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Wedding Bookery

Step 2 of the Great Grand Wedding: finding a venue

This was more difficult than you might think.  Darwin and I weren't all that worried about "won't someone think of the CHILD-dren" reactions.  Michigan politics are unfortunately conservative, but after ten years of recession, its businesses have more of a "show me the money" attitude.  No, the challenge came from just FINDING somewhere.

First, we had to settle on something we both liked.  Fortunately, we're both happy with a non-religious ceremony (Darwin is a non-practicing Christian, and I'm a fully-practicing Wiccan, and a non-religious ceremony is an essential middle ground).  So we set out to find non-religious venues.


Neither of us wanted to get married someplace . . . usual. We didn't want a hall or a hotel or a nonsectarian chapel.  Neither of us has a particular place we're attached to, either.  ("We first met in this park, so this is where we want to get married.")  We also wanted a place that could handle the wedding and the reception in the same location.  Neither of us enjoys the kind of wedding where you watch the ceremony and then drive half an hour to the reception (and meanwhile the wedding couple take two hours to get there because they're horsing around in a limo or taking photos while the guests are starving at the reception hall--I once left a wedding where there was a three-hour gap between wedding and reception, in fact).

We looked at the Detroit Princess, which is a riverboat that cruises the Detroit River. It books parties and weddings, and wouldn't that be cool?  But when I called them to ask, I was told to email the new wedding coordinator.  WTF?  I want to drop a few thousand dollars, and you don't want to talk to me directly?  I duly sent an email, and two days went by with no response.  Screw you, too, Princess.  I don't deal with businesses that don't call me back within an hour or two.

We looked at a restored train depot (history!) and a pavilion on Belle Isle and at an aquarium and . . . sheesh. A stunning lot of them didn't call back or didn't post their prices on-line or . . . Don't you WANT people to rent from you?

We even talked about renting a tent and having it at our own house, but tents are scandalously expensive to rent, and then you have the chairs and the tables and everything else, and by the time you're done, you have all the cost of renting a hall and none of the advantages.

In the end, we kept drifting back to the Montague Inn: http://montagueinn.com/

Back in 1986, the Montague Inn bed and breakfast opened in Saginaw and they wanted an Event to create a splash.  At the time, I was 19 and a producer for a small, mobile theater troop.  The Inn hired us to put on a murder mystery weekend to open the Inn with.  It was a lot of work, but an enormous success.  It was so successful that a year later, we did another one for them.  I'd always wanted to stay there as a guest, but never did.

The Inn is still open, 30 years later, and they do weddings and receptions.  They were at the upper edge of what we could afford, but we wouldn't have to do much more than show up with the tuxedos. And they were available on one of the days we wanted.  So we grabbed it.

Venue achieved!

The weekend right after that, Darwin and I drove up there to spend a night so he could see what it's like (and I could revisit it).  It was just as I'd remembered it, and Darwin was completely charmed. If the weather is good, we'll have the wedding in the garden down by the river. If it's bad, we'll be in the main house.  Another advantage of the Inn--we can be in or out as we like!  The grounds are beautiful, the rooms and common areas are lovely.

Did I mention the Inn has a library with a secret room, a secret door, and a secret cupboard?  We used them in the murder weekends, you bet!

We blocked out the entire Inn and the extra guest house out back for wedding guests.  Only wedding people can stay there that night, so we'll have the run of the place.  Yay!  It's so cool!  We sent out a "save the date" email and let people know they could reserve rooms, and as of this writing, there are only two rooms left.

It's going to be awesome!  The Inn will be filled with nothing but friends and family from both sides for the whole day and night.  So cool!



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2015 11:37 pm (UTC)
so exciting!

I get what you mean about wedding scenes in literature. Really boring as a plot device. Fun to hear about when it's friends.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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