June 8, 2010

"Venuegate is Over"

Why did Madman's 2E's burst into tears the very moment that he walked into their cozy Los Angeles apartment yesterday afternoon? (Please circle one option below.)

   (a) She was just so overjoyed to see his face
   (b) She was overcome when she saw the bouquet of pink mini roses he'd bought for her
   (c) She found a ceremony venue that is available, affordable and in walking distance of our reception venue, and she was just so effing relieved that she couldn't contain herself
   (d) all of the above

If you guessed (d), you're cute, but no.
If you guessed (a) or (b), you haven't been reading.

That's right boys and girls, brides and grooms, the correct answer is (c), and today -- on this day -- I can't blame her. You know the Photobooth cloud? That grey, looming, egg-shaped thunder cloud that hung over her head when she realized that we couldn't possibly afford to have an old-school photobooth at our reception?

Well the Photobooth cloud was nothing compared to the London Tower edition ball and chain ceremony venue shackles (patent pending).

In the words of my childhood, this stupid, poo poo-faced ceremony hunt has kept us in a wedding planning slump for months. It's left us dragging ass with rejection after rejection, letdown after letdown. It's even left some family members wondering whether the wedding would happen or not...

(...which is fascinating, because if this blog never existed, never came to be, then no one would be clued in to our venue setbacks.)

And the problem was not motivation or lack of resources. The problem, you see, is that 90% of the venues in New York City exceed our (apparently) meager budget. 9% of the remaining 10% are either too remote or too small or too ugly. That left 1%. One-friggin'-percent. One percent is a blessing and a curse. It narrowed our search, but it also narrowed our search.

(The statistics above are absolute bullshit.)

What saved us was dedication. What saved us was 2E's setting a goal: to find a place within walking distance of the reception space, whether it be a restaurant or coffee shop, art gallery or artist loft, warehouse or whatever. If it held 85 people and wasn't rat infested (and we mean infested), we were going to make it work.

In the final days of my new york city residency, the Best Man and I took a visit to Brooklyn to see a few more places and do a walking tour of the neighborhood. The results? Well, the first place we had an appointment with totally dropped the ball and forgot about us (sign of things to come?). The second place didn't have air conditioning ... ever. And the other places were either closed or down dark staircases or up long and winding staircases. It was not looking more and more like we would be in Brooklyn Bridge Park, nestled beneath the Manhattan Bridge, with an AMAZING view of the East River and lower Manhattan but with no rain back-up and god knows how many random strangers walking through and around our ceremony.

And then powerHouse Arena came along.

"WELCOME" is right. WELCOME to our kickass venue.

powerHouse (also powerHouse Books) is a "boutique, book store, performance, and events space ... with soaring 24-foot ceilings on the 5,000 square foot ground floor with over 175 linear-feet of glass frontage and amphitheater-style seating." It's raw and city-like; it's got great levels built into it; it's nothing like our reception venue; and most of all, it's very us. We've passed it what seems like hundreds of times in our trips to Brooklyn over the years; we just never thought we could afford the rental cost.

And in truth, we can't. To hold our wedding there would put us at least $3K over budget. But to hold just our ceremony there -- a fixed 2-hr window plus an hour for set-up -- is do-able. YES. FINALLY.

And the best part is ... those of us who can manage will be walking from the ceremony to the reception. It's 0.2 miles. It will take 3-4 minutes. 5 minutes in heels.

As bride, fellow blogger and groom supporter Lara said last night, we are "so glad #venuegate is over." And now we can move on to the other 8 million things we have to do, cloud-free, shackle-free, and on-budget. For now.


  1. I can feel the relief all the way over in Tampa! Congrats you too, we had 6 months for our wedding and even 2 weeks past what we expected to spend looking for our venue put hannah in a bad place!

    awesome awesome!

  2. Yay! I'm so happy for you both that this is settled! It looks beautiful!

  3. aww thanks for the shout out! it's been fun (and helpful) to follow along from the guy's perspective : )

  4. Awesome! Congrats on checking off the biggest to do on your list! Must feel awesome!

  5. Yay, congrats :) I hope the rest of the planning goes smoother!

  6. I won't have to "Read" will I?

  7. You don't even need to know how to read, Mr. Aames.