Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Searching for a Venue, or How I Ended Up In Tears for the First Time (Not the Last)

Did anyone else have a long, hard search to finding that perfect venue, only to discover that it was right in front of you the whole time? Or was that just me?

See - we've known from the get-go that we wanted to get married in Seattle. Or at least I've known that (luckily Mr. Eggs was perfectly happy with that plan and said sure!).
So, we decided to start looking in Seattle.

Normally, there wouldn't be a question of geography with that statement other than "where in Seattle do we want to look," all the while assuming we were all talking about the large city located in King County, Washington. Except that normal isn't me, my life, or wedding planning. The hitch in all of this comes from the fact that I grew up, and my parents still live, on an island in the Puget Sound, west of Seattle. So therefore, when I talk about "Seattle," that generally encompasses Seattle and the Island. And again, that's normally not a bad thing until my mom and I figured out that when I said "Seattle" I actually meant the city, while when my mom heard "Seattle," she was picturing the Island or perhaps somewhere on the peninsula. Whoops. Lesson number 1 in communication learned.

Mr. Eggs Bene, my mom and I decided to take a Saturday when we were at my parents house one weekend (before we moved back to Seattle) and go look at some venues I had found through some of my internet research (aka blog stalking). We looked at some in Seattle and we looked at some on the peninsula. And, well, none of us liked any of them. Ok, that isn't quite true. I loved a lot of the pictures of places I had seen online (like Pravda Studios, the Engine Room at Georgetown Studios, and Sodo Park, among others). And I really liked them in person. The problem was that I had not prepared my mom for the urban feel of all of them. I had been reading wedding blogs and other resources online and loved so many of the pictures I had seen of urban weddings. My mom had not. And all she could think of was where people would park, and how dirty the wedding dress would be, and was that really what I wanted for my wedding?

Needless to say, we didn't stay long at any of these places (actually, we didn't have appointments at any of them, so we really just looked around the outside and peeked in where we could). But it still didn't matter. None of them had the feel that all of us wanted, and all of them would be more expensive in the long run.

After that adventure, we came home and mom and I had a long talk about what Mr. Eggs Bene and I had pictured for our wedding, as well as what my mom had in mind for her first child who was getting married. Once I got those tears out of the way, we could move forward.

One of the main problems that mom and I realized was that she wanted the rehearsal dinner and day after brunch to be on the Island. Once we figured that out, it seemed much harder to try and find a venue in Seattle that we could all be happy with (the logistics of getting back and forth seemed more daunting than we wanted to deal with - not impossible by any means, but taking up more time and money than any of us wanted to spend when we could be spending time with friends and family!)

So where could we find a space that would work for a wedding weekend (since that became our big request as we continued to look at venues - a place we could spend the whole weekend with our guests who were traveling a long way to celebrate with us)? Well, it turns out there is such a place on the Island after all... a little place called IslandWood. It turned out to be a perfect solution for everything we wanted in a venue...

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