Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vendor Search: The Venue Part I

Before it was ours, I had driven past our wedding venue probably a hundred times. It's one of those venues that is so nice, so pure perfection that I didn't even consider researching it because I just knew it was out of our budget. I didn't want to get my hopes up only for them to go crashing down. This is probably the only time I'll ever say this but I'm so happy I wasn't right! But, before I get into where we ended up, I'll give you a brief history on how we got there.

When we moved to San Antonio from Virginia back in June'08, we knew our Oct'09 wedding would be taking place in our new city. Due to the high demands of the Mr.'s job, he wasn't able to take a ton of time off to go back to the motherland for our nuptials. Plus, San Antonio is a rad city and it would give me an excuse to have a wedding featuring margaritas and queso, two of my favorite things on the planet. We knew it was asking a lot to have our friends and family come all over the country for our wedding but we promised ourselves we'd throw an awesome party to make the trip well worth their while!

Together, we made a list of "wants" for our perfect venue: (1) Downtown location so it would be convenient for our out-of-town guests, (2) Enough outdoor space for at least some if not all of the event, (3) Ability to have ceremony & reception in same location and (4) It had to have character! We've been to lots of beautiful weddings at country clubs and in hotel ballrooms, but we knew those venues weren't right for us. We wanted something we could transform into our wedding, not something that was already ready to go. (Basically I wanted to make things as difficult as possible for myself.)

When my mom came to visit us in Jul'08, a-venue hunting we went. One afternoon, we came across Sunset Station, a large special event facility that had tons of history and lots of unique spaces we could make our own.


It met every requirement on our list! We kept it in the back of our minds over the past two years and when the time finally came to go visit with vendors, they were the first place I called. Unfortunately, in the time between then and now, the facility hired one of the larger catering firms here in town to manage their Special Events division. And prices went up. Not just up, but UP. And UP = out of our budget.

So the search that I thought was finished was really just beginning.

Luckily, one of my bridesmaids just so happens to be a Wedding/Event Planner here in town (I know, major score, right?!). She sent me a massive list of venues she recommended and I started making my way down it, one by one.

Spanish Governor's Palace.

It was downtown, had tons of outdoor space full of lush greenery and it was unique. The place was truly beautiful but it had a lot of things that made for potential logistical nightmares. The biggest issue was that you couldn't use any of the building's indoor space which meant no rain plan and no holding/staging area prior to the ceremony. It also meant no secluded area for the caterers to set up shop, so they would be running the show five feet away from our head table.

The Bushnell:
The Bushnell is actually an apartment building with rooftop event space that boasts uncomparable views of Downtown San Antonio. We ended up not selecting it because the cost of renting it was high (to us) and came bare bones so we would have to have everything brought in. Plus, with it being on the rooftop meant the only way to get there was to go up! I'm sure this could make for a madhouse for vendors sharing the elevators with the building's residents.


Now this place shocked the hell out of me. It was inside! Totally, completely different than what I had been envisioning for the past two years. But it was unique and really, just, cool. I was in love with this venue and knew it was just right. The only problem was a convention group had a hold on our date and the evening before and were having a difficult time picking the night for their event. I was on pins and needles waiting to find out which date they picked. And then the even coordinator called and told me they had selected our date. Of course they did.

Back to Square Zero (we hadn't even made enough progress to get to Square "One" yet...). But, eventually we did get to Square "YAYYYY WE FOUND OUR VENUE!"

Stay tuned to find out who the lucky winner was!


  1. I am so excited....all of the venues you found were awesome, but I am sure you've found the right one for you guys!

  2. These places all look beautiful...but I can't wait to read all about the final choice you went with! It sounds amazing from talking to you about it!