Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wedding venue hunt: The great outdoors

This month, I took advantage of a great airfare deal (thanks Airtran sale e-mails!) to fly to San Francisco and get the venue party started. (And we've almost decided, wee!)

Knowing that trip would be the only one maybe until the holidays, I knew I'd have to get picky with visits, so I researched for months with our vision in mind. Here's the fruit of my many hours of labor...

San Francisco has no shortage of outdoor space, thanks to Golden Gate Park, which played a big role in my childhood. My brother and I would ride bikes and rollerblade with my parents on Sundays; the city has blocked off some streets to cars for more than 40 years (and has even expanded to Saturdays!). We'd also often feed the ducks and take long walks around Stow and Spreckles lakes with our grandparents. So the park gets major brownie points in the "meaningfulness" department.

The city offers various sites for ceremonies, such as the Shakespeare Garden pictured below, for great rental prices, and I like that our money would be going toward urban parks, something I definitely support. From what the city's PDF says, it'd be a budget-friendly choice, too.

However, this conflicts with having the ceremony and reception at the same place. Not only does that cut down on inconveniencing guests (especially out-of-towners who would have to rent cars), it's better for the environment (less driving) and keeps the celebration from lulling!

Another obvious choice for the Bay Area would be wineries. While the famed Napa Wine Country would be amazing, I'd nixed that area early on since it'd require a ton of driving and a hefty chunk of my change. A cool alternative presented itself in Casa Real, an event center with an indoor ballroom and gorgeous outdoor courtyard at the Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton out in the East Bay.

(source - see more of the venue in the slideshow, done by Choco Studio, one of my SF photography crushes)

Despite it having a huge "pretty factor" with its elegant-yet-rustic Mediterranean look, the minimum they quoted me for a Saturday wedding was too high, driving would again be an issue and Greg and I aren't emotionally attached to the whole wine thing.

While these ideas didn't fit our needs, they are great venues and have beautiful outdoor space. But I'd put too much emphasis on the outdoor aspect and was falling behind in other areas. I had to refine my search more and decide what things we could compromise on.

Am I crazy for counting out these fab outdoor sites? Or would guests' commuting be too much of a hassle, especially in Bay Area traffic?


  1. Lovely place! It's a perfect venue for an intimate wedding. As for the transportation, hope you find a route that would work for everybody.

  2. Thank you for sharing your sweet memories with us. I totally agreed with you that San Francesco is a beautiful place for traveling and for events celebrations specially San Francisco Wedding venues. Their interiors and decorations are out of the world and extraordinary.