Tuesday, July 14, 2009

on the hunt for a reception venue/day 2.2

after leaving the WDCH, we ventured to-

location #2 at noon:

The Vibiana(source)

now, this place is snazzy. background: the vibiana was/is a catholic cathedral, scheduled to be demolished before a historical group stepped in and restored it, turning it into a venue for parties and the like. it is staggeringly beautiful- simply so so gorgeous. you know that palpable reverence you can feel when you step into a church or cathedral? well, the vibiana still has that, and it's awesome. they've also just finishing a lot of maintenance to the location, including resurfacing their floors, rebuilding their garden area to the side of the cathedral and much more.

-um, it's stunning.
-when you rent the vibiana, you're getting the entire property for your use. this includes the cathedral, the garden area, a bridal suite, a groom's suite, a kitchen area, and one large parking lot. it's a lot of space, people.
-there are confessional booths still built into the walls of the cathedral. can anyone say awesome photo ops?
-the rental period for the vibiana is 24 hours. that means you don't have to worry about another party intruding on your time, and there is plenty of time to get stuff setup and toredown.
-there's a mezzanine/balcony floor- great for wide-angle photos of the whole venue.
-i really don't know how many times i can say that this place is awesome. so i'll say it's magnificent instead. Magnificent!

con (and it's a doozy):
-it. costs. a. LOT. my inital proposal cost was well over $17,000. and that was just for rental and personel. it didn't even cover the cost of food, rentals of tables and chairs, literally everything else, etc.

so the price right there negated any chance of having our reception at that lovely place. even we if decided to forgo our church and have the ceremony at the vibiana (since it was a church to begin with) as well as the reception, it still wouldn't be worth it. unless we win the lottery in the next year, the vibiana was out.

this was a hard one, folks. i cried when i realized it wasn't feasible to have our wedding here. i moped around the apartment and swore off wedding magazines for like a good three days because of my loss. i mean, how can you hate this:

it'd be like hating puppies or rainbows!

anyways, people, we had to let this one go and keep on bigger (but not necessarily better) reception venues.

next up: location three of the day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

on the hunt for a reception venue/day 2.1

with the huron substation of awesome out of the picture, casey and i turned to plan b. so it happened, my mom and uncle decided to visit me for my birthday for the first time in nine(!) years. since they were staying for a few days, we decided to devote one day to traipsing around la and pasadena in search of reception locales. i planned the whole day, setting up four appointments with four possibilities to host our reception.

location #1 at 11:00am:

the walt disney concert hall

how can you not like it? frank gehry designed it! on a napkin! it's so shiny and wavy and can you imagine having a reception there?!? it has the total wow-factor, though not necessarily the rustic charm, but we were ok with that.

we met up with our sales associate who took us to two locations inside that we could potentially use as reception areas. first up was bp hall:
when i saw this room, all i could think of was how effing dramatic it was. beautiful, right? all wood curves and an enormous ceiling that had giant skylights peeking through wood panels. plus, those fancy steps in the first picture? well, that is the entryway to get to bp hall. cool!

the second place we saw was the founder's room:

this one had a really neat ceiling/art piece with wavy panels and all those naked light bulbs that you can see in the photo. not as dramatic as the bp hall, but did have it's own bar, a patio/garden area for a cocktail hour and it's own private elevator from the parking garage. it reminded me very much of a vintage-y gentelman's bar, both in terms of colour palatte and the overall design of the room.

the third room we saw was not in the WDCH, but in the neighbouring building- the music center. it's simply called the fifth floor, and it's a much more typical banquet hall with a killer view (floor-to-ceiling windows!) of the music pavilion and some of downtown los angeles. the cheapest of all three rooms, it was the most generic. since this dangerously crosses into my no-hotels rule, we had to discard it. plus, the 'rents weren't too thrilled with it, which I understood.

while we loved the look and the overall drama of the WDCH, the overall cost was proving too high, so we ended up not going with this great location.

next up: location two! or would that be location three?

on a lighter note...

let's take some time away from the church/ceremony/vows stressfest to focus on something that took up quite a bit of our time early 2009: the reception locale. casey and i searched diligently- and i mean we scoured that internets with some comet and one of those metallic scrubbing pads that scratch up just about anything they come into contact with- to find the perfect reception location.

so, let's begin at the beginning with some ground rules.

1. NO hotels. i cannot take the generic blahness one gets from holding their gig at a hotel. yes, it's convenient to have all of your guests to stay there and the catering usually is included and all that goodness, but seriously people. a hotel..? unless it's the Ritz (not affordable in the janine/casey household), a hotel simply won't cut it.
2. must be in la or pasadena. will not have family travel through southtorrancewood to get to our reception.
3. must have charm/rusticness/ je ne sais pas about it that we fall in love with

ok. rules are done. now for the fun!

the Huron Substation(source)

first of all/*swoon*/ so gorgeous i can't stand it. has everything i wanted in a venue and more- exposed brick, a staircase to a second floor, large and fantastic barn doors that open out to a quaint courtyard with bbq pits and bench seating. LOVES IT. great architecture! exposed rafters! charm, whimsy, rusticness! all check!

so casey booked us a reservation and we went and visited said palace of wonderfullness. and left dejected. see dear readers (all three of you), there are a few problems with this castle.
  • one bathroom. yes, you read that right. only. one. the size of a closet.
  • the space only holds about 100 people max and there isn't a real good fix on how many people will actually make it there. questions as to where to put the dance floor arose, and when the manager suggested putting away the dining tables to make room for it after dinner, i knew we were done.
  • the proprietress of this mecca lives there. with her son. and while i love and jealously admire her awesome taste in living abodes, there is something slightly off about having a rip-roaring party in someone else's house. at least while they are there.
  • the second story of casa awesome is off-limits to everyone except the area right at the top of the stairs. also so is the kitchen. that puts a slight damper on things.
so. while it broke my heart to say goodbye to this gem, we had to say no and look elsewhere.

goodbye, fantastic lighting opportunities. so long, clever seating arrangements. we'll miss you, open floor plan. le sigh.