Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Winner Is...

Recently, I had some worries about our reception site. Initially, we had chosen a hotel near Union Station, but when the proposal came out about $15k above our budget (I should note, we haven't made a budget, the proposal was $16 close to $17,000 which we both knew was WAY over budget.) we decided we needed to look elsewhere.

When Mr. GP finally emailed our fabulous wedding planner to tell her the sorry news, she was willing to make it work. But then I came forth and told him my thoughts - "the ballroom? Is ugly. I don't like it. I wouldn't have been happy there." Granted the upstairs for the cocktail hour would have been great! Unfortunately, at their prices, we couldn't afford a cocktail hour.

So we kept looking. We looked at a restaurant - Clyde's Gallery Place and we fell in love. I'm still a bit worried, but mostly because well, when I envisioned my wedding I envisioned a room with lots of lights, candles, a big dance floor, and this room? Hardwood paneling, it's own back bar and room for a...small dance floor. At best. If we keep the guest list down to 110 MAX!

But we put down our deposit. I convinced myself it's nice. We know the food is going to be INCREDIBLE and the man who will be helping us with the planning is beyond competent and incredibly helpful.

So a few weekends ago, as I aforementioned, we came across a restaurant on the Waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. I fell in love. We didn't go inside but I saw large windows, I envisioned hard wood floors perfect for dancing. I had heard nothing but great things about it from a friend who had dined there a few years ago.

Then Mr. GP's brother (Best Man) did some research and found some reviews after we put in a request for a proposal. The reviews were less than stellar. The good ones? Few and far between. The bad ones? Were stuff you don't want to read when you're considering it for a wedding reception. Bad service, mediocre and over priced food...not good.

So we discussed, and given the fact that the planner at Clyde's was amazing and got back to us within 48 hours of us inquiring and now 10 days later I STILL haven't heard anything back from Jane Doe Planner at Restaurant USA, we decided to not even bother with it.

But then he asked me what I wanted - I told him. I want dancing, a dance floor - not carpet (Clyde's doesn't have a dance floor - you have to rent one. Though our planner told us some people have foregone the dance floor and done without), Christmas lights, candles, pretty flowers - I want simple elegance.

He promised me we would make that room into whatever we want. We'll make it pretty, and just how I've always wanted my wedding to be. I smiled at him over my wedding binder, looked down at the pictures of the room, and knew he was right.

So Clyde's it is, this weekend we're taking our families there for lunch. (we couldn't get a tasting though we did try!) After that? The Mothers are going dress shopping with me...don't get me started about how that in itself is stressing me out.

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Blogger AmyJean {Relentless BrideĀ®} said...

I think its kinda suitable that Ms. Gallery Place gets married in Gallery Place/Chinatown... sounds about right. And Personally, I love the GP Clyde's. The food will be awesome too. I also think it can make for some real fun city life pictures of your bridal party!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 3:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought - when I read this I kept thinking about Old Ebbitt Grill. Have you thought of them at all? They are VERY reasonable and have plenty of space for a dance floor- and are owned by the same company as Clyde's so maybe you could figure something out where you'd get to keep your deposit and apply it to the new place? It could be worth looking into for sure... that is where we are having our reception.

As for the Chart House in old town- my parents are from Alexandria (I actually live in nyc) so we were thinking of having our rehearsal dinner there. The people could not have been worse and harder to deal with. Seriously, it was like out of a movie. I would keep calling and requesting pricing info and they'd SWEAR they'd email it to me and just wouldn't do it. I had to speak to the general manager and yell at him to finally get something going. What a mess. So anyway I don't think you are missing anything by not going that route.

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 4:28:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs. in May said...

The Chart House is one of those places that is better in concept than in excecution. As an Alexandrian, I heart Old Town and have had great meals at the Chart House, but I have also had numerous occasions with poor service. Clyde's is such a local place with a great name, consistently solid food and a cool vibe. I think you will get what you are looking for, and one plus - a small room forces you to control the guest list (and there for the budget). I have a huge room so I keep adding "just one more" and have watched the budget creep up as well.
I think you made a great choice!

Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:15:00 PM  

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