Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Venue Search

Last weekend felt more like work than a holiday weekend. Saturday we left the house at 7a in order to arrive in St. Helena (Napa area) by 9a. Our appointments were back to back and by 2p we had visited six different venues. We took a breather at Starbucks and wandered through Union Square before our 5:30p appointment at the Merchants Exchange building in downtown San Francisco. I didn't know what to expect from the Julia Morgan Ballroom, but when I left, I knew I was in love. Both my fiance and I were excited about the venue, the coordinator and the ability to customize the space along with the food and alcohol. Not to mention, we were told we could party until dawn if we wanted! It was a vast contrast to the 11p final deadlines we saw in the Napa/Sonoma area.

Even though you think you find the "it". You still feel the need to make sure. We visited three very different venues on Sunday. Leal Vineyards, a beautiful winery that rivals many we saw in Napa, was the first stop. Stonepine Estates, which is a gorgeous estate with a lot of history was stop two. And finally, Pebble Beach, a breathtaking scene that could be enjoyed all night through the floor to ceiling glass windows of the reception venue, rounded out the day. By the end of the search, you learn what is important. Flexibility definitely weighed high. Easy access for out of town guests was another big consideration as at least 50% of our guest list resides outside the Bay Area. Beyond those two tangible items, I think the rest of it was feel. One of them just felt right. So right that we canceled our site visit on Monday. We were also exhausted.

While we haven't signed a contract, it looks like August 25, 2012 will be the big day. I'd say a successful weekend was had.