Let's take it back a few months.....because I have actually done wedding activities since I've been engaged...
After we were engaged, I took a few weeks to really just enjoy the engagement, without thinking about wedding planning or anything associated with that.
I had a fun engagement dinner with my close girl friends at Tila's in Houston. We had the back private room, and it was really fun to celebrate with a fun mixture of new and old friends! (Thanks to Kayla for getting that organized!).
Next up, I spent a few weeks scheduling appointments with various venues in Fort Worth, Texas. See, I decided a long time ago that I wanted to be married in Fort Worth. I grew up in Arlington, and my dad has worked in Downtown Fort Worth for much of my life. It just seemed natural. The only problem is, its hard to make appointments with vendors when you live four hours away. So, in order to select our venue, I scheduled a marathon venue shoppping day. That morning, Patrick and I met with the Priest at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Fort Worth -- this is where our ceremony will be held.
After that meeting, my mom, dad, sister Liz, and her bf Josh, joined Patrick and I to look at various reception venues around Fort Worth.
We started our day at the Fort Worth Museum of Nature and Science. I grew up going to this museum as a kid, and thought it might be fun and unique. The layout would have been nice for a small wedding, but it just didn't work for what my "vision" was (according to my Dad). (And, I was just there this past weekend, and there is a giant ship in the area where the reception woud have been (for the Titanic exhibit)...not sure how that would have worked with my "vision" either).
Next, we had lunch at Railhead BBQ. Nothing like some ribs and a giant pile of french fries to break up the day!
The Ashton Depot was our next stop. The moment I walked into this venue, I fell in love with it. The woman who showed up around was so knowledgeable, and really sold the place for me. She started us in the garden area, where the cockatil hour would be, and took us all through the reception area and different locations. This place appealed to me because it is "full service," kind of like an All inclusive resort. The only thing I would have to do would be to find a florist, DJ, and photographer. Which seemed ideal since I was realizing quickly that planning a wedding from afar would be time consuming. I knew that I loved this place, but we had three more spots to check out that day.
|Interior of The Ashton Depot -- taken from the Mezzanine balcony.|
We swung by the Petroleum Club, which had an amazing view! But again, it seemed to be more set up for smaller weddings (like 50 - 75 people). While the view was amazing, it was hard to get over how cramped everyone would be.
We next went to The Fort Worth Club. I actually really liked this place a lot as well. It had great spaces, and would offer bridal rooms to get ready in on the day of the wedding. The only problem was, the best reception room was already booked for the favorite day I was look at. The smaller room was just fine, but it did have a bit of a feeling of stuffiness. I know that with the windows open, and the lights set a certain way, it would have been fabulous. I just wish the bigger room had been available! The woman, Megan, who showed us around, was also very nice and knowedgeable!
After that, our last stop for the day was the Omni Hotel. Patrick and I had some friends get married there a few years ago, so I wanted to check it out. I'm all for hotel receptions since it's easy for guests to come and go if they are staying in the hotel. The reception space was really big! The only downside, was that it was a blank surface. I knew that it would take a lot of effort and meetings with vendors to get it to look the way I wanted to. And, once my sister said "Doesn't this remind you of band banquets in high school?" I knew that it was slowly sliding down the list of top choices.
|Me and the Dad at the Omni.|
|My MOH and Sister!|
|Patrick and I -- sidenote (he was running on about 1 hour of sleep, lovely big firm jobs)|
Of course, once that tour was completed -- we ducked into the bar at the Omni for happy hour to end the day. I really enjoyed spending the day looking at venues with my family. It was the first time I had seen them since we got engaged, and so the day was very special to me!!
|Venue shopping makes you hungry!|
Once we arrived back in Houston, Patrick and I spent a lot of time discussing which venue we liked the best. He really liked the Petroleum Club, and I liked the Fort Worth Club. However, we both liked The Ashton Depot. So, after much though, that's what we decided on -- and I cannot wait for my reception to be there in the next 4 months. It really was the all inclusive nature of the venue -- they provide the bar service, waiters, linens, plates, planner for the evening, food, etc. I think that if we had been planning the wedding in the same city that we lived in, I would have chosen a venue like Omni. So, The Ashton Depot it is!
With the venue selected, the next decision to be made was the date. At every venue, we were greeted and told that if we chose to get married in June, we should knows its the most popular month to get married, so we needed to decide quickly. I knew I wanted to get married sometime between April and June. I love spring, and well, I still consider early June to be "spring." After looking at our schedules, it just looked like June would be best! After much thought, we decided on June 1, 2013. I love the way it sounds, and I cannot wait to celebrate that day for many years to come.
Next up ... dress shopping.