Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Search for a Venue: Part 2

Part 1

The second venue we looked at was the Indian Center, which is also downtown. We didn't know much about the building, but it met our requirements regarding capacity and open catering/alcohol. The building (which is actually a museum) looks like this:

We loved the location and the openness of the room - Especially the light that the huge windows let in! The set up is also really unique. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but you walk in and you're on a platform that goes around half of the room looking down at the middle. It would make for some great pictures! David even had some ideas about decorating the upper level with pictures of us and having the guestbook table there. There were ramps going down to the lower part, which would have been necessary for my grandparents and to transport food. It was also much more open than the Garvey Center, which we both liked. It made it feel much bigger (well, and the fact that it WAS bigger helped) and the tables could be much more spread out.

Unfortunately, there were some things we didn't like. You can see in the second picture the flags hanging above the windows. The room is called the Gallery of Nations, so I definitely understand the importance and significance of the flags, but the red, yellow, and blue wouldn't exactly coordinate with the black, white, and pink theme we're going for. Also, they had gotten different chairs from the ones in the first picture and the new ones (if you can see them in the second picture) are gray folding chairs.

But really, neither of those things were hugely important to us. The thing that turned us off was the fact that we could only get in to decorate starting at 10 AM the day of the wedding. Not only is this a lot of added pressure for us, but this would put a lot of pressure on our parents and those helping us. I want that day to be as calm as possible, and because of my OCD tendancies, I couldn't just turn over decorating to anyone. I'm going to be putting a lot of hard work into the little details and I want to see them executed the way I imagined. Also, David emailed the coordinator there (whose name I will not mention) and she was less than friendly in her response. When he asked if there were any options where we could pay an extra fee to rent the space Friday evening, she replied with comments like, "I've seen plenty of receptions set up here in less than an hour," and, "It's amazing what you can do when you're put under pressure." While the first part may be true, there are definitely nicer ways to say that, and neither of us really appreciated being talked to like we were children. And on top of that, the point was we don't WANT to be under pressure.

So, unfortunately, that was a deal breaker for this venue. We decided to continue looking for something that we were totally satisfied with.

Was your venue search harder than you anticipated? Did you run into any wedding coordinators like that?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Search for a Venue: Part 1

When we started looking for a reception venue we knew we needed someplace with a capacity of around 300 people, open catering, and reasonably priced. This criteria greatly reduced the number of options we had, which made our choice easier.

The first place we looked was the Garvey Center, which is located in downtown Wichita. The building was meaningful to us because our Sadie Hawkins dance was there freshman and junior year and was the location of our first dance (aww!). The banquet facilities are located in the lowest level.

We liked the location and the fact that we'd have the option to pay $350 extra and decorate on Friday. Also, the requirements for cleanup at the Garvey Center wouldn't require as much effort (since this will likely be done by our families).

FSIL and me at their reception

Sorry for the dark background - Those were the best pictures I could find of the banquet room

There were a few things we didn't like. The room is split up into a couple different areas. The front "entry" area would have to be used for tables (because of the number of guests we expect) and we didn't like that people would be separated from everything. On top of that, we would be pushing capacity to begin with. Lastly, this was the venue for David's brother's wedding reception, as you can see in the pictures above, so several of the guests (particularly relatives) at their wedding would be at our's and I think that kind of bothered David.

So, it was off to look at more options and see if we could find a better fit!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Centerpieces; The Original Plan

We think we pretty much have ideas for centerpieces decided on. Since there will be close to 30 round tables, so I thought 2 alternating centerpieces (of different heights) would be more interesting.

For the first, shorter, centerpiece we're using 3 cyllinder vases. 2 of the vases will be 7.5" tall and will look like this:

The other vase on those tables will be 10.5" and the same cyllinder shape. They're from Wal-Mart and are $1.97 each, but I can't find them on their website.

All 3 vases will have submerged flowers (pink orchids most likely) with a white floating candle on top. They'll be surrounded by votives and it will all - hopefully - be sitting on DIY damask table squares!

All put together it will look something like this:

(Minus the flowers around the base and add the damask table square)

The centerpieces for the opposite tables will be topiaries with votives surrounding them on a damask table square.

We'll be using terracotta pots and probably artificial flowers. They're a couple dollars at Wal-Mart, but I can't find them on their website either. We'll be painting them black, but they'll look similar to these:

I think the difference in height will add a lot to the room! What do you think?

Will you/did you use alternating centerpieces or stick to just one?
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