Friday, April 08, 2011

back to the venue

So. I feel like I have almost caught up now on what we have already done, wedding wise, and can start moving on to the bazillion ideas I have found while spending my time happily lost in wedding blog heaven.

But I feel like before I share some of the ideas that I have already fallen in love with and hope to use on our day, I should share a little more about our venue. As much as we love it, it has presented some issues!

Starting from the top, I guess I should start with the lovely Chapel. Do you remember it? Looks a little something like this:


Cute, quaint and almost barn-like inside, I fell in love with this little Chapel and when we walked inside it just felt *right*...

...Which is a problem. Mostly because the Catholic Church won't allow a priest to marry us there, when there are so many Churches in the local area. *cries*

All is not lost though. While my family is Catholic, the hubby to be's family are Christian. My family are quite happy with a Christian based ceremony, since they are really so similar. So now the hunt is on for a Christian priest who is able to marry us outside of a Church location. Luckily, my future sister-in-law has a family friend who is a retired priest. He was recently allowed to perform christenings for our nieces and nephew in my BIL/SIL's backyard. Hopefully (with all fingers crossed) he will be allowed to perform our wedding ceremony.

The problem is, the future hubby and I had to make a decision before signing our contract as to whether we would be booking the Chapel or not. BEFORE finding someone to marry us. By this stage, even though there are so many lovely local churches, we had fallen for the Chapel (and it's GORGEOUS view outside the window...hopefully more on that tomorrow!). So after much discussion, we have decided to book the Chapel and hope we can find a priest...otherwise we will be holding a civil ceremony, with Christian based readings, etc. It's not quite the same, but we had to come to a decision. As Catholic/Christians who don't regularly attend Church, it feels almost false to change our wedding just to have it in a Church. We came to the decision that as long as our ceremony recognises our beliefs and that we will be living with a believe in God, as a couple, we felt that this was right for us. Has anyone else found it difficult to make a decision similar to this?

The fact that a big draw to the venue for us was having everything in the one spot, also affected our choice and we are happy that we have managed to maintain this. The ladies and myself will be staying at the venue the night before, for one last single lady sleepover :), and many of our guests will have the opportunity to stay at the venue if they wish. Given that we will have people who have travelled, this is a great plus.

We also loved the fact that the venue offered so many photo opportunities - the gorgeous big lake with it's fountains, the lovely old trees and the beautiful windows in the rooms within the resort are only a few of the options...there's even a lady who will lend her Shetland ponies for photos! (She has a moving restaurant...yep, it's a horse-drawn restaurant and I REALLY want to give it a go!)

The only other bump we almost hit was when I entered the Gazebo room for the first time. I fell in love with the spaciousness of the room, the floors, the windows, the very exciting separate dance floor (all the other rooms had very limited dance space in the middle of the room)...but the one thing I wasn't keen on was the back of the room.

To give you an idea, the Gazebo room is also used as the Gazebo restaurant - there is a kitchen area out the back and the room is filled with chairs and tables when not in use for a wedding and is used to host the morning after breakfast bunch for guests. So at the back of the room, there are some kitchen-like benches (Excuse the bad photography, mobile phone again!):


It was the only thing about the room I didn't love! However, we've decided to still go with the room, and we've worked out ways to utilise the space. We're going to decorate this area and use it as the guest book/wishing well/present area. Since we are using a thumbprint tree (more on this later!) the dark bench tops at the left side of the area is perfect for this set up - it makes me worry less about staining anything! The rest rest of the space we are going to decorate with various elements of the wishing well/present area (I have so many ideas still to narrow wedding photos, telegram tree, etc. still to come!) with consultation with our wedding co-ordinator. Myself and lovely friend Laina, (remember the discussion about her gorgeous soy melts?) have already started making plans to fill that little shelf up top with candles of varying shapes and sizes...I think the light reflecting off the tiles will look quite pretty!

The rest of the room is fantastic - there is an island in the middle of the room that we will also be decorating with flowers and candles...Hopefully it all works out as I have visualised it!

I'm so happy that the boy was excited about the room...I had a feeling he would be, but took him around to all the other rooms in the venue first. If he had preferred any of the others, we probably would have gone with what he liked, but I had had a feeling he would prefer the open space of the Gazebo room.

Hopefully we will be able to get some pictures of the room tomorrow, but just in case we can't, here's a little view of the room:

From the back looking forward...

From the front looking back...

Corner table (cake table was displayed here on the day)

Bridal table...

Dance floor space...

The only other fear I hold is not being able to customize the wedding enough, to make it feel "different" from every other wedding I've attended...I had lots of little details I want to add, but I have concerns about what my limitations may be for things included in our package! From speaking with our co-ordinator, it appears that they are very open to ideas and don't limit you to specific choices, rather they give you a budget within your package for each section (and left over can roll over to other sections)...but I still worry. I don't want a cookie-cutter table setting, for example...

Has anyone else had room obstacles to overcome, or worried about how individual you are able to be, while working within a package?

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