Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh Venue, Our Venue!

We scheduled an appointment for the Parc 55 Hotel in downtown San Francisco and met with Daniela, the director of catering.  Initially she showed us around several event spaces on the lower floors.  I don't have pictures of most of these (sorry, I kept forgetting my camera for these site visits!), but there were several smaller rooms where Daniela told us we could have our ceremony.  Then there were some larger rooms where she said we could hold the reception.  After viewing all these rooms, I aked her on a whim whether they had any spaces with unbelievable views, even if the room wasn't technically an event space.  She led us up to the Club Lounge on the 30-somethingth floor.  The room is small and awkwardly laid out, not all of ours guests would be able to have a seat, and there are some elements of the room we would definitely need to camouflage. 

That said, ohmystars - the view!  Just... breathtaking!  The room has a panoramic feel, with windows on several sides overlooking downtown San Francisco and the bay.  Mr. NM and I were floored.  We stood there quietly staring out the windows together, taking in the unspoken agreement beginning to form for both of us that we really wanted to get married in  In my mind I was trying to picture what those windows would look like at night, full of city lights.  Going back to the site a few nights ago, here is what I found:

{Forgive the terrible quality.  But even with it, you can see the awesomeness, right?}

Ahmazing!  We love, love, love it!  Of course, like any space, it has its challenges.  The view from the entry door is strange:

{ceremony location on the other side of this built-in marble table}

There are some cabinets, a tv, and a breakfast prep area that I'd like to conceal:

{Any idea how we could cover these?}

And... the thing I hadn't given all that much thought to, the lighting issue:

{oh hello, strange lighting scheme and uninvited reflection}

If you notice in this picture, you can see that the lighting scheme consists of overhead recessed lighting (not on because it's bright) and several floor lamps (awkward for a ceremony, yeah?).  Also, and this is the dealbreaker for me, the lamplight is being reflected in the window!  Yes, in the window that would be our ceremony backdrop!  I want pictures of us in front of the city lights, not us in front of reflections of floor lamps.  So we're going to send some of these pictures to our photographers and ask for their input about how to tackle the lighting in the room. 

So that's the unique little space where we're going to hold the ceremony.  Then everyone will traipse downstairs to the ballroom, where we will use 2 of the 3 ballroom sections.  Here is one of the sections set up conference-style:

{let's just keep this set-up, shall we?}

*FYI*  I am not a person who is generally compelled by pictures of traditional hotel ballroom receptions.  This is probably somewhat due to the fact that we're not having flowers, we're not using round tables, we're not having a dj, etc etc...  ya know, all the things that are usually associated with hotel ballroom receptions.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with those things, of course.  They just don't represent the look or feel that we're going for.

I'm putting everyone on notice right now, then, that we are absurdly committed to having a non-traditional "traditional hotel wedding/reception."  The first step was choosing an offbeat ceremony location.  The next step is to successfully decorate the ballroom in a way that conveys our Fun-DIY-Chic--Modern-Unique style.  I already have a lot of ideas, but of course it's the execution that counts!

And there you have it - our venue at last!  As well as my promise to you that I'll share all my decor ideas and tutorials in case you, too, would like to put your own stamp on the hotel ballroom wedding experience!

Did you look at hotels in your venue search - why or why not?

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