Thursday, September 9, 2010


The 2010 snowstorms really snarled our plans for venue hunting. In my mind, we lost two months of boots on the ground time. And I had this nagging feeling that our elusive venue was being previewed at thisveryminute by a bride and groom who were prepared to write out a check immediately to reserve it. It was probably a really bad case of cabin fever. (Next year, I ought to get away somewhere warm so this doesn't happen again.)

Since we'd only checked out three true venues and two not-so-realistic options, we decided to choose three of our favorites for round two visits in early March. Hagley (yes, another DuPont property) was first up. It was another case of "If I'd known this was here, I would have stopped by sooner". Our first impression of the 235 acres was that it is a shame they don't permit outdoor weddings. Not even ceremonies. No, not even if you bribe them with lots of money. Which we don't have.

Moving on, our options were the Soda House or the Library. The Soda House has a main floor auditorium (no fixed seats) with stage and projection screen. Downstairs are two white-washed galleries with beamed ceilings, one of which does not have windows but a non-working fireplace. Whichever room was used for the ceremony would need to be flipped during cocktail hour for the reception. We'd established a rough guest list and knew the event wouldn't have the flow we were looking for if it were held here.

Exerior wall of the Library

Copeland Room (Library)

Mr. P preferred the Library because its rear terrace overlooks the hillside and river below. I thought the long computer desk with card catalog behind would make an excellent bar, but that would never happen. The terrace, library and reading room were ours to use, but again the flow. It was too tight for our use and the kitchen was only slightly better equipped than a prep kitchen.

Just perfect for a bookworm cocktail hour, sans computers

The views!

The attraction to Hagley is the garden and exterior of the DuPont's ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills. Photos are allowed in the gardens, mitigating my desire for an outdoor ceremony slightly. The estate and grounds will be in full bloom and assuredly more attractive than on a soggy March afternoon. I'm not sold on this as our venue. We can't utilize the grounds to its full potential, but allows us a Winterthur look on a better budget with more control over catering.

There are still more venues to see before we make a commitment and pick a date. We've resisted narrowing it down beyond late spring - early summer to keep our options open. Although with my cousin J planning her now-August 2011 nuptials, Mr. P's old roommate and his fiance shooting for April/May 2011 plus a friends that just announced their engagement... I'm feeling hemmed in on all sides and thinking we need to decide soon.

(All personal photos unless otherwise noted.)

Was your wedding date a moving target or were you dead set on a specific month or even date?


  1. Our venue is what we were dead set on, but we are also really adamant about our date, even though it was randomly chosen.

  2. We were up in the air about venues (and dates) too. Our date was rather arbitrary too. I think it's better to start from random than have it be significant (in a potentially negative way).