Sort of half jokingly, after waking up Saturday morning and retelling our engagement story over and over, my Mom told me she wanted to take us to this place that she just KNEW I would love. So in the car we went, Mr. C, Mom Busy Bee, Dad Busy Bee and I. And then we stopped at one place, and then another, and then another. I think we hit four or five different venues that day, on a day when Mom Busy Bee just wanted to casually look at one venue. At least it was nice to see she was excited!
Our first venue stop was The Barn at Gibbet Hill. My mom had eaten at the restaurant there for her birthday, and allegedly told my dad that she knew I was going to get married there. (Or maybe Dad said it to Mom? The details are fuzzy. Especially because I wasn't there.) The venue was locked up, so we couldn't explore too much, but Mr. C and I got a general idea of the layout and especially the landscape.
Next, we hopped in the car, and Dad Busy Bee suggested another venue! So off we went to The Colonial Inn in the center of Concord, MA. The Colonial Inn is actually where my aunt was married. It's a historic inn, in the center of historic Concord (Battle of Lexington and Concord? Revolutionary War, anyone?).
While we were there, we saw a lot of events happening: baby showers, bridal showers, birthday brunches. Although this seemed like a really great location to hold these particular events, the venue was just too small for what I imagined, both for the number of people it could hold, as well as the ceilings. My poor 6'5 father was scrunched over the entire time we were looking through the rooms. Imagine if he was like that for 4 or 5 hours! Ouchy!
Back into the car we went, with Mr. C and I mumbling about how these places were great, but expensive, and we didn't really know what we were looking for...but both Mom Busy Bee and Dad Busy Bee were too busy to hear us. They were racking their brains to think of other places for us to look. So we zipped off again, this time for a bit of a longer car ride, and headed to Salem (home to the Salem Witch Trials) to check out the historic Hawthorne Hotel.
Can you tell my parents generally understand my style? I'm not the type of gal who was going to be satisfied with a 'normal' hotel ballroom. All of these venues had some sort of quirky personality or story to them.
The Hawthorne Hotel was in the process of setting up their ballroom for a wedding that afternoon, but we had the opportunity to peak in really quick. The ballroom was huge, with beautifully high vaulted ceilings, great lighting, and a great amount of space. Not only that, but the view out the windows was of the beautiful street the hotel is located on, and not too far from the Salem Common. It was a great space, but I knew immediately it wasn't really for me. We would most likely be having our wedding in late October, and I was worried about the Halloween commotion that Salem gets (which is a BLAST, but not really what I had in mind for my wedding weekend) and that I just wasn't thrilled about holding our reception in a hotel ballroom.
Although Mom and Dad did seem a bit disappointed, it was a great first, totally impromptu, opportunity to look at some venues in the area. We didn't have the most informed visit (we never spoke to anyone at these places and I didn't take any pictures) but it did give Mr. C and I an idea of what we were looking for in our venue, where we wanted to be located, and what we hoped to find.
So from this trip we started our research and tried to look for venues in the area that we thought would suit our wants and needs better.
Did you start out any of your wedding planning totally under prepared?