We looked at three places in Sacramento, the first of which was The Firehouse Restaurant. This was a restaurant in an old historical building that used to be a firehouse. The interior was very 19th century Bordello, but in a kind of neat way. They have a lush outdoor patio that is used for the ceremony; they air condition the patio, too!
They use one of the smaller dining rooms for the reception.
I could really see this working for a Roaring Twenties style wedding with a bit of a prohibition-era speakeasy feel.
|Some neat old artwork|
Our next stop was to a venue called Vizcaya... no, not the one in Miami! This Vizcaya consists of an old Victorian that houses a bed and breakfast, a garden, a patio, and an "event center", which looks like a modern building built in the Beaux Arts style nextdoor to the original Victorian.
|The B&B half|
|The party half!|
|Pretty fountain outside the reception building!|
Vizcaya also provides a lot of things that you generally end up renting. Most of the venues that we looked at included tables, chairs, and basic linens; Vizcaya provided white Chiavari chairs (they are a BIG DEAL if you know anything about wedding rentals; they go for $9.25 a pop through the company my shop works with, and that's without cushions) as well as a ceremony arch, podiums, easals for signage, etc...
The event center was really nice. It was all done in neutral colors with lots of tall windows and floor length curtains. It's basically two hexagons; dancing happens in one, eating in the other.
|The eating hexagon!|
|The dancing hexagon!|
|The shape of the building is hard to describe. So here's an extra picture from one hexagon looking into the next. It's really open.|
|This is on the ceiling between the hexagons. I had to lay down to take this picture and the lady giving us the tour thought I was a total freak. Oh well. Maybe I am...|
They also have a couple of different ballrooms for receptions, but our favorite features dark wood and mirrors. I could definitely see a glamorous vintage feel to this space. They also provide nice mahogany chiavari chairs as their rentals, but unlike Vizcaya alcohol had to be purchased through them.
|The hallway outside of the reception room|
|A casual seating area that could be used as the informal cocktail hour area. Ooh, a water feature!|
John and I commented on how BOTH of these venues would have easily cost twice as much for what they included in Sonoma County. Sure, it's not hot as balls in Sonoma in the beginning of June, but you can't have it all? By the end of the day, I think John and I were pretty sure that either Arden Hills or Vizcaya would be our venue; they were both an amazing value, were more in line with our theme (in a very neutral way) than many other venues we saw, and would be convenient for family since each had rooms on the premises. Plus, Sacramento has its own airport and lots to see and do since it is the state capitol. Honestly, I'm not going to lie; the price had a lot to do with us feeling like this would be the best choice. Neither John nor I want to feel like terrible people because of the cost of the wedding, so to be able to get a lot of what we wanted for a good price was incredibly appealing. The City Club was a great place to see to get an idea of the feel we wanted, but realistically, it just wouldn't work within our budget.
Hang in there, you guys are so close... I'll tell you which one we picked and why in my next post!