Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Love At First Sight

Let me preface this by saying that my parents are graciously throwing me a wedding on September 30, 2011. With about 350 of their closest friends...Yes, 350. I know, scary.

After the initial shock set in, I began my hunt for a wedding venue. I'm pretty certain that this is the most difficult part for all brides. You want something unique, affordable, available, beautiful, and in my case, large enough to comfortably accommodate close to 400 guests. I guess the first logical place to look is a hotel. A hotel wedding can be nice, but choosing a unique location was really important to me, so after I came to terms with the Langham being out of my budget, I set out to find a spacious, non-hotel venue.

Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California was brought to my attention by my sister and it was the first venue I actually visited. Needless to say I was sold pretty much instantly. And here is why:

Aside from the beautiful gardens with Nixon's birthplace in the background, the East Room (modeled after the actual East Room in the White House) boasts tall ceilings, intricate crown molding, grand chandeliers(!), thick drapes, wood floors (!!), gold Versailles chairs as their standard (!!!), and is conveniently located 15 minutes from my house. I visited RNL in October and snagged their first available Friday of 2011 (every Saturday was booked through next November).

Before RNL, I did an extensive online search for venues. Here Comes the Guide was the best search engine I came across. They have just about any location on there, along with reviews, price and space breakdowns (these are sometimes confusing/hard to find on the actual venue's website; especially the spacial specs. Here comes the guide does space breakdowns of each hall at the venue along with outdoor space)

RNL East Room

The Obama's East Room

**I've never looked at the photos side by side. After seeing them, I actually think I might not use up-lighting in the reception hall. The lighting fixtures and chandeliers are the same in both and I definitely prefer the warm, natural lighting of the photo with the Obamas. I also don't personally care for the colors used in the RNL photo.

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