Friday, July 13, 2007

Location, Location, Location

When we started our venue search, we knew what we wanted- cool, hip, urban and modern. An awesome loft space with brick walls, or something equally different. Someplace with character. Someplace we didn't go to for prom. My high school proms were always held at the Crawford Auto Museum, but his were all over town. Finally, they had to know what creme brulee is, and be capable of making it on a large scale, as I am not really a cake person, and creme brulee is one of my favorite desserts. Plus, Amelie mentions that cracking creme brulee is one of her favorite pleasures, and it is one of our favorite movies.

Cue the catch: we are getting married in Cleveland.

This left really one space that would work for us with these requirements.
Vivo's V lounge. We had already talked about it as a reception site prior to us being officially engaged.

Now, it is a very cool space, and had a maximum capacity of 100 people for a sit down dinner, or 200 for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres . Which was perfect- our initial guest list had about 125, and we really wanted a cocktail reception.

As cool as Vivo seemed to us, my mom's reaction was more along the lines of, "You want to have your wedding reception in a nightclub?!?" This did not go over too well. It seemed that my parents were looking for something more where did that lead us?

To the Heights Rockefeller Center, with a capacity of 150. Unfortunately, (and fortunately) my parents had visions of a larger reception, and we were on the quest for a new site.

What place had character, was not an impersonal hotel ballroom, and was located between Cleveland Heights and downtown?

I scanned the internet for answers to that question, and Calvin and I reviewed our options. Data was posted into an ever increasing excel file. I looked at the websites of dozens of venues. Calvin probably called close to a dozen. (That is how we divide up the tasks- I research on the internet, and he calls or emails). We discovered in this process that there is at least one major event place in downtown Cleveland that did not know what creme brulee is.

We narrowed it down to three choices: Windows on the River, Sammy's at Myers University Club, and the English Oak Room. We drove into town from Michigan, and scheduled appointments with people at each location.

Calvin calls to confirm our appointments as we drive into town on Friday, and learns that not only does Windows have no recollection of our appointment, they also don't do showings of the space on Saturdays. We were a bit bummed, because the space seemed really cool. But that also made our decision easy- if they were unable to keep an appointment for us when they were trying to sell us the space, what would they be like once we signed a contract? They were crossed off the list.

Myers University Club became the first venue that we looked at formally. We were met with the Sammy's representative, and toured the facilities. They were nice, and the ballroom had lots of details. Lots and lots of pink/mauve/salmon details.

Now, while this would be fine for lots of people getting married (and brides especially!), pink is not my color. I don't do froufrou. (Well, I like froufrou, but that's not what I mean). I'm not a girly girl, and Calvin spends more time getting ready in the morning than I do.

Plus, the Sammy's representative with whom we would be working did not understand us.

Sammy's Representative: "And this is where we typically place the wedding cake."
Calvin: "We are not going to be doing cake- we would like creme brulee instead."
SR: "Oh, but you want a cake."
Meg: "I'm not really much of a cake person. Creme brulee is my favorite dessert."
SR: "But you want to have a cake, for the pictures."
Meg: "No, we don't. We want to crack the creme brulee instead."
SR: "But you want cake. Your grandmother and aunts will be expecting it." (appeals to my mother)
My mom, Mrs. Murry: (sternly) "No, they are not going to have a cake."

So they were crossed off the list.

That left us with the English Oak Room. There was a scheduling mix up, and we ended up being let in to the place by a security guard. The room itself is fine, and it has a lot of character.

Unfortunately, it is located in what is essentially a shopping mall. Cocktail hour would take place in a roped off area of the mall. Not so awesome.

We were back to square one with location, forcing us to broaden our horizons, and reconsider previously rejected locations.

No comments: