Re: So Overwhelmed with venue locations!
posted at 11/18/2009 11:13 AM EST
I was looking at venues similar to yours and eventually decided on the Omni Parker House. I'm not getting married til next July, but I'm really excited about everything so far, and from what I have heard from people who've been to events there, the food is always great (one of our major priorities!).
A few things you might want to ask--things I learned along the way as I tried to find a good spot for a 200 person wedding in Boston:
1. Are there windows and a view? I found that in several of the hotels, we'd be in a windowless room or the view would be of pretty much nothing. (Even at the Seaport, with ocean views, it was "industrial ocean" and not pretty seaside.) Because my family is from the area, if I was going to have them come into Boston, I wanted them to feel as though they were IN Boston. The Royal Sonesta in Cambridge had great views of the Charles and the OPH is the rooftop ballroom, which means that you get really cool views of the Citgo sign, the Zakim bridge, etc. and the room is full of windows. (Incidentally, I think the Charles Hotel was one of the windowless ones, but I'm not 100 percent sure.)
2. What's the deal with other weddings the same day? Get them to explain EXACTLY what happens. A couple of the places I looked at said there were other events at the same time and on the same FLOOR even, but that they "staggered them." I didn't like that, which is a personal thing. The Royal Sonesta has two weddings at a time, but I believe they are on separate sides of the building entirely, and at the Omni, you get the entire top floor to yourself, so little chance of running into another event there.
3. The accommodations. Since it sounds like you will have a lot of out of town guests, just be sure that the hotel situation is going to be OK. For example, the blocks are a percentage off the rate, so you have to be careful that you're not booking a hotel near a college on graduation weekend or the rates could be out of control (so we were told). Also, check out the rooms. Honestly, rooms at some of the hotel looked GORGEOUS and while the Omni is nice, the rooms are TINY! If you have a lot of people traveling, you want to take this into consideration.
4. The taxes fees etc. part of the bill. DEFINITELY ask about this and calculate it all into your budget. I absolutely grilled my coordinator at the Omni Parker House on fees before we signed anything b/c 18 percent extra on a 200 person wedding is a lot! When comparing venues, I created a spreadsheet and included those fees and anything else i needed to note to balance things out (ex., if one place had a three-course meal and another place had a five-course meal, I noted that and factored into my decision).
I hope this is helpful! I was looking for a wedding very similar to yours (and hopefully have found it!) and can't imagine having done it from a distance.
Oh, and you'll probably have to do this anyways because you're out of town, but when I looked at places, I went against conventional wisdom and looked at three in one day. It made me cranky and exhausted BUT I was able to make really astute comparisons because everything was happening the same day. They start to blend after awhile. ;)