Monday, November 24, 2008

The Hotel Wedding

Almost immediately after Mr. CP and I got engaged, I was overwhelmed with the planning. Where do we start? What should we do? I decided, we should begin with setting a date and picking a place, which go hand in hand. We knew we wanted a hotel wedding. Originally, I pictured gorgeous botanical gardens, and an outdoor setting, with mason jars of fresh lemonade, but with my hair frizzing in an ounce of humidity, our families not being local, plus that special something about stumbling upstairs after a wedding, we realized a hotel was perfect for us. So we looked at a few places.
We began with Cherry Blossom season. YES! Gorgeous! I loved this idea because it represents DC so well, plus, I had visions of beautiful bunches of pink everywhere.... However, my hopes and dreams were crashed when I realized this was not possible. See, we are Jewish, and a Rabbi won't drive to marry us until the sunsets on the Sabbath, which realistically puts a Saturday wedding, from the months of March-October, beginning at 9:00 pm. That didn't quite work for us. This caused a lot of arguments between me and my parents, about the level of religion we wanted in our wedding, but I did want a traditional wedding, and it meant so much to my parents, so I gave in.
We decided on a Sunday, May 24, 2009 (Memorial Day weekend) to be exact. The venue search began. On a Sunday, it is not "Shabbat," any more, and the Rabbi can come at anytime. Plus, we get an entire 3 day weekend to enjoy the wedding festivities. The only downside is people telling me it is rude to have a wedding on a holiday weekend. To them, I simply, say, "It's rude for you to tell me that." The conversation usually ends there. No, I am kidding, but people do say that to me, all the time!
The first place we looked at was in Crystal City, VA. Mr. CP loves Virgina, and even though I am a MD girl, I agreed to a VA venue. The first stop was a pretty hotel, the main room was gorgeous, but the "feel" of the hotel was more like a conference hotel than a wedding hotel. I had trouble picturing our wedding there, plus, they host "Rolling Thunder" Memorial Day weekend every year, which is Veteran's Motorcycle group. This led to endless jokes from my dad, "Instead of Black Tie, we can have Black Leather!"

(I took these)

The next stop was in Old Town, Alexandria and was on the lower end of our budget. I do love Old Town, and we know we could get some gorgeous pictures with the cute streets and the water. However, it needed a lot of renovations and wasn't in the best shape. The halls looked dirty and the main room was not so pretty. It was exciting that with the difference in price, we could do so much more fun details, but it didn't feel right.

(I took these myself)

The last place of the day, after much frustration, was another Hotel in Crystal City, The Crystal City Marriott. Almost immediately after walking in, I knew this was right. I saw vibrant colors in the lobby, and a long spiral staircase and could actually picture myself getting married here. Almost immediately after we arrived, the front desk person offered to help us. The service was amazing from the very second we got there, and only got better.

source for both of the above images

(I took the 2 pictures above)

Then we went to the ballroom. I love the hallway that leads up to the room, and at the time, thought it would be where the cocktail hour would be. I later found out, they have a totally separate room, but I still love the hallway.

The ballroom doesn't have windows, so I know I will need to make the room gorgeous in another way. We need an exceptionally large dance floor so there is plenty of room for the Horah Dance! The wonderful staff at the Hotel, even offered to come in on their day off and set up the ballroom with 180 chairs, and a full dance floor, so we could see what the room looked like. When we got there, they even had chocolates and champagne for us!

Looks pretty big, right?

Then we got to see the rooms, and after this, it was a DONE DEAL!
Source for the above pictures

The staff was so accommodating, they made us feel really special. . They also gave us free suites and lowered the price for our parents. The food was great too! We are so excited to have our wedding there!!

Have you decided on a venue? Tell me what's important to you!

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