Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Last weekend Jillian and I decided that the only way we were ever going to find a reception location that we both agreed on was if we checked them out together. This was, of course, a rather misguided idea. But came up to visit, and we promptly drove to Lancaster to see yet more venues.
First we went to Mulberry Arts Studios. I was very impressed by how nice of a location it is. The entry way had a beautiful bar and piano. The walls had interior windows. There was very attractive looking art everywhere.
The woman that runs the art gallery is named April, and she was very excited and really pretty awesome. Not sure I could handle that much energy while I'm stressed about a reception though. She met us around here, showed us some very nice pictures, and took us on a tour.
The awesomeness continued outside of the entryway. If we did the reception here, then we'd have access to a side gallery to use while the wedding party was off taking pictures. We'd even be able to select the art for the walls, so hopefully people would have something fun to do while they're waiting for us.
Of course, I have no interest or appreciation for art, so I wasn't much help.
The main reception room was large, rather square, and had exposed brick and wood everywhere, two things that I like a lot. There'd be plenty of space to put tables around a central dance floor.
One of the really awesome features of the reception rooms was the attached buffet rooms. Next to both the room upstairs and the room downstairs there was a large hallway shaped area where buffets could be set. That way caterers would never need to be right inside the main reception area, and would have easy access to where the food was. Very convenient.
Next stop was at the Hamilton Ballroom at Wheatland Place. The outside of the building isn't very impressive, though it is the former R&D building for the Hamilton Watch Company. But the inside is nice. When I walked in, every part of me screamed "ART DECO" without even being able to formalize what Art Deco meant.
There's a nice picture of what the dance floor looks like in a previous post. Yes, it is a black and white checkerboard. In fact, the whole location is very solid colors and simple lines. But I like that about it. I don't want people coming to the reception and focusing on the art or the crazy decorations when they should be focusing on people.
Jillian and I both really liked the chairs. Simple, solid wood chairs, painted black. The woman that runs this place wasn't anywhere near as excited, but she did seem very calm and professional.
After we left, it was time to try the restaurant that one of the caterers runs. Except I wasn't feeling very well. In fact, around this time, every muscle in me was feeling really sore and it felt like there were knives in my throat. I'm not sure what exactly I had, but I did know that fully half of my department at school had it at some point this month. I was at the beginning of a very strong 10 day cold. The only thing I remembered from the restaurant was that the soup was warm. But Jillian and her mother seemed to enjoy it.
We went back to Jillian's and I promptly fell asleep for the next six hours. When I woke up, Jillian and I got in the car and drove back to Frederick. I feel asleep again around nine. I didn't get out of bed until seven the next morning. In fact, I still don't feel very good.
By the time I started to feel beter, Jillian and I knew it was time to actually pick a location. She had her heart set on the Art Gallery. Except the Art Gallery was more then twice as expensive as the Ballroom, for less time. That was enough to make the decision for me. I saw other advantages as well. The Ballroom had more then ample parking, and large bathrooms. The Art Gallery had parking, but it wasn't as convenient, and required walking down an alleyway. And the bathrooms seemed half the size, and weren't handicapped accessible. Jillian thought it was weird that I wanted to pick a reception location based on bathrooms, but those things are important to me!
It took several days of discussions, most of which I remember as being hard to have while I was still sick, but eventually I won her over. We decided that the Art Gallery is a nicer location, but it isn't worth twice as much. Ballroom it is!
We're just going to need to do some creative decorating.
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