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Hotel Vintage/Pazzo Ristorante

I almost didn’t write a post about this one, just because I’ve pretty much already written it off.  My parents stayed here last time they were up to visit me, and don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful hotel.  The size of the spaces for the ceremony and reception are perfect for the size of our wedding.  It would be very intimate feeling.  But the ceremony is in the wine cellar, and while very unique and a cool ambiance, it’s just a step up from a basement.  The reception room is on the second floor, and has ridiculously low ceilings and these windows that start at the floor and only go halfway up the wall.  It’s a little too claustrophobic.  There were a couple things I like though: the food and alcohol would be amazing.  It’s all serviced by the restaurant and you can tell they pride themselves in it.  I didn’t take any pictures, so here’s some I took from their Facebook page.

This is a little cocktail bar they would set up right outside of the reception room.  Look how ugly the carpet is.

It’s charming, and could definitely be made a lot prettier with more decoration, but I don’t if you’d be able to do enough to really make it seem anything but a pretty basement.

There are definitely more flattering pictures of the reception room, but I couldn’t get over the ugly carpet and super low ceilings.  The food is ridiculously expensive too (although if I had unlimited funds, it looked delicious!)

Unrelated to the actual venue, I found a really cool idea for guest gifts from one of the photos on their Facebook page.

The couple had actually grown all of these basil plants for their guests.  I think it’s really personal and sweet because you’re actually putting the effort into growing the plants for your guests.  I’ll have to keep in mind and maybe steal the idea.

The Beginning of The End

Tawnya and I went to check out our very first wedding venue.  It’s certainly making everything a little bit more real, which I think will be a good thing and help me to start actually planning things.  It’s my first step forward, moving away from feeling like everything is just an act to be performed, a little game of dress up and house.

The purpose of  this blog is to help document and organize our wedding planning, something to refer back to when trying to make decisions, and maybe even further down the future something that can be all warm and fluffy.

So, without further ado, our first wedding venue: Lakeside Gardens.  (http://www.lakesidegardensevents.com/)

There are some really great things about Lakeside Garden.  Our guests wouldn’t have to worry about parking (unlike if we got married anywhere downtown), it’s totally gorgeous, they give you the option of moving the ceremony inside in case it’s raining (which is super important for Portland), and you get a wedding coordinator to help you with everything.  Also, a coworker of mine got married there and he had glowing reviews.

But… it has it’s downsides as well.  Probably the biggest is the price.  They include a lot with their packages (food, some beer and wine, wedding coordinator, tables, chairs, center pieces, etc.) starting at around $6,200 for 100 guests.  But you still have to pay for flowers, cake, DJ, the photographer, chair covers (did you see those chairs?) and way more alcohol then what they include with their package.  And while we’re on the subject of alcohol, they only offer beer and wine.  The dance floor is also pretty minuscule.  The section of the grounds that they have for the ceremony seemed sort of poorly chosen too.  They have such a gorgeous lake with cute wooden bridges crossing over to little islands and swans and ducks but you wouldn’t be able to see any of it from the gazebo.

I am so happy that we went to look, though.  We’ve gotten our toes wet and now we’ll know better what to expect for the next place we visit.