The first couple weeks after the engagement were sort of a whirlwind for me. We got engaged on August 15, 2007. On the same day, I got offered a new job. Even though everything was exciting and new, it was also a wee bit terrifying!
I knew I wanted to have a 2008 wedding, so I didn’t have any time to waste. We needed to find a venue ASAP!
We considered many options, rejecting quite a few because of size. Rand and I knew that there was no way our wedding would be a small, intimate affair. We both have large Italian families. (I thought mine was large, until I met Rand. His mom is one of 13 children. We also both have a lot of friends who are important to us, and we knew that if we were going to do this thing, we were going to DO it!
And of course, not being independently wealthy, there was money to consider.
Here are some of the venues I was a little sad to have to reject due to size:
Karpeles Manuscript Museum and Library (Porter Ave., Buffalo)
Reasonable rental fees and no catering contract. I quickly learned that most of the *unique* Buffalo spaces (museums, parks, etc.) had catering contracts. It’s hard to save money when the venue has a deal with an expensive caterer! The Porter Avenue location can hold up to 425 for a *standup* reception, but tops out at 200 if you want to seat people.
Has a lovely little special events space and a patio. Indoors can accommodate around 100 guests. You do have the option of putting a tent on the patio to accommodate more, but again, wouldn’t hold the kind of numbers we were looking at.
The Unitarian Universalist Church in Williamsville has its own little reception space, but again, would only work for a small group.
I also checked the Main-Transit fire hall, which is good-sized and reasonably priced for a bare-bones hall. I was still a tiny bit worried about the size, though. I was afraid of a scenario where we’d have people packed in like sardines, and no one wants that.
For a while, I was utterly convinced that we needed to find a venue that didn’t come with any catering/alcohol attached. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but I quite rapidly found myself frustrated beyond belief. That was the time I reconsidered an option I had originally rejected: Pearl Street Grill and Brewery.
They’ve recently opened a larger banquet room than they originally had, which is where we’re going to be. We’re actually going to have the ceremony right on site as well. I love our reception space. I really, really do. I think it sends the message we want to send: you’re going to have *fun* at this wedding! Also, I absolutely adore Natalie DiSilva, Pearl Street’s banquet manager. So even though I was stressed out for a couple of weeks in the beginning, it all came together. I am so looking forward to welcoming our friends and family to celebrate with us!