Monday, September 13, 2010

Visiting Venues

Though I know it's usually traditional to hold the wedding ceremony and reception at different locations, I never quite understood that.  Since I wanted the same sort of location for both (a nice, outdoor area), I'm planning on just using the same location for both.  And at first, I had a really great plan.  The college I attended, O'More College of Design, used to let students use the campus for events for free.  A historic mansion as a backdrop, a recently renovated landscape, lots of pretty details.  I was in love.

Front Lawn
New Landscaping
Sadly, when I finally went and contacted them about it, this policy had changed, and it was no longer free.  It's still incredibly affordable for any bride on any sort of average budget.  And even with my piddly budget, I'm considering it.  But it's probably dropped down on my list.  I still suggest it to other brides, though, looking for that perfect outdoor venue.  It's really lovely.  

But to be honest, not having a free venue has changed my wedding plans quite a bit.  For example, if I have to pay for a venue, now I'd like for it to have tables and chairs included, and things like that.  On my budget, and with my desires, I immediately began scouting out parks with picnic pavilions I could use for the reception.  Centennial Park came to mind.  Not only are there all sorts of places that would make for lovely photos (gardens, a huge lake with fountains, the Parthenon), it's also incredibly affordable.  And I love that their prices are, for the most part, easily accessible online.  Specifically, the sunken gardens are available for three hours at an excellent rate, with either the event shelter or the picnic pavilion available for the reception afterwards.

Sunken Garden
However, the rental costs are still a little high for my dismal budget, and there's not really enough room for chairs in the sunken garden, meaning I'd have to ask most, if not all, of my guests to stand during the ceremony.  That's not so terrible, and this is certainly an option, but I'm trying to do even better.  And into the contender box comes Edwin Warner Park!  Edwin Warner, the smaller of the two Warner parks, is composed of many winding nature trails.  One of these trails ends at a stone amphitheater.  When Joshua and I went to take a look, we both fell in love.  It's a short hike, so our family should be able to make it.  And the picnic shelters are on the other side of the park, giving us that more traditional 'separation' between places.  However, I'm still trying to figure out if they rent out the amphitheater at all, and if they do, how much it is.

Random Bench

Part of the Old Road
So which location we wind up using is very much based on price.  And who knows, we might go with something else altogether.  But these are the places that are on my mind for now.  If anybody else has a good, cheap, outdoor venue idea for the Nashville area, please let me know in the comments.  I'm still fishing for ideas.

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