Posts Tagged ‘venue’

I found some more pretties for you! Via Southern Weddings, please to feast your eyes on these g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s shots from an elopment session (!!) at an Atlanta carnival.

The color in these shots is simply amazing!

Hurray for Ferris wheels — and check out the rad color-coordination between the bride’s dress and the ride! So coincidentally spectacular! you should know that yellow+green is one of my all-time favorite color combinations, so i am fanning myself over here at not only the gorgeousness of these pictures but also the bride’s darling (and tea-length!) yellow+green dress.

This shot is just so calming and sweet. Happy, peaceful, in love. There’s a very similar scene at Glen Echo, too, so i may be forced to recreate this darling shot at our wedding.

And, as usual, i saved the very best for last. Check it out — a kiss on the carousel!!

All shots courtesy of the marvelous Jessica from jessica purvis photography. Click and love!


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Now that you’ve seen my gorgeous venue, i have a little inspiration to share — and some advice to seek! Check out these gorgeous photos of Glen Echo back when it was a functioning amusement park:

I love this adorable couple watching the rides.

Roller coaster!

“Pennyland,” and an awesome airplane ride.

I particularly love this shot of the park’s streetcar entrance.

Look how crazy busy and awesome the Crystal Pool was back in the day.

Coaster Dips! At night!

These and many other fabulously awesome shots can be found at the Library of Congress’s American Memory Project. It’s an online clearinghouse for “written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity.” It’s also incredibly cool, and i highly recommend it the next time you’re cruising around online in need of inspiration.

So, given those awesome shots, and the many more available online, my question is this: Do i print these out, find some funky frames, and use them as my table numbers? I love the idea of giving our guests a taste of the rich history of Glen Echo, and i think these pictures are gorgeous and fascinating and would be fun to look at, all scattered around the joint. What do you think?

…and as a bonus, here’s a shot of the Bumper Car Pavilion itself circa 1928, complete with zooming, action-style bumper cars!!

(image source — thanks, Shorpy!)

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So, here’s where we are now. We have the world’s coolest wedding and reception venue. We’ve booked most of our vendors already (and i promise to tell you all about them soon!). But one big question remains — nay, looms:

How on earth will we decorate this awesome space??

As of right this minute, we’re still in the figuring-out-how-we-want-it-all-to-look stage. But that doesn’t mean i haven’t come across tons of gorgeous, cool, quirky, and intriguing ideas. I figured, what better way to sort out how to best go about dressing up this already-gorgeous space than to write about and get input from all of you?

And so, herewith allow me to present to you my first flash of decorating inspiration: GIANT ROUND WHITE BALLOONS!!

Look! Big, puffy, perfectly round white balloons! (via OnceWed)

Martha’s gotten in on the action a couple of times. The first pic below is a gorgeous shot from her “50 Tips for the Perfect Reception.” The second is taken from her fabulous April 2008 Martha Stewart Weddings article “Glamour on a Budget“:

I absolutely love how the gold and white balloons give the room such a festive air, yet still manage to create a sense of playfulness in the venue. And the all-white balloons on the left just look so … elegant. Balloons. Looking elegant. I love it!

I saved the best for last. If you read design or wedding blogs at all, i’m sure you’ll have come across Amy Atlas Events. She specializes in designing high-end, high-concept dessert bars for weddings and other fabulous parties. Allow me to present to you the picture that began this dream of mine:

Isn’t that just simply dreamy? Shades of ivory and white, set off by simple vases of hydrangeas, and BALLOONS?!! Oh, swoon. I absolutely adore this picture. I adore the serenity and grace it evokes, without losing a certain playfulness and light-hearted celebratory feeling. I love the ginormity of the balloons, and i particularly love that it captures, for me, a vintage-y vibe without looking like a set decoration from a 1950’s party. That’s exactly the setting i want to create: retro, beautiful, a little glamorous, and a lot playful and fun.

So, lovely readers, what do you think? Can my giant round white balloon vision be realized? Am i headed down the right path in dreaming up decorations? As a quick reminder, here’s a picture of the Bumper Car Pavilion during daytime:

(via WikiMedia Commons)

And at night:

(via JitterBuzz)

So,  have at it. White balloons or no white balloons? If you have an even more awesome idea, please share!!

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So, after an unplanned wee break from blogging, i’m back with details of where at our radical venue we’ll be having the reception. Behold: the Bumper Car Pavilion!

This is the actual pavilion where recreation-seekers of yore actually crashed bumper cars into each other! There aren’t any actual bumper cars left in the space (which, honestly, is kind of a bummer :-), but it’s got its original signage/artwork over the front of the pavilion, along with wooden floors, open sides, and a stage!

Check out the inside, with all the yummy light streaming in! You can also see the christmas lights wrapped around the beams in the ceiling, and the clear plastic sides, which are currently in the rolled-up position. They can easily be rolled down in cases of torrential rain or freezing coldness (both of which i’m hoping to avoid — but DC weather in September can be unpredictable). The white gates lining the pavilion also swing open to welcome you inside, and the benches are all (re)movable. The stage is located just on the other side of the opening in the right, above; this shot was taken leaning over a white gate just about halfway down the front of the pavilion.

Here’s one more shot, taken from the side of the Cuddle Up Pavilion. In this one you can see the gorgeous swooping roof line of the pavilion — it’s lined with big old-school bulbs that light up at night! See?

So gorgeous! So bright and sparkly! So festive! I can’t wait!!

(last image source)

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I’ve kept you waiting. I know. But the venue of your dreams doesn’t come along every day. Or every month. As Joe can attest, sometimes the venue of your dreams comes only after you’ve personally inspected at least ten places, made more than 30 phone calls, studied spreadsheets, and made list after scratched-up notebook-paper list of pros, cons, prices, and details. Seriously, i have an encyclopedic knowledge of DC-area venues that will allow you to serve red wine. Hee.

But that’s not why you’re here. Fair enough. And at long last! Joe and i are getting married at GLEN ECHO PARK!!

Y’all, this place is the coolest venue ever. I do not exaggerate. It was built in the late 19th century as a Chautauqua Assembly (like an “educational summer camp” for grown-ups) and developed in the early 20th century into a trolley park — an amusement park that folks from the city could come to by taking the super-newfangled trolley car. At its height, Glen Echo had a roller coaster, a shooting gallery, a tilt-a-whirl, and a carousel. It also had a ginormous pool, complete with diving well and sandy beach, and a huge airy ballroom where Glenn Miller once played to packed houses. The park was shut down in the late 1960s and almost got knocked down (and destroyed by neglect), but it was saved and restored in the 1990s to its current state as an arts facility. Most of the rides are gone now, but the carousel is still fully functional, and the park’s old Art Deco architecture and neon signs have been restored.

See? Carousel!!

Several venues are available for wedding ceremonies at Glen Echo, but we knew on sight that we had to get married here:

The Cuddle Up Pavilion! Seriously, does it get any more adorable than that?! The window you see in the middle of the red column is where tickets were collected for the “Cuddle Up,” which used to be Glen Echo’s tilt-a-whirl ride. Hee!! The pavilion is open-air on the sides but has an oval roof and a stage at one end, where we will have our ceremony. Here’s what it looks like from on stage:

(Please to ignore the random orange cone.) We’ll put a skirt around the stage so the rebar’s not showing, and although the bleachers are neat (can you see the bleachers in the back?), we’ll push them back to the edge of the space and let them mark the back end of the aisle. We’re getting simple white wooden folding chairs from our caterer and will put them in rows of 10, five on each side of the aisle, with some simple aisle markers (which i will save for a later post). We’ll put some flowers on the stage to mark the ceremony space, too, but otherwise, it’s just Joe, me, our officiant, and the offbeat awesomeness of getting married inside what was once a carnival ride!

Check back for more about the awesomest venue ever, and where we’ll be having our reception (i’ll tell you, it’s even cooler than the Cuddle Up). Pictures galore!

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As promised, i am back to deliver you with the last venue we didn’t pick for our wedding. I actually saw this place on the same day we found our venue, so my memory is just a little clouded by the awesomeness of the evening, but i’ll tell you all i can remember about The Arts Club of Washington.

This venue is in the heart of DC as well, at 2017 I Street NW (between 20th and 21st). The gorgeous townhouse was once President Monroe’s executive offices, and it gives off a very historic vibe — combined with a bit of offbeat funkiness. There are both indoor and outdoor spaces; they recommend that you have your ceremony and meal outside in their lovely, private brick courtyard, with the cocktail hour and dancing inside in the historic space. Here’s the garden in its natural (i.e., un-set-up) state:

With chairs set in rows for a ceremony:

And with happy celebrating guests and wedding party!

The staff can also accomodate your event inside, if you’d prefer, although setting the rooms for dinner breaks up the flow somewhat. There’s a big dining room in which most of the action would happen, and they can place tables both upstairs and in the performance room if you need them. …did i say performance room? This room is long and kind of narrow but has a beautiful wooden floor and an honest-to-goodness stage in the back, perfect for a DJ or band. And if it’s raining, you can have your ceremony in there as well. Check it out:

When i dropped by to visit the Arts Club, i did it with no advance warning or appointment. I found the house steward to be extremely gracious and knowledgeable, and i even got to chat with the chef, Brennan Hurley, for a good five or ten minutes. He didn’t blink when i told him about our rather nontraditional ideas for a wedding feast. (He even got excited about the possibility of waffles!)

I also found that the prices were reasonable for the area — a $3000 site fee for four hours, not including set-up or clean-up (for which they don’t charge you extra). Catering starts at $70pp, and they do open bar as well (although you can’t bring in your own alcohol, which is kind of a bummer). They estimate $25pp for a full open bar, and the chef told me they don’t differentiate between beer and liquor, so you can offer guests the option of mixed drinks (or, if you’re like Joe, whiskey neat) without worrying about jacking up the price.

All in all, i was really pleased with the Arts Club and would recommend them for someone looking for a convenient, historical, downtown DC location with a little bit of quirky thrown in. (It IS an art museum, so you can bet on some cool, beautiful, or just weird stuff on the walls!)

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I promise i’m getting close to revealing my awesome, gorgeous, super-fantastic venue. But first, there are two more places i want to tell you about. Both of these venues were in our Top Three, and it would have been hard to pick between them had we not discovered the place we booked.

First, allow me to present to you the WVSA ARTS Connection! The WVSA is located at 16th & L Streets NW, right in the heart of Washington. The organization runs a charter school and nonprofit dedicated to helping children with special needs learn in an alternative setting — they focus on using art as a method of communication for kids who have difficulty expressing themselves. Awesome, right? The building is an old Victorian townhouse with a gallery on the main floor and an event space on the top floor that’s half-enclosed, half-outdoor (although i believe they’ve put a roof over the terrace recently). Here’s the upstairs space, called the “Top of the ART”:

The coolest thing about this space is that it’s both indoors AND outdoors — you can have the meal served al fresco, and then intice everyone inside after dinner for cupcakes and dancing. Also, the photos above don’t do it justice, but the room is on the end of the building and gets lots of lovely light from windows on two sides. Plus, the floors are gleaming hardwood, which just look so welcoming and homey to me. They’ll work with you, too, if you want to have nifty extras like a Wii or board games set up. The rental fee also includes school-type chairs and tables, so if you’ve got a vintage school theme going (like this adorable couple), then you’re all set.

If you’d prefer having the ceremony and reception in the same place, you can actually get married in the gallery on the main floor. It’s a beautiful, open space with soothing light-grey walls and hardwood floors, and the art is rotated regularly. (This can be exciting, if you’d like an element of the unknown!) Here’s a shot of the gallery:

LOVE the floor.

The contact person for rentals is Mary Sellers, and i found her to be both knowledgeable and responsive when i e-mailed with questions. The WVSA will allow the caterer of your choice, but there’s no caterer’s kitchen, and no open flames are allowed. (This was a bummer when we were looking at omelet stations!) The fee for the gallery and Top of the ART is $2800 — a steal for downtown DC!

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