Friday, February 03, 2006

venue search (continued)

two down, two to go

now that we'd seen the Met Club and the Rainbow Room, the final two venues we were considering were The Pierre (a location that had long been my "that's where i'm going to have my wedding"-spot) and The Newark Club, where a good friend of mine was married and had a wonderful wedding.

The Pierre
happily, the morning we ventured up to see the Pierre (Friday, 12/23/05) the transit strike had ended. we also were excited to see the place because my parents had already scoped it out for us the night before (hey, they live in the neighborhood, and there were no trains!) and thought it was wonderful. because we were pretty sure we'd be having under 250 people, the Cotillion Room was the ballroom in the Pierre that would accommodate us best.
the Grand Ballroom required a guarantee of 250 people, and we did not think that made sense in light of our list. further, my mom greatly preferred the look of the Cotillion Room to that of the Pierre's Grand Ballroom, our other (250+ guests) option.



when we got to the Pierre, i agreed with my mother (a first!)
something about the Grand Ballroom just evoked an auditorium vibe to me. i also greatly preferred the color scheme/decor of the Cotillion Room. however, the Pierre, too, had the dreaded "flip". the ceremony would be in the Cotillion Room, with cocktails in the Regency Room and then back to the Cotillion Room for the dinner dance. although the pre-ceremony "invitational" would be in the Rotunda--a seriously gorgeous room with a staircase on which a classical trio could play while people entered pre-ceremony--this was not really making up for the flip issue.

the Rotunda ... lovely!

then, though, we were taken to see the bridal suite, in which i could get ready on the wedding day. this suite was lovely and BIG (two bedrooms, mais oui). Thurston was particularly impressed with the full bar that it offered. then, though, when i asked "at what time will the suite be made available to me?" i was informed that they could only guarantee that i could have it at 3:00 p.m. now, as any girl with common sense knows, you need a room in which to get dressed, made up, etc. for a 6:30 wedding, *well* before 3 o'clock. by three we would already be in "taking pictures" mode--first checking into the suite was hardly on the agenda.


all-in-all the Pierre was not leaving me wowed. i kind of felt like i was really being "sold" when we met with the catering guy, and he was very big on backtracking off positions he had taken when he initially met with my parents the night before. suddenly, our date wasn't really on hold--"oh no, we *never* hold dates. how could we do business that way?" and the bridal suite "of course it can't be available until people check out. but you can guarantee that you have it early. we let you reserve it the night before for 50% off the regular rate." such a bargain! especially since the regular rate is $2,000 a night.

pros: wedding location of my childhood dreams; beautiful room (Cotillion); very good food; Sylvia Weinstock cake included; the Rotunda(!)

cons: we felt like we were being hustled; no room in which to get ready (for under a $1,000 premium, anyways); another wedding would be going on simultaneously in the Grand Ballroom; the flip

The Newark Club

despite my mother's (and Thurston's. and my father's) inclination to stay in Manhattan proper, i wanted to explore options outside the city. particularly, the Newark Club, where in 2003 i had attended the wedding of my most put-together, fashion-forward friend* and her equally charming husband. the food was wonderful, the space was great, the dinner table chairs were comfortable--for what more could you ask?

so i made an appointment with Erica at the Newark Club and on a freezing Saturday afternoon, my mom, dad, T and i headed to Newark. forget what you know about Newark-- the Newark Club is in the business district of Newark, which hardly evokes the images of gunfire and abandoned cars that one's preconceived notions re: Newark might otherwise dictate...


the room was spacious and had great views (since it's on the 22nd floor) of New York and all around.


the one fatal flaw: the Newark Club had no dates in 2006. not a single Saturday.
as much as we all loved (i cannot emphasize enough how amazing this woman was and how well she presented the Club, the wedding schedule, and how she just had a handle on *everything*) Erica, the wedding coordinator there, i love Thurston more (oh, oh, oh!) and did not want to wait until 2007 to officially become a Howell. so, the Newark Club was out.

* further props should be given to her since anyone who was able to live with my 18 year old self and still hang onto their sanity is in a league of their own.

6 Comments:

At 2/06/2006 10:37:00 AM, Anonymous Don't tackle me "T" said...

You left out the fact that Erica at the Newark Club (very petite woman) mentioned that she had a 12 year old son who was already being recruited from college football programs because he was north of 240 lbs.

 
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