The where and when of wedding planning seem to be very closely related first steps in the planning process. I have both of those narrowed down to a first and second choice. It's incredibly important to the theme that the place I get married in feel like an enchanted forest. It should be lush and green. Guests should feel the fairies hovering over the flowers.
My first choice is Sunken Gardens: Peering through the plants. So pretty. Love the bridge. Of course the stage is exciting. You can take the actress out of Hollywood...Also it has a tree growing out of it, amazing. The path I would walk to get to the ceremony site. The ceremony site is a big clearing you can set up any way you chose. That's the arch we would use too. The other side of the ceremony site. It's so big. More beautiful flora. Close-up.
It's beautiful there as you can see, but on the more practical end they have ample parking and an indoor recption venue. Those things aren't easy to come by with outdoor venues it seems. They're owned by the city so they only allow city approved caters, which was the biggest minus on our list when we orginally considered it. In general when it comes to party planning I really like my freedom. The other down side is the cost, but you definitely get what you pay for.
In general we agree it's our first choice. The next step now is to make some calls because until I get some pricing from the caterer we're interested in and add that to the cost of the package we like I won't be sure whether it's in our reach. On top of all that once I have all the pricing tallied up our date has to be available and as you can imagine they're a popular venue.
Our second choice is USF botanical gardens: Yup, that says "Faery Garden". The entrance to the gardens. Ceremony spot, not too bad. Beautiful bridge and stream. Forgive my hot and grumpy expression. Good for unruly guests.
This place is smaller it is run by students of the college or the college itself and students are allowed to plant things, something like that. On the plus side that give you complete freedom to choose your vendors and it's much more budget friendly. On the other hand they provide a tent for the recption and you have to hire valets because of the limited parking. Also, it's farther away which is inconvenient to guests, but depending on the vendor might actually be easier.
The first venue would give us until midnight to party, but the second kicks us out at 9pm. The first venue was more restrictive, but they would take care of us. The second venue would be smaller and more intimate, but the bathrooms aren't as nice. Neither venue allows you to hang things from trees or plants (duh), but they offer either an arch or gazebo to stand under that you can decorate. The pros and cons of each are many, but in the end it comes down to the budget. We want a nice venue and a good meal if we go with the cheaper venue, but the food is amazing I'll be happy.