When I last left y’all, I had returned from my crash-course in venue selection in New Orleans. None of the choices had been perfect, but I was leaning in the direction of Southern Oaks, despite my many misgivings. Between the pushy owner—when told him I had no interest in renting the dilapidated horse-drawn carriage for $600 and five minutes, he insisted that it was “so much nicer that whatever I was thinking”—the fact that they do not allow tastings, a stream of bad reviews, limited access to the venue (one hour before, 30 minutes after) and my own gut feeling…I just couldn’t bring myself to write the deposit check.
Not gonna lie, that feeling really sucked. I was really disappointed that I didn’t have a venue option I really liked. I felt like I had wasted a plane ticket and weekend, and was no further along in the process than I had been before I left. And I felt like I had let Mr Archer down a bit—I’d gone off with my girlfriends to find us a wedding venue, and though I had a lovely time, I had nothing to really show for it.
So I was in a bit of a wedding planning funk, no doubt about it. I was drinking wine and avoiding thinking about how we were going to get married on a street corner (which sounded just dandy after a couple of glasses, not gonna lie) one evening, when Mr. Archer’s mom called. He updated her on the venue hunt, and she made a few suggestions to look into. I was convinced they were all going to be too pricey, but figured we might as well look into them anyway. I was right about two—Race and Religious and the Elms Mansion put us just over budget. House of Broel was well within our price range, but when I sent BM S to view it, she vetoed it immediately—there is a bride-doll and dollhouse collection scattered through the entire venue, which comes off a little creepy. That’s three more discards, if you are counting. And just when I was feeling like Goldilocks…MIL Archer nailed it.
The Columns Hotel on historic St. Charles Avenue was one of the places we had crossed off the list as being over budget without making a formal inquiry—whoops! Suffice it to say, it was shockingly well priced. It’s also only a few blocks from the house Mr Archer grew up in, and it’s a place we’ve always enjoyed together.
They have a fabulous bar and yummy restaurant, so we’d gone there for many a jazz brunch, veranda happy hour, or fancy cocktail—we thought it was really special to celebrate our wedding someplace we already had an emotional tie to. A seventeen-room historic bed and breakfast, I adored the idea of filling the rooms with our family and friends for the weekend, and having the streetcar rumble by. It had the perfect layout for the outdoor ceremony and indoor reception I wanted, and I could speak from experience that the food, drinks, and service are top-notch. And, did I mention…it’s freaking gorgeous!
I cannot wait to walk down this aisle to marry Mr. Archer!
photo by kristen taylor
We shot a few emails back and forth, and I had a deposit in the mail to them a few days later! It was weird to book a venue that I hadn’t viewed through wedding planning eyes I didn’t remember exactly what the ballroom was like, details like that. But with pictures, a visit by BM S, and a great gut feeling—we took the leap!
Did anyone else choose a venue they had crossed off the potentials list? What changed your mind?