For the past several weekends, my fiance and I ventured around my hometown in Delaware in search of the perfect place to have our wedding reception.
If anything, I’ve come out of this experience with one strong bit of advice for brides-to-be around the globe: it’s important to choose a place that represents the couple — not a place that the parents insist upon booking because they like it.
As it turns out, the place my well-meaning mother thought was me, was my definition of “a nursing home with motel 6 paintings.” Pretty strong words I know (When that happened, I coined myself “Bridezilla” — oh the horror!), but I honestly couldn’t picture us getting married there. In total, we visited four very different venues, which may seem like too few, but it was all we truly needed to make a decision. Without further ado, here’s the breakdown of each type of venue:
The Club House
This place was the very first place we visited. I initially thought I had no real preference of a wedding venue, but when I saw this place, I quickly learned that this was not the one for us. This particular venue helped me to realize that I wanted a large open space where guests could walk around and mingle, not a series of small rooms that would force guests in a confined area with no where to move. Appearance-wise, it was an old and rustic building nestled in a quaint part of town, which sounds nice, but after surveying the age of the building, we realized that there were no elevators, proving to be an accessible nightmare to our older guests in attendance. In addition, the carpets, drapery, and furniture were very dated and simply not what a modern couple would like. As mentioned, it is “old elegance.” Right for someone else, but for us, we knew we had to move on.
The Ritzy Hotel
This was the second place we visited, and was the opposite of the first place in every way imaginable. With gold-embossed high-vaulted ceilings and crystal chandeliers, this venue was definitely as classy as they come. With every “ooh” and “ahh” we encountered, it simply just didn’t feel like us. We are not showy, over-the-top type people, so having a wedding reception here would have made us feel out of our element. Not to mention, our guests probably would have “ooh-ed” and “ahh-ed” more over the decor of the actual place than the event itself. Not worth competing with, especially since we plan to have a wedding that incorporates small and personalized details that represent us or those close to us.
The Country Club
“Full of Character”
After striking out with the first two, we really didn’t know what to expect, except that this next place had to fall somewhere between the two extremes. And you know what? It sure did. When we walked into the country club, we just felt something click. The main room was a large and spacious ballroom with a balcony along one wall, appropriate for throwing a bridal bouquet. The opposite wall was lined with french doors that opened into a fully glass enclosed atrium with hanging crystal chandeliers. The curtains were very modern and overall, it was absolutely exquisite. We truly thought this was it, but …no.
The Golf Course
We ended up choosing the last place we had visited, which was my father’s pick all along. We had initally scratched it off the list after we heard that it had a $26,000 minimum. But, with golf course views, a water fountain, floor-to-ceiling windows, and one of the state’s best chefs, this was truly the one for us. What really got us, was that we were able to get it for a fraction of the price because we chose a Sunday. Sunday of Columbus Day weekend to be exact. That way most of our guests still have Monday off and out-of-town guests won’t have to take Friday off for the rehearsal dinner. Most of all, this was the one where we saw ourselves and our guests enjoying their evening the most.