Monday, February 8, 2010

The Search for the Perfect Venue: Part 1

Shortly after getting engaged the Boo and I decided that one of our first tasks on the wedding planning front should be to select a venue for the ceremony and reception.

Ideally we were thinking outdoor ceremony, indoor reception, great food, wonderful staff, able to accommodate our somewhat smallish guest list of 75, and within our budget. Easy right? Yea, we’ll see about that.

So one rainy and cold day in October the Boo and I set out to go to our first ever wedding appointment at the Dunhill Hotel in Uptown Charlotte.

Here’s what it looks like from the outside.

Cute, no? We walked in somewhat timidly and found our coordinator, Candace right away. She showed us around the lobby and bar area which we wouldn’t be using so much but it would be where our guests would enter once they arrived from the ceremony.

Yea, you heard right. The Dunhill couldn’t accommodate an outdoor ceremony so we’d have to hold that somewhere else (ie. More money, more searching, possible transportation fiascoes for our directionally challenged guests. Me no likey.)

But onward we went. Candace took us upstairs through the winding staircases to the “ballroom/conference area” where our reception would be held.

The light fixtures were pretty and the chairs weren’t so bad. Plus the view from this room wasn’t too shabby either.

But (you knew this was coming) I wasn’t digging the weird salmon colored paint or the big gold framed paintings on the wall. The room was somewhat on the small side. Candace told us that they could probably fit enough tables in the main room and adjoining room for all of our guests to have a seated dinner but once the last course was finished they would need to remove several of the tables and chairs and set up the dance floor…in the middle of the reception. (Oh and did I mention we’d have to rent the dance floor elsewhere because it didn’t come with the venue?) Ummm no!

Then, there’s the issue of drinks and the cocktail hour (which would be held in the “Wine Room”).

(all pics taken from here)

The Boo and I are Italian and Irish so the majority of our family and friends (including us) love to imbibe but what the Dunhill proposed was pretty whack if you ask me. For $32 per person for only 4 hours we could get Bud Lite, Budweiser, and Mich Ultra (for the beer choices), one red and one white house wine, and 5 low grade bottom shelf quality liquors. Now, I’m not an elitist or anything but I just can’t drink Bud Lite…on any day…ever. Much less on my wedding day. And I’m sure as hell not going to subject our guests to that either. (Note: I hold nothing against those who like Bud Lite. To each his own. However, I’m not comfortable with those being our only options because, if it were me or the Boo, we sure as hell wouldn’t drink any of that.)

So needless to say we did the nice little “we’ll call you after we see some other venues, it was very nice meeting you, what a lovely hotel you have…blah blah BS” and high tailed it back to the car to feverishly discuss all the observations we couldn’t announce in front of our lovely tour guide Candace.

Mere minutes later we confirmed what the other was thinking…this wasn’t the one for us. And so the search would continue.

Any of you ladies out there planning or planned a wedding where the venue didn’t live up to your expectations?


edwina said...

oh man thanks for posting the other one because i hate that your posts don't always shop up :( love your blog especially now you are wedding planning!

Shannon said...

Their options really blow my mind. It seems like a lot of moving around in a small space, and not at all accommodating. I'm sure they were nice, but they didn't seem to have a lot to offer. I can't wait to see the next place you check out!

Lil' Woman said...

Grr....doesn't seem like they offer that much for the price you would pay. Good luck with your search.

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