The Great Wedding Venue Search Begins (A Groom With A View)


Evin and I began our wedding venue search in our car in lower Manhattan.  The plan was to start there before working our way uptown hitting every place on the list. The first venue we visited was in the West Village. I doubled-parked and Evin went inside to see if it was worth me circling the block to look for a parking place. This venue was in a brownstone on Fifth Avenue. The Wedding Coordinator was an older, blue-haired woman who had been with this facility since the 70’s. Based on how Evin described her, maybe it was the 1870’s. The price was right, the minimums not insane, but (according to Evin) “it feels like a place my parents would’ve gotten married at.” Pass. Elapsed time of visit: 14 minutes

The next stop was up by Union Square, a hotel where people: cooler, wealthier, better-dressed, and more popular people than us pay $17.00 for complicated cocktails made with ingredients like Aperol and Byrrh Quinquina. I knew the hotel well and idled in front of a fire hydrant while Evin swept through the place. She called me from her cell phone to let me know her thoughts.

“It’s really nice. The menu looks great. And they have good dates in June or July still available. Now here’s the bad news: $375 per person.” Ouch.

She never even bothered to ask me if I wanted to come up.

“Okay, coming down,” she announced. Elapsed time of visit: 23 minutes.

We crossed town to the warehouse district in Chelsea. The loft spaces there were huge — home to lots of big nightclubs and restaurants. I idled in a “No Standing” zone while Evin took a freight elevator up eight flights to see the space.

“It has to be 10,000 feet,” she proclaimed and Evin knows her square footage so there was no reason to doubt her.

She texted me a picture and the views were spectacular. But it was empty and I could hear an echo in the room. Empty wasn’t good. You had to bring in everything — tables, chairs, plates, food, booze, napkins, etc!  But when you have to do that it becomes seriously expensive.

“Is that what we want?” I asked her as if I was in the room with her.

“Not really. That sounds like a lot of work.”

“You mean a lot of work like driving around Manhattan looking at wedding venues?”

“Coming down,” she said sadly. Elapsed time of visit: 9 minutes.

We were disappointed but still had two places left on the list. We were hungry and had a little time to kill. So we double parked on 9th Avenue and ate falafel sandwiches and did a post-mortem about where we had been.

“We’re going to find a place, won’t we?” she asked.

I felt bad for her. I knew we would but I hated seeing her like this. So I was encouraging.

“We’ll find a place. I know we will. But hey, if we don’t…”

“Don’t even say the words ‘City Hall.’ In fact, don’t even say the word ‘city’ or the word, ‘hall’”

Down, but definitely not out, we finished eating and headed off to our next venue.

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  • 09/11/12 at 08:09

    Falafel. Hahahahaha.

  • Trudie
    09/11/12 at 08:19

    You should register for Satellite radio. Errands never end, and marital bliss in NYC means one of you will be stuck in a car for years to come. Excellent post that captures the pain of venue shopping.

  • David
    09/12/12 at 02:30

    What a racket. At least you didn’t get a ticket.

  • jayme
    09/12/12 at 03:12

    THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME! cant wait to hear which venue you are going with ;)

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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