Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Search for the Perfect Reception Venue, or, The Dreaded Guest List

Today I visited Kennebec Tavern as a potential reception venue. It's about forty-five minutes from the ceremony venue, which I have already confirmed, and exactly one hour via boat. The attached marina means that Tom and I could make our grand entrance via boat, and we have already talked to a captain that would be more than happy to give us a ride for a more than reasonable price. The menu is just awesome too, and the price is perfect for our budget. Practically everything about the venue is perfect, with one MAJOR catch. The size. The room is small, it's supposedly able to fit 125 people, but when I talked to the events coordinator today, she informed me that if I want dancing I could get 80 people max seated at tables. This caused my first major headache, the guest list. This is the issue, I really don't want to turn people away that want to celebrate our wedding, but at the same time, I need to be able to feed everyone. I've looked at a couple other venues and they are just out of my budget. I know, weddings are expensive, it's the nature of the beast. It doesn't mean that I have to like it.

Tom and I have a shared vision of our wedding reception as being an elegant soiree with foodie-approved food, drinks, music to dance to and just an overall good time.  As of right now, Tom and I are planning to stick with the Kennebec Tavern.  We are starting to finalize our guest list, another major headache, and we have a list of about 70 of our closest friends and family that we are pretty sure will come. I've had to shave off a lot of my extended family from the guest list, so we will see how things work out. I am keeping my eye out for a bigger venue, but at the same time, I kind of like the idea of a small, intimate wedding on the coast of Maine with our closest friends and family. Besides, a smaller number of people means I get to spoil my guests more. Wouldn't it be awesome to have things on the menu like Maine haddock, bacon-wrapped scallops, and other awesomeness from the ocean? 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jenny,

    I so understand your predicament! I was in the same boat when I was planning my wedding in 05 on a small budget. I had my ceremony at a state park facility too, and opted to have two receptions. The first was a picnic-style gathering at the state park with homemade Maine foods, which anyone who wanted to could attend, including kids, dogs, whatever. And the second was a sit-down dinner in a small banquet room at the old DaVinci's in Lewiston. The dinner reception was adults-only and first-come, first-served with RSVPs as I had a very limited number of seats. I set a deadline, and anybody who tried to RSVP after the deadline was unfortunately not able to attend the dinner. There were a few stragglers who tried to badger or beg me into changing my mind, but I stood my ground and I think I was a lot less stressed than I would have been if I caved. I welcomed any and all the to state park picnic reception, though, and I feel like I did my best to make sure everyone could celebrate with us in some way.

    Anyhoo, that's my little guest list story. :) I love reading about your DIY wedding! I managed to do my ceremony, two receptions, my $300 wedding cake (my one splurge!), and our rings on less than $2500. The opportunities for crafts and making your ceremony your own are endless! Best of luck to you. :)

    ~ Becky W.