In the name of simplicity, T and I decided about two weeks ago to scrap our wedding venue.
The venue we had picked, the Richards-Hart Estate in Wheat Ridge would be a lovely place for a smaller wedding for people that want to do everything themselves and have a lot of support for it. I thought, at the beginning of the wedding planning process that we were one of those couples. As time has gone on, though, I'm realizing that what we both really want in this process is simplicity.
There are some really great things about the Richards-Hart Estate. It's really affordable for one. To rent it for 6 hours is $500. Cheap in WeddingLand. They let you bring in our own booze and choose your own caterer. There is an outdoor area which is pretty to hold the ceremony and enough room for about 80 people inside (albiet somewhat awkwardly.) See, the estate has a lovely room that will fit about 60 people, and 20 people can sit in another room. And even though they say that the place can fit 100, those extra 20 people have to get crammed in somewhere.
So, we thought that we'd just keep our invite list simple and we wouldn't be able to invite everyone, but that would be okay. This was going to be fine, until we realized that we really didn't want to have to chop some of the names off our list. We had 130 which included our many best and dearest friends, family members and a few family friends. It was stressing us out--who to chop. Even without inviting everyone, it would still be a risk that we'd go over the limit.
And then we started thinking about other stuff too-- at the Estate, we'd have to be out by 11pm, which meant, to us, that we'd want to have an after-party somewhere because we like to party. And we'd have to rent some chairs and tables which would need to be picked up by someone at the end of the night. And, we'd have to clean up after ourselves. And book a caterer that would be willing to do some of these things. And probably hire a bartender. Etc, etc. It was feeling less easy and more annoying. So, we looked around a little more.... just to see.
I found Vita. Two miles from our house, 6 blocks from the hotels we've reserved for guests, next to the rehearsal dinner spot.
To rent out the whole restaurant (on a Sunday--even the one before Memorial Day), we only need to meet a pretty nominal food and beverage minimum. We'll end up spending a little more on booze at the restaurant than we would if we were able to purchase it at a liquor store, but the costs do even out a bit. We don't have to pay for a liquor license, or a rental fee, or a bartender, or find a caterer. We don't have to find/rent linens to cover ugly tables. And, we'll have space fore everyone inside if it is raining (I sure hope not, but still). We'll have a chef cooking our food on site, the owner/manager who we met with is experienced at event planning so we've got ourselves a coordinator built in, and they'll arrange for enough waiters and waitresses to walk around and make sure everyone has food and drink. All for the price of food and beverages.
Simplicity for us.
The best part: a rooftop patio. With Christmas lights. With an amazing view of downtown Denver. We'll dance the night away in style.