Finding THE Venue Part II

After narrowing down our choices to five contenders, it was site tour time! I took a day off of work to hit up three locations. Since most offices close by 4 or 4:30pm and I don't get off work til 5pm, trying to go after work wasn't going to cut it.

I went with my mom and my sister for their thoughts and input. Since we're really wedding planning newbies, we went in with an open mind and some questions. Having reviewed some of the policies and menus, I knew that I had some questions to ask. Cake cutting fee? Corkage fee? Security fee? And probably most important, spending minimums. Since I felt the blow of sticker shock via the venue that wanted $12K for a rental fee, I braced myself to ask about the minimums. Luckily, among our five contenders, the minimum range was between $10k and $15k, inclusive. Woo hoo!

A mini tour:

Dublin Ranch Golf Club

Tracy, the Event Manager, was super nice and helpful and seemed like a wonderful resource for the wedding day. She told us the minimums, which were on par for the location, and showed us the space. Basically their banquet facility is the club's restaurant. It would be cleared out of golfers and set up for a wedding reception. She showed us some nice photos and we gathered ideas. Nice space and on a Saturday evening in July, the weather should be pleasant.

Sunol Valley Golf Club

The only wedding I've attended as an attendant was at Sunol Valley Golf Club. I had some vague memories of the place, and their pricing was very reasonable for our budget. The space was big enough, but I had a few qualms about the space. There are two rooms that the club rents out for events. A larger room that fits 220 and a smaller room that fits 150. The smaller room comes with an anteroom, great for hors d'oeuvres and hanging out pre-dinner. The larger room has a built in dance floor and bar. This venue freely books up to 4 events in a day. That means there could be a wedding next door and the smaller room would/could hear the event going on next door. This did not sit well with me. The larger room doesn't have an anteroom - not that much of a necessity, but I definitely liked the idea. The rental included free golf which was a definite plus since my dad and my future father-in-law love golf.

Fremont Marriott

I liked this venue initially because of the location. It is only 15 minutes from the ceremony site and it's a hotel, so our out of town guests wouldn't have to drive home at the end of the night. However, I wasn't impressed by the Event Manager. When we came in for a site tour, she didn't know that we were planning a wedding, what month, or what year. She rushed us along and told us that the Marriott was raising their pricing structure so we should book right away if we wanted the old pricing. I wasn't impressed by the pricing either. And the fact that it was going up by $30 a head in a few weeks wasn't great.

Wedgewood Banquets at Metropolitan Golf Links

Wedgewood Banquets is a new event tent in Oakland, very close to the Oakland Airport. They are an all inclusive venue, which includes food, beverage, cake, DJ, and reception floral arrangements. The thought of it being all inclusive was tempting. However, being a control freak didn't help their cause. On the one hand I liked that I'd only have to work through one vendor and everything else would be taken care of. On the other hand, I wanted to hand-pick my vendors, be able to talk to them, and know that they have my best interests in mind. Also, I didn't like the fact that there was no tasting. They say that the food is good, but not to be all Bridezilla, but I would like to know what my guests will be eating, not just "Chicken Marsala". The entire staff at Wedgewood was incredibly nice and helpful, and if you're not a control freak, I would definitely recommend them. Their pricing is also on par considering it's all inclusive.

Next, the location we decided to book...

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