If you follow me on Facebook, you're probably already aware, but a date and a venue have been set for our wedding! On May 18th, 2013, Eric and I will be having the raddest reception ever at the South Shore Pavilion right here in Bay View - that's right, our venue is less than half a mile from our house!
We chose a date last week after a lot of hemming and hawing about whether we could squeeze a wedding in this year. There are a few circumstances that made it clear we wouldn't be able to have our wedding in 2012, and when we discovered that the venue we had our hearts set on was all booked up for the year through October, we knew we'd have to push it back. It's just that important to us to have this amazing space for our wedding, so even though it seems so amazingly far off and it broke our hearts a little to have to wait, we knew in the long run we'd be happier having plenty of time to plan for the perfect wedding in our #1 venue of choice.
I may be slightly insane, but when I called just after Christmas to check 2012 availability and was informed South Shore was all booked up, I asked when I could book for 2013. The woman on the phone told me if I called the morning of January 3rd, I'd pretty much have my choice of any date of the year. So at 9:30 a.m. on the 3rd, I called. Sure enough, May 18th was all ours.
Did I mention we'd never set foot inside South Shore Pavilion when I booked it for our wedding? I'd done a lot of research up to that point, going through photos online and checking reviews and message boards; and from the amazing photos and the outstanding reviews of the space (not to mention, its price can't be beat!) I was not shy about pulling the trigger before seeing the venue in person.
Our relationship has never been traditional in the way of following typical timeline protocol (i.e. buying a house before getting engaged), so our wedding planning probably won't be too standard, either.So after we had the space reserved, Eric and I thought it'd be a good idea to get a look at it. On Saturday, we went (and took plenty of photos to share with you)!
What drew us to South Shore Pavilion, aside from its proximity to our house, is its beautiful brick walls, amazing beamed wooden ceiling and the breathtaking arched windows that look directly out to Lake Michigan.
South Shore Pavilion is part of the Milwaukee County Parks system, and is an incredibly popular venue for wedding receptions (as I'm sure you can see why). One of the parks managers, Jim, met us at the pavilion Saturday morning and could not have been more helpful in answering all of our questions. He was such a nice guy and gave me so much peace of mind with how easy the parks department will be to work with right up to the wedding day. We spent over an hour at the pavilion talking and looking around, and Jim was happy to answer any question we had (and beyond!).
Aside from the beautiful main room of the pavilion, it's got a great smaller room up front, filled with plenty of small, round tables, which will make for the perfect space for a cocktail hour - or a little getaway for guests to gather and talk if they don't want to get down to the awesome tunes that will be bumping from the main room (or if they need to take a break from all the dancing!).
The smaller room also has beautiful arched windows and French doors that open to the park outside.
Back inside the main room, if you were to peer out the arched windows, you can see right out to the shore of Lake Michigan.
Right now, we're debating on whether we'll hold our ceremony at this space outside. The rock sculpture in the photo above looks like it was made to be an altar to be wed at.
My only concern about an outdoor wedding is, obviously, the weather. Wisconsin is a fickle lady when it comes to spring weather. It could be 80 degrees or 40 degrees on May 18th. It could be a gorgeous, blue-skied day, or drizzly and wet. While I dream of a sunny ceremony right by the lake, I worry so much about inclement weather. All I know is the photos would be gorgeous if everything went our way.
P.S. Can you believe the green grass we have in January?!? The weather has been nuts so far this winter!
Oh, and did I mention there are little sandy beaches on both sides of the pavilion? And there's an amazing view of the Milwaukee skyline and the nearby marina.
Going into the appointment to see South Shore Pavilion, I had very little doubt that it would be the perfect venue for our wedding - but after the appointment I had NO doubt. Because it's a park building, we bring in all our our services - caterer, bar staff, DJ, decorations, table linens, etc. It's going to be a lot of work for us, but I wanted to do all the work/planning myself anyway, so I'm up for the challenge. I love the idea of a blank slate and the freedom to do almost anything we want. The ideas are already swirling around my head!
Oh, and just to give you an idea of what it has the potential to look like after it's all dressed up, here are a few photos I've found online.
If I wasn't excited enough already before, after being in South Shore Pavilion has sent me crazy cuckoo bananas about the wedding.... even if it is a year and four months away.....