I was in DC very briefly, long enough to visit two venues, host a play reading, and shop for dresses. I hadn’t realized how much of a respite from the ridiculous pollen I had had until I got back into North Carolina. I immediately started getting itchy eyes. When I showed up at the apartment, James immediately hopped up from his computer and went to me with his arms wide open. I ducked under his arms and went straight for the tissues. Then I hugged him. Because, you know. Fiance.
I’ve visited four possible venues now:
1) Meadowlark Atrium in Vienna
2) North Carolina Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill, NC
3) Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA
4) Old South Mountain Inn in Boonsboro, MD
At lunch on Tuesday, after Mom, Katie, and I had finished visiting South Mountain Inn, we sat down for lunch in Frederick.
“Let’s do this HGTV style,” Katie said. “Just eliminate one, right of the bat.”
When my future Mother-In-Law, Deb, had said that she had expected me to choose a Virginia location, I decided not to consider any more North Carolina locations. So we just had three other locations under consideration.
“Meadowlark,” I said.
“Good choice,” said Mom. “I hated how industrial it felt!”
“I’ve been to weddings there, it was nice,” Katie said.
“Yeah, but there’s no place to go while the caterers reset,” I said.
Katie described the wedding she had been to there. The ceremony had been on the patio, and then they had gone inside for the reception. It hadn’t been a problem at all. I pointed out that that had been during warm weather. Since my wedding is in January, my guests couldn’t go outside. I would have to store them all in the smaller alcove behind the atrium. That would probably be uncomfortable.
“If you had to pick a venue right now which one would it be?” Katie asked.
I honestly had no idea. There were pros and cons to both Wolf Trap and South Mountain Inn. Wolf Trap just had more space. It had the large lobby and the nice patio (if the weather allowed) where the guests could have cocktails while the main room was reset. And an awesome fireplace. But while one quadrant overlooked the pretty woods and patio, the other quadrant overlooked the parking lot.
“We can probably put some bunting up or something,” Mom said.
“Yeah, but it’s still in a conference room, and they have very little allowance for decorating,” I said. In fact, James and I would look at pictures that very night; all the pictures were taken from one very specific angle, to show off the windows.
And they are very nice windows, exactly what I was imagining. But it’s in a conference room.
Old South Mountain Inn had so much light. The Garden room was all windows. It was the building that gave me the idea for a heavily-windowed room for the wedding anyway. The wedding coordinator that was so nice and clearly knew her stuff. The transition from ceremony to reception was only 15 minutes. Plus there was more leeway for decoration. And the Christmas decorations already being in the wedding colors? Clearly fate.
But it was so small.
“We’ll have that second room for spillover,” Mom pointed out.
I stared at my guest list and worried about it anyway.