Friday, November 20, 2009

It's a Winner!

Bad news: I haven't posted in a week!
Good news: We found our venue!

Drumroll please...


I haven't made any posts in a week and I realize this is not a good way to start off blogging! However, I've been busy and I've accomplished a great deal! Aaron had the day off of work on Sunday and we decided that the best use of our time together would be venue searching (since finding the venue has proven the most demanding [thus far] part of this process. 

Our first stop was to Stone Mansion in Alexandria, VA, which we were not impressed by. We liked the backyard, because it was spacious, very secluded, had a play ground, and a pavilion; however, the inside of the house was a different story. The rooms were a decent size, but the color on the walls was either blue or yellow (yuck). Also, the ceiling was very low and you could not access the upstairs (even though the staircase is the first thing you see when you walk in). 

We also thought the back patio would cause problems. There is a lift for wheelchairs, but the screened in part of the porch was not very wide. There's a ramp, but it's tiny! The other downside to Stone Mansion was that it's located in a residential neighborhood, which completely through us for a loop, and would probably confuse our guests as well. It's not very private (except in the backyard) and the park and pavilion areas are open to the public (we don't like easy access for wedding crashers).

As we were leaving Stone Mansion, I admitted to Aaron that I couldn't stop thinking about the Hendry House. Even though we had decided it wasn't the place for us, with each new venue we visited, I kept thinking back to it.

Our plan was to revisit the Hendry House, but not before stopping in Oxon Hill, MD, for a bridal show. I've been dying to go to one and Aaron was anxious to see what they were like as well. As we pulled into the parking lot, I said to Aaron, "By the way, this place is a venue. People have weddings and receptions here." I spoke those words with no sort of motive of inkling that we were going to fall in love with the place...

Not two steps past the main entrance, Aaron turns to me and says, "This is my dream house!" We walked into the foyer and even though there were dozens of people around us, music playing, and greeters, we couldn't take our eyes of the Manor! The first thing that caught our attention was a harpist in front of a beautiful antique fireplace. We also loved the shiny elegant chandler in the foyer and walking room to room, we literally stood in awe of the layout!

Honestly, we weren't there 10 minutes before we turned to each other and confessed how impressed we were. Big wide open doors in the dining room beckoned us outside and that's when were really swept off our feet! We were stunned by the gigantic patio with gardens all around, trees in the distance surrounding the property, and a view of the Potomac and the Gaylord (which is where I used to work)! We couldn't believe  beautiful this place was!

We put our excitement to the side and continued walking around to talk to different vendors. We fell in love with a crab dip from Putting on the Ritz catering and really enjoyed talking to their rep. Eventually, I picked up a packet for the house and we braced ourselves. We thought for sure this place was going to cost more than we could afford; however, to our surprise and our giggling excitement, it was a lot cheaper than many of the other venues we've seen and researched! I told Aaron, "I have to see the bridal suite!"

Finally, we found the folks at the Bridal show representing the Manor and inquired about the bridal suite. They pointed us down the hallway to a windy staircase (with a beautiful rod iron handle) and I tell you no lie--I cried when I got to the top of those steps. It sounds cliche, but I became so overwhelmed with joy and excitement that tears literally streamed down my face. I loved the elegance of the room. It wasn't too big, but wasn't too small.  Inside the room, there is a couch, two chairs, a long mirror, nice bathroom, and best of all, a window view to the patio! I started crying even harder and sobbing to Aaron when I realized they had tissues on the coffee table. 

"They even have tissues," I said.

It was a moment I'll never forget. One of those moments you hear about and read about, but don't quite grasp. It felt real. This wedding thing, this getting married thing, just felt very real and very exciting all at one time. It was beautiful! It was magical! I can't wait until the day I step back into that room!

Well, to make a long story short, we left the manor calling our friends and family gabbing on and on about the charm and elegance of the place. Three days later we called to inquire about Sunday availability in October and would you believe, the only Sunday available is the Sunday we wanted, October 24, 2010! Lucky for us, no holds or deposits had been made for this day, so we snagged it. Now, we have a no-obligation, 10 day hold on October 24, 2010, and on November 30th, we plan to put down our deposit!

WHEW! It's a relief I must say! A relief and a big, gigantic step in the right direction! In just 10 days, we may very have a DATE and a VENUE! Those are two things I am going to love checking off my list!

Of course, no post would be complete without some pictures! 

Although, these pictures really don't do it justice!

Leave some comments =)

{Photo credit: Wish Special Events}

Of course, no venue considerations are complete without a look at a few real weddings! Through a quick online search, I discovererd a ton of goregous and diverse weddings that took place here. I am only posting pictures of weddings that successfully took place outside or that delibaretly took place inside. I will post a few weddings later that were planned for outside, but that got moved inside because of rain. In the meantime, I'd like to continue daydreaming (in la la land) that my October 24th wedding will be a beautiful warm day so that we can have our ceremony in the garden! Do you dry-day dance!

{Photo credit: Regeti's Photography Blog}

{Photo credit: Abritton Photography}

{Photo credit: Jane Michele Photography}

{Photo credit: The Laura Kay Blog}

More pictures on the way!


Frugalista said...

ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! How could you not be super excited to plan a wedding when you are having at a place like this!


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