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Wedding: The Venue (part one)

November 18, 2013

When Tim and I got engaged, we tentatively chose June as a good wedding month. We knew that one of the first things we needed to choose was a place to have the wedding because venues book up so fast. We did a lot of researching online and threw around a lot of ideas, debating on whether we wanted the venue and reception in the same place, whether we wanted the ceremony in a church, where we wanted it to be, etc.

We did have a few criteria:

In a hotel or in walking distance to one-So people could have fun at the wedding and get to their hotel safely
Not outside-Because in Oklahoma the weather is really unpredictable
Allowed alcohol-For obvious reasons
Not ridiculously overpriced-We don’t want to go broke paying for a wedding

After doing some research online (and realizing how expensive everything is!), we narrowed it down to two places we wanted to go visit. Both of these places allowed for outside catering, which we knew was going to save us a bunch of money and both met at least some of our criteria.

The first place we visited was the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. It is housed in an old train station in downtown Tulsa. The reason I was drawn to it was that it was a unique venue (and I knew it would make for some really good pictures!).

photo 4

When we got the venue for our appointment, the doors were locked, but this gave us an opportunity to talk to a dad who was preparing for his daughter’s wedding that day. He told us he loved the place, but you really had to stay on top of the owners. Once we got in, we looked around on our own for a little bit. We were able to get an idea of what a wedding reception could look like because they were setting up for that evening. It really was a beautiful place, and it was unique. I mentioned to Tim that it had a little bit of an “old building” smell, but he said it didn’t bother him.

photo 1

photo 2

We were given a tour by the owner and he explained to us how a ceremony/reception combo could be done (they would tear down the room after the ceremony and set up tables). The earliest availability they had was July. He was very nice and helpful and we left there with some definite pros and cons.

Pros-
Unique Venue
Allowed for Outside Catering
Reasonable price for a combined ceremony/reception
No hidden costs-one up front costs covered everything, even labor to switch from ceremony to reception
It is a non-profit, so money went to a good cause
Hotels were within a couple of blocks and offered free shuttle

Cons-
They have had money problems in the past, so paying the full price up front was a little scary
Our warning from the dad about having to stay on top of the owners
Not being able to control setting up tables and decorating for the reception (I want to know it’s going to look perfect)

Overall, I left with a pretty good impression of the place as a possible wedding venue.

Stay Tuned for Part Two

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