My sister was recently engaged. If you're an avid reader of the CCE blogs, you'll know that her fiancée Andy did a lovely proposal in Napa Valley this past November. Well, what you may NOT know, is that as well as already being a member of her wedding party and handling all my sisterly obligations I will also be planning her wedding! Now, when I originally suggested my services I never anticipated that I would be so involved from start to finish!
I took a day off following the holidays to spend with Brittany and Andy shopping around for venues. The budget was by no means tight, but it didn't allow much wiggle room when it came to décor; our biggest challenge was locating venues that would hold the 200+ guests they were anticipating in the Northwest suburbs. Brittany didn't like the idea of using a large banquet hall where multiple weddings would be going on, and Andy wanted to find a location that was as convenient for his guests (90% from out of town).
Ideally, both Brittany and Andy wanted to get married at a country club. This offered beautiful backdrops for bridal photos, an intimate atmosphere, and would be relatively close to our church. Now - the only problem was: more than 200 people don't fit in almost all country clubs in the area. Realizing that the #1 choice was essentially eliminated was a bit disheartening. Good thing I had a few more suggestions up my sleeve!
To accommodate Andy's request for a venue close to both church and hotel, I suggested finding a hotel that was close to the highway and would be fancy enough for what Brittany and Andy had in mind for their big day. We specifically looked for hotels that offered intimate ballrooms (or better yet, only one) so guests wouldn't have to go anywhere once the wedding reception was over!
Lastly, finding a venue that was out of the ordinary wasn't out of the question! Since they wanted a summer wedding, it was much more probable that some outdoor areas could be utilized at private residences, historic landmarks, etc. BIG PROBLEM: bringing in all the supplies needed to host a wedding reception outdoors would eliminate the budget. I suggested using a historical ballroom located in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago where they could be the only event and not have to worry about bringing in everything from restrooms to salt shakers.
Venue shopping had begun! Now... time to find out when the church is available for 2014! Stay tuned for more updates :)
Lauren Debrauwere, Special Events Manager