Are You My Venue? #4-8: The SF Bay Area

Oh boy, was it a long trip of venue scouting.

Some of the questions that I asked while visiting these sites:
- how would you suggest separating the unisex bathroom for my more traditional guests?
- do people usually add flowers or ribbons to the urinals to discourage people from peeing in them?
- no parking? Could you give me an average cost of shuttle buses?
- can we play this piano? There was a rental fee for the piano at the other site.
- so, I would get married on this lawn, and there would be another wedding on that lawn?
- is there a lot of turkey poo in the meadow? How about duck poo?

To keep this as quick as possible, I'm going to list the pros and cons of each place we visited.
If you are interested in any of these venues and would like to know more, please leave a comment and I can PM you!

Text Color

-Both of us liked this venue. It was quaint, cute, and could fit all of our guests.
-The fee goes towards a good cause.
-Beautiful architecture. Very SF Bay Area.
-Reasonably priced with chairs and tables (woohoo chairs!)

-What parking?
-I wasn't too impressed with the ceremony area, which I had hoped would be grass instead of concrete.

-OH EM GEE--I loved it here! The ceremony area is so so pretty and feels completely secluded. I could just imagine someone playing acoustic guitar as we walked through the forest of trees to the middle of the grove. Absolutely beautiful.
-We heart Berkeley like organic jam hearts soy butter.

-I didn't really feel like asking a friend to drive a van up and down the Berkeley hills so we could save cash on a shuttle van. Yeah, you guessed it--very little parking.
-For such an amazing spot, only 100 people could attend. We'd have to break some hearts in order to keep it that small.

[Le sigh. Image from weddingmapper]

-We'd be supporting a good cause.
-The Golden Gate National Park--freakin' gorgeous!
-Building is most definitely unique--nothing standard about it.
-Local, organic catering in-house
-There was a beautiful piano that came with the site fee in the ceremony room. I already had dreams of walking down the aisle to a piano...here was my chance!

-The bathroom. The boy hated the bathroom set-up. It is a rather old building, so the urinals did not work and the plumbing was a little leaky. Also, it was a unisex bathroom, so we would have to put up a curtain. I could just hear my parents complaining about that on my shoulder while we were on the tour.
-The boy just didn't like the venue at all and put it last on his list.

[The urinals look super charming in this photo by Marla Aufmuth via Snippet and Ink. The boy just wasn't digging it.]

#7 Dunsmuir Estate, Oakland, CA
I can't really write pros and cons for this one. There were a lot of things that rubbed me the wrong way. Enough said.

#8 The Brazilian Room in Tilden Park, Berkeley, CA

-The cost! This was the cheapest venue we saw.
-Very pretty rustic venue with a lot of foliage and flowers
-Quaint and cute
-Again, we heart Berkeley like flip-flops heart fleece sweaters.

-Parking woes.
-The drive through the winding hills got me a little car sick.
-We'd only be able to fit 120-130 with a dance floor. Bummer dude.

I'm so lucky to have such a patient partner who got dragged to all of these places. Let's hear it for the boy, and his willingness to drive all over the Bay Area and pay the $6 toll at the Golden Gate Bridge! Woohoo! **Applause**

I bet you're thinking, man Mo, I can't believe I read through this whole thing and you STILL don't have a venue. Well, lucky readers, stay-tuned for what we decided...


Joel Flory said...

Thought I would throw a vote in for the Headlands center for the Arts. Katie Powers catering there is hands down the best in the bay area. Here is a wedding we shot there this last year: http://blog.joelflory.com/says/wedding/marin-headlands/monica.html

Let me know if you need help with anything.

Krista said...

I think you may need to get a shuttle bus. So many of those venues didn't have parking - that may just have to be a cost you have to pay.

If both of you like the outdoor art club.

Do you have a tentative # of guests? I can't recall if you've mentioned it. You should sort out your numbers (if you haven't already) so you can cross out the smaller venues. We're having about 110-115, so numbers weren't really an issue for us. And seriously, the Headland Center for the Art and the Brazilian Room are gorgeous. But if you already know you want 200 people, you should just cross them out. If you're unsure, then that's a decision you'll have to make.

Mo said...

Thanks for the tips!
@JF: I saw the wedding you photographed there on SMP--so gorgeous! The Headlands kitchen was amazing, and when Katie described going to the farmer's market the morning of the wedding, I knew we'd be in for a culinary treat if we did choose them.

@Krista: Thanks for your feedback! The guest count was the biggest hurdle for us since we were in fact unsure of how many people we should invite. But we sat down and both of us had a gutt feeling, and we chose a place! I'll update on that soon!

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