Sunday, July 18, 2010

How being a Type A freak can sometimes be helpful, or Booking the Venue.

When we began looking for a reception venue, our choices were all over the map. Literally. Some of our options were more than 90 minutes from the church. While this might seem like no big deal to some people, I thought it might be a bit of a journey for our guests, especially since nearly half of them are out-of-towners. In an attempt to make things a little easier, R and I started looking for venues relatively close by. After searching high and low, we were left with two golf clubs no more than 10 minutes away from the church and (in true M fashion) I could not make a decision.

Choice Uno was Bristow Manor Golf Club, just down the street from Momma B's.

The elegant manor house has beautiful views of the course and countryside, but on the other hand, the reception area -- a separate building to the left of the manor house -- would have needed quite a bit of work to get ready for our paaartaaay . It had dingy white walls, painted grey cement floors, and not much else. The coordinator had mentioned to me that the venue had been seriously considering installing hardwood floors in the reception area and making chiavari chairs (squeee!!!) a part of their basic package but then she mentioned that they had recently nixed the idea of such awesomeness because of the economic downturn. Le sigh.

Choice Dos was Stonewall Golf Club. While it didn't have quite the same awe factor as Bristow in terms of curb appeal, the inside of the venue was just beautiful. And there is a cannon out front. A cannon!

I loved the large arched windows around the perimeter of the room and all of the natural light they let in, not to mention the beautiful stone patio just outside the room overlooking the course. The chandeliers were something I really liked and there was plenty of space for all of our guests. The room was extremely comfortable and, unlike Bristow, having a dance floor didn't cost any extra cash.

With two very close contenders, and being the type-A freak that I am, I made a list of the pros and cons for each option. In the end, we decided to sign a contract with Stonewall. 

Writing out the pros and cons for each venue was really helpful for us. It was the little things that helped us choose. It kept us both thinking straight about what would be best for not only us, but for our guests as well. If we hadn't, we might not have realized that choosing Bristow would mean our guests walking outside to the manor house to use the restroom ... in November ... in Northern VA. Brrrr.

Advice: As cliche as it sounds, make a list of pros and cons when you're stuck. You'll be surprised how easily the decision will come.