Friday, August 28, 2009

Reception Search Begins!

Phew! I've officially dived into the Reception Site Hunt and let me tell you, looking for wedding venues is HARD WORK! I can't believe the hours I've put in just this week so that I can create a list of still 16 venues for Chris and me to look through and hope to narrow down to no more than 8. Lucky for me, it's been a slow week at the office, so I've been able to really hunker down on my search. I've learned a few things about looking for venues through this. Firstly, having a large range to search through (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, and even New Jersey) made my search extremely complicated. I can't BELIEVE how many venues there are in just these areas alone.

  • I've ruled out anything further than a half hour out past Chris's house on Long Island. This makes it just too far a drive for my parents coming from Pennsylvania and while there are some wonderful places on L.I., there just isn't a need to go out that far. I want my wedding to be accessible to all my guests, especially my immediate family.
  • Many venues have a capacity of having a bigger wedding than that kind of cuts down on the options for you.
  • I would prefer a place that only does one wedding at a time, but I suppose I could be swayed on that IF the place was spectacular enough.
  • A venue's website is SO important. The website is all I have to go on and is my first and foremost impression of a place. Some websites are fabulous. Jericho Terrace sticks out in my mind as having one of the best websites I saw, and it completely helped get it to the list. But then there are just some GOD AWFUL websites. This isn't the best example, but Verdi's could definitely do a better job with their website. There is no gallery, no pictures, nothing that draw me in...just a very vague website. If I ever run a reception hall, I will hire the best graphic designers out there to make the best possible website ever! Then, I'll be the best out there! [Update as of 1/18/10 Verdi's website has been completely redone and is MUCH better, so this is not a good example anymore. Maybe they read my blog and decided to make some proper changes!!!]
  • I've been relying very heavily on reviews for each location on either yahoo, yelp or message boards. These are both helpful and more confusing at the same time. One person says a venue is the best place ever, and another person says it's awful and would never recommend it to anyone. It's very mind boggling.
I'm sure, just like searching for college, you can't really know for yourself until you go out and actually see the places. I've narrowed my search and these are the ones we are going to look through together this weekend (Arranged in order by price):
  1. Renaissance of Astoria
  2. Riviera at Massapequa
  3. Crest Hollow Country Club
  4. Floral Terrace
  5. Verdi’s of Westbury/Whitestone
  6. The Metropolitan
  7. Jericho Terrace
  8. Terrace on the Park
  9. Sand Castle
  10. Marina Del Rey Caterers
  11. Bridgeview Yacht Club
  12. The Crescent Beach Club
  13. The Woodlands
  14. The Inn at New Hyde Park
  15. The Venetian-NJ
  16. Russo’s on the Bay
  17. Palm House in Brooklyn Botanical Garden
  18. Water’s Edge Restaurant
  19. Bridgewaters- “Mueseum Club”
I realize that is a list of 19..but really the last 3 are just for fun/way too expensive to actually really take seriously. But, should our budget magically expand and we win the mega-millions tonight, then one of those last 3 it is! PLUS I plan to go tour Oheka Castle, just because we can and it looks soooo beautiful! Really, there are 16 possible choices, so we just need to cut that list in half and start scheduling appointments and we're good to go!
Then I can finally move onto more fun things like wedding dress shopping and decorations to go with my color scheme....I can't wait to get to that part!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Newly Engaged!

In an effort to keep track of all things "wedding" for the next year and a half, I am creating this blog for both my personal reference and for family and friends. I am very excited to be getting married and don't want to forget a single moment of this really amazing time in my life. I also want to share my experience with all my family and friends as I go through the next year and a half leading up to my wedding. There will be good moments, there will be bad moments, but in the end it will all be for the day that Chris and I start our life together as husband and wife.

We are both basking in the newly engaged moment right now and don't plan to really delve into wedding planning until September. However, yesterday we did sit down and hash out a rough guest list. I've looked at reception places online, but I get so overwhelmed, I only just end up sending myself websites of places to check out. I like a lot of them, how do you decide which 6 or so to narrow it down to and look at?!

So that's all...I'm also trying to register onto every wedding website there is!,, etc. etc. I'm a little internet happy...must be love!