioned before, Mr. Spice and I adore Carmel. We had been there a few times before and had the most amazingly romantic weekends. Determined to have a Carmel Wedding, Mr. Spice and I headed down to Carmel to celebrate our Two Year anniversary and to view as many venues as possible. We had our hearts set on Beach Ceremony in Carmel and the reception at Casanova, but being the over planner I am, I wanted to see it all.

First stop, Costanoa. Not in Carmel, but along the coast. Costanoa is an eco-adventure resort. Perfect for an Organic Wedding!! They have a lodge and spa for those who love amenities, but the also have upscale tents for the more adventuring. I have heard it called 'Banana Republic Camping,' and I really do think that sums it up best:
All images taken by me.

Well, it was a bit more rustic then Mr. Spice and I envisioned. Plus, the beautiful wedding tents we had seen on-line would not be included in the package. So the entire ceremony and reception would be outside.

Before I go on, I think I should tell you about the conversation Mamma Sugar and I had right before we left for our trip:

Me: so we want to do a beach outdoor wedding.

Mamma Sugar: What? I don't like beach weddings. What about the weather?

Me: But it will be spring!

Mamma Sugar: Make sure you have a back up plan!!!!

Well, Costanoa provided no back up plan, except a tent for a few couple extra thousand dollars more. Bummer #1.

Bummer #2. The weather. As soon as we left Coastanoa, the weather turned bad.

The skies turned gray and we found ourselves in a huge hail storm. By the time we reached Carmel, this is what the Beach looked like:

Despite the weather, Mr. Spice and I couldn't wait to step foot in Casanova to check out the Harvest Room. As I stated before, as Mr. Spice and I jetted off to Hawaii, I envisioned a wedding on the beach and the reception at Casanova. All in all, a VERY romantic weekend!!
Doesn't this room just exude romance????

Well, the room was great- small and cozy. Dancing could be a problem, but who needs that. Plus, we could hold both the ceremony and the reception there if it rained!! Perfect, back up plan solved. We sat down for a romantic late lunch and Mr. Spice surprised me with a Second Anniversary Cake. It always shocks me that he can still surprise me.

After lunch, we had an appointment to check out La Playa Hotel. Once we got there- we found that with amount of people we were having we would either have to shell out a few extra thousand dollars to meet the minimum, or we could only have an afternoon reception with no music. Next please.We moved on without even taking pictures.

The next day, the rain stopped, and the skies cleared (well not really), so we went to go explore Carmel to find an outdoor ceremony venue that Mamma Sugar would approve of.
First the Beach. I thought this spot would be perfect, and that Mamma Sugar would surely approve:

Just in case, we pressed on. Within walking distance of Casanova there were two parks, one grassy and one with a deck:

Both owned by the City. I loved the idea of both, but I was still struggling with not having a beach ceremony. How could we justify making all of our guests fly to California, drive at least an hour and half to Carmel, and then not have a beach wedding.

The rest of the day we explored Carmel to no end. Everything else was just not right. As we left Carmel, very soggy, we still had hopes of making Carmel work, but it wasn't clicking.

Do you have your heart on a location or venue that didn't withstand parent approval?

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