Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Search Continues

I apologize for my blog laziness the last couple of days....I am not feeling so hot. The last two days have been brutal, but I think this darn cold is passing because I'm feeling significantly better this morning, though it may just be the DayQuil and coffee combo.I don't know how I got sick...I didn't share my Boone's Farm with ANYONE last weekend!

Tuesday afternoon my mom and I continued to tour reception sites. But, it wasn't easy. Make way for a side story. So, our townhouse complex is having the streets re-paved or as they call it "resealed." So we get this lovely blue sheet in our door explaining when and where we can and cannot park while this "resealing" is taking place. The sheet says the "resealing" will take place Tuesday morning from 6am-9:30am and to not park in the parking lot or outdoor parking spaces. J parks in our outdoor space, so there was no problem because he gone long before 6am on Tuesdays. So it's 11:15am and I am getting ready to leave...I need to bring Bailey to J's dad's so that she isn't home alone for 7 hours, then I NEED my large soy iced chai from Coffee Buzz, then I need to be at the Hilton in Bloomington for a 12:30 appointment. I walk outside and they're still "resealing." Fine. No big deal. I go in to the garage and get in my car and the garage door doesn't open. So I open the side door and grab the "resealers" attention. "Um, I need to get out." The resealer guys are pretty nice so they say they'll move their truck so I can get out...I just have to drive carefully. At this point they've only resealed the outer parts of the street, so I can still drive on it. Well, the damn garage still doesn't open. So I call the office. Keep in mind my head is throbbing, I can't swallow because my through hurts so bad and my nose is on fire from blowing it every 35 seconds. Plus, my body ached and Bailey was freaking out because she had no idea what was going on. Anyways, I call the office and the idiot of a man they have manning the place (seriously, this isn't my first run-in with whatever-his-name-is....he's not bright) tells me he'll send maintenance down to the garage. So I sit there for 10 minutes. Once again, I get out of my car and go back upstairs to call the office. I don't get service in the garage so each time I call the office or call J screaming I have to get out of my car and go upstairs. They tell me maintenance is coming. Maintenance dude gets down to the garage and opens the door, GREAT I'M FREE! Wrong! Now the stupid resealers have completely "resealed" the street, so I can't get out. I lose it. I start telling maintenance guy that I have a business meeting I need to get to and no where on the precious blue sheet did it say I couldn't park in the garage or that I would be trapped in the garage! I said those exact words, yes, "precious blue sheet" left my lips. He calls his "manager" who says that if I drive on it I will have to pay to fix the damage it causes. So naturally I say, "Well when I lose my job are you going to pay my salary?" OK, I realize it's my day off and I realize I was exaggerating the truth but I really didn't feel well and I really needed to get out of the garage. Thankfully, my fiance loves me and he convinced his little brother to come pick me up, bring Bailey back to his house and let me drive his car for the day! He's a saint....future-brother-in-law....I owe you!

I made it to the appointment on time, which is really the point of this post. My mom and I looked at four more reception spaces on Tuesday, meaning we have now looked at eight spots. I'm realizing that no place is perfect. Every spot has their positives and negatives. For some reason, I just thought I would have have this "aha" moment and this decision would be super easy. Well, I mentioned in this post that I really liked these two locations, both of which are now out of the running. Five is great, but the style of wedding we would have had to have just wasn't us. And, St. Anthony Main is still my number one but after a lot of tweaking we just can't get it to fit our budget unless we sacrifice A LOT, for example cutting 45 people off our guest list, having a Friday wedding instead of Saturday and having a 5 hour reception instead of a 6. Those are three things I'm just not willing to do. So, I've moved on. Tuesday we looked at the Hilton in Bloomington, the Science Museum in St. Paul, the Hyatt Regency downtown Minneapolis and International Market Square. I liked all four of these places a lot. All of them would be great for different reasons. I think I have narrowed it down to the Hilton Bloomington and International Market Square.

The Hilton is a brand new hotel (built in 2008) and has a great ballroom.
It's a everything is right there. Guests just go upstairs to their rooms. Everything is included...J and I get a free room for the wedding night. We also get a complimentary room to get ready in and to use for a gift opening/breakfast the next morning.

It's a hotel....I feel like hotel weddings can get to be so "cookie cutter." I want our wedding to be a night everyone remembers and says, "Gosh, that was the best wedding!" It's also in Bloomington which is a suburb of Minneapolis. So our reception wouldn't be right in the city like I wanted. Also, hotel wedding food can be not-so-good, I don't want to assume anything about this hotel's food....but typically this is the case.

International Market Square
(Here's the little write up from the website:)
In the heart of Minneapolis stands a historic structure revitalized as a Design Center and Home Furnishings mart. Where once Munsingwear set the style in undergarments, International Market Square now showcases the latest trends in furnishings and accessories from around the world and could become the location for your next special event! The focal point of International Market Square is the Atrium, a soaring, sun washed event space lined with ivy accented balconies. Its peak glass roof rises 72 feet above the tiered Italian tile floor punctuated by live trees and newly added subtle glowing light fixtures.

Definitely not cookie cutter, it's a very unique and beautiful space. D'amico caters, so the food will be outstanding! It's right outside of downtown Minneapolis so the location is perfect!

We'll have to rent linens because what they offer is not-so-good. We'll have to find a hotel for guests to say and find a safe and reliable way for them to get to the hotel. There isn't much included in the cost so we'll have to make sure we can get all that we want but still keep it within the budget.

So what do you think? Hotel? Event Center? Alternative? Have you been to great hotel weddings? Not-so-great hotel weddings? What did you or what are you willing to sacrifice or not sacrifice? What is most important? Location? Food? HELP ME!


ajs {of MN} said...

IMS! we had prom there (YEARS ago) two years in a row- it's awesome. i SO MOST DEFINITELY vote NONcookie cutter. there is nothing different and unique about a hotel wedding it really does end up being the same old same old with a new bride and groom- to be BRUTALLY honest.
so if you are anything like my hubby and I... you will want to go different and you will make it work ;) good luck!! but again, i vote IMS. xo- A

Charbelle said...

Are these your only options? I'm not familiar with your area so it's kind of hard for me to give input. Are there any vineyards close to you? Refresh my memory when is the wedding? Do you have a local bridal magazine? Down here we have Carolina Bride and I used to tell all my brides to use that to find vendors, locations, etc. Check for websites, we don't have any excellent ones here but some areas have websites that are gold mines of information!!

Charbelle said...

Never mind I went back and looked, you're still unsure of your date. Because of where you live, and the fact that you're a huge football girl, what about July? I know y'all are tossing around ideas. But if you did July that gives you oh so many options for outdoorish type locations. OK stopping now, sorry I love wedding planning and I've been in and out of bridal for a long time!

chelsea said...

what an exciting and overwhelming time! And I'm dealing with the same repaving craziness where I work, urgh! Hope you're feeling better:)

Sunshinemeg said...

I just stumbled across your blog and had to tell you that I love it! Wedding planning is fun, but stressful. Try to take a deep breath and follow your heart. I know it sounds corny, but trust me, it works. Good luck with everything. New follower and just wanted to say hi!

Miss K said...

I think that regardless of what you choose, your and J will make it perfect for you guys!! I would say whatever is the easiest and in your budget would be best. Finding a bus or whatever might seem like a pain, but then be really easy to do. Then, I've had some hotel food that's horrible- chicken cordon blech!, but recently I went to a Hilton and they had a buffet of Mexican food with stuff to make burritos and fajitas and it was bomb diggity. Seriously delicious. I'd look into everything you would need at each place more, like a literal list of everything you would have to buy/use/rent etc before making a decision.

Scott said...

Hi Kristin, I bumped into your blog tonight. My opinion is coming from a photographers viewpoint. Hotel weddings generally don't offer a lot for the photographer to work with. If you go with the wedding at the Hilton allow for extra time to travel to a local park like Centennial Lakes or Hyland Park. The difference between ordinary photography and great photography is time. The International Market Square has a lot more interesting angles for a photographer to work with. Best of luck as you continue to plan.

Ryan Kay said...

Cute blog! I'm a new follower. Whatever you choose it will be perfect. Enjoy every minute of the planning! Our 3 year anv. is this month and it's crazy how fast time flies by.