Thursday, September 2, 2010

Secret garden hosts a wedding?

Shortly after visiting the DCCA, we were onto our second impromptu scouting trip of the day - the Italianate formal gardens and reflecting pool at Gibraltar. All the years I've lived around the corner, I never ventured in past the stone privacy walls. What an idiot I was!

Run down buildings,
now slated for massive renovation into commercial space

This place is gorgeous, even in January... without the beds tidied up and no flowers. (No one wants to see photos of a garden in winter, so I've swapped the originals with more seasonally appropriate images.) It has a forgotten/secret garden feel, which works well to satisfy the quirkiness aspect of our dream venue. Lots of amazing spots for a ceremony thanks to the "rooms" Marian Coffin designed.

Spring and summer

Lots of statues, urns, iron railings, fountains and marble walkways.

One of my favorite shots simply because it makes me laugh

My favorite spot for our vows would be the Bald Cypress Allee: 200 feet of natural, dramatic aisle lined by shrubs and perennials terminating at an Italian garden pavilion of 3 rose-colored marble arches, vaulted ceiling and small fountain.

I shot photos as Mr. P explored the Allee. Looking through my lens, down the aisle toward the pavilion, Mr. P appeared, hands in pockets, under the middle arch and looked back. Excited chills ran down my back as I pictured the same scene playing out (but with fancier clothing). This feeling is worth trying to secure this venue.

So dramatic and romantic but not at all traditional and a little quirky. I paced off the lawn; there's space for 80 comfortably with space on the sides for VIPs.


The rest of the spaces are equally wonderful. The reflecting pool here is a fine substitute for the one at Winterthur.

So many photo ops. This would be fantastic for engagement or day-after shots.

Logistically, it's not so easy. The parking lot is tiny, no bathrooms (or covered space) and a high rental cost for just a ceremony. The weather can't be guaranteed, which is my primary concern. We both had a strong emotional reaction to Gibraltar, but common sense may prevail.

(All personal photos unless otherwise noted.)

Was your dream venue a logistical nightmare? Did you abandon all hope or push forward?

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