Thursday, October 29, 2009

Searching for a Wedding Venue, Day 1

Ah, wedding stuff. After The Pit proposed, my sainted mother scurried all over the Bay Area, looking at potential wedding venues for us. After extensive internet scouring, followed by exhaustive tours of various wineries, country clubs, and old buildings, she narrowed the list down to several locations, but felt that she couldn't make the choice for me, her pickiest of daughters.

Thus I had to abandon The Pit to fend for himself for several days, and make a quick trip back home to see the venue options and (hopefully) make a selection. My itinerary included one day of exploring winery and country club locations in the Pleasanton/Livermore area, one day of trekking out to the Central Valley and looking at a hand-built castle in the middle of an almond orchard, and one day of investigating community centers and mansions in the Piedmont/Oakland area. Efficient, eh?*

So, Day 1:

As it turned out, my mother’s fears of picking a place for me were quite well founded. The first winery was too big, the second had too many barrel decorations, and the third had creepy creepy faces painted on their walls.

Not kidding about the décor…a touch too many wine barrels:

And the goblin lords on the wall of the third winery we visited, though sadly you cannot get their full horrifying effect from this tiny picture I found:

I mean…seriously? Why would you paint that on the walls of a wedding hall? My mom said we could cover them up with flowers or something, but I would still know they were there…staring at me.

Moving onward, I was also not a fan of a beautiful but very traditional country club with excessive rules and regulations.

You can practically smell the money:

At this point, there was just one more location left on my mother’s list, and we were both starting to get a little nervous that I was going to hate that place too.

Fortunately, I got a great feeling as soon as we drove up. The place was a golf course and restaurant, but, importantly for my carefree nature, not a country club with stuffy furniture and even stuffier rules. The manager showed us around, and I loved the outdoor veranda where the ceremony could take place, the restaurant with views out of huge airy windows, and the neutral décor, thankfully lacking in both gold-plated picture frames and scary goblin lords. And unlike the tour guides at some of the previous locations, the manager was both extremely nice and quite flexible about our various requests.

So at the end of our first day, we had one definite maybe to consider. Up next? An exploration of country eccentrics and the hard-working spirit that made America great.

* We may be lazy, but my family can bring the organization when necessary.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Good luck with your venue hunt! Check out Dunsmuir Historic Estate ( or (510) 615-5555. Also, if you're comfortable being outside, Preservation Park ( or (510) 874-7581. Piedmont Community Hall ( or (510) 420-3075. Any of the three are venue slam dunks. I work for a local caterer, and I see a LOT of venues. I think these are great!! People also go crazy for the Brazilian Room, but it books SUPER-FAST. (