Right, I promised more, and here it is! (You'll note, devoted readers of the blog, that I am slightly avoiding a discussion of work. It's been a sucky kind of week, let's just leave it at that for now, shall we?)
So, earlier this week I promised a conversation about the club where the reception will be. And here we go!
When Doyce and I first got engaged and went up to my mom's to share the good news, we actually visited one of my pipe dream locations -- the Wainwright House
in Rye, NY.
When I was a teenager, I worked at a club as a counselor just down the street from the Wainwright House, and I loved the whole French Chateau feel of the place. It was right on the water, too, and the views were beautiful. The day after our engagement, when we stopped by on a tour of the area (I was showing Doyce all my childhood haunts and old jobs), there was a catering manager there on site giving another couple a tour, so he invited us to poke around a bit. The inside is gorgeous, with, unfortunately, high prices to match. There also wasn't one big central room where we thought we could fit the 140 people we had in mind to invite, unless we booked a tent, which I didn't want to do. Sadly, the Wainwright House was a no go.
In the next few exciting days and weeks, I did multiple internet searches for mansions in Westchester County, for historic houses, looking for a location that was off the beaten path, but still big enough -- and affordable enough -- to host our event. The Women's Club in White Plains
, housed in the CV Rich Mansion, was beautiful, with a big, gorgeous ballroom.
I was afraid, though, that the several rooms they offered for the cocktail hour would leave our guests too strung out (spatially, not emotionally). And honestly, was that giant ballroom going to be TOO big?
We also looked the Women's Club of Bronxville, which was a strong contender. They had a smaller, but I thought even more beautiful, ballroom, plus an entrance hall for the cocktail hour with floor to ceiling windows and striking black-and-white wall decorations (not frescos, but I can't think of the word).
I loved this place for a while, and it was my top choice until the weekend that Doyce came back out to look at it with me, after two of my sisters, my mom and I had already paid it one visit.
On Doyce's next trip, though, we also went to the Pelham Country Club, where a family friend was general manager and had quoted a very very reasonable rate on the phone. The club was in a beautiful location, but I had been so set in finding something different, in really striking out and being, well, exotic.
I mean, it was a country club. How exotic could it be?
Turns out, it didn't need to be any kind of exotic, because I discovered just how much more important service and attention were. Not that the catering manager at the Bronxville Women's Club wasn't helpful, but she didn't know my family, didn't meet her spouse at my brother's engagement party as the club manager, Kevin, did. Doyce and I made our first visit to Pelham, then went to see the Women's Club again (well, again for me, the first time for him), and knew pretty quickly afterwards that Pelham was the place for us! It's in a beautiful location on a golf course, with a pond at the 18th green, next to the clubhouse, with a bright room for the main reception, and a beautiful space for the cocktail hour with several conversation nooks, a fireplace, and a bar that straddled both areas.
Seeing the club again, months later, picking out our linen and discussing table placements, I remain so pleased with our decision. The clubhouse isn't on a historic homes list, as far as I know, but after all, I want people to be looking at us, not the building!
Still, it's a pretty building. :)
Labels: The Big Day