Posts filed under ‘Venue’

Twisted Together: A Georgetown Cocktail

Mr Pretzel and I were so happy to have our reception at Georgetown Studios.  We loved our venue  in the original Rainier Beer brewery building in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.  I am not sure which we loved more, the building or the neighborhood. The best description that we have heard for this neighborhood  is “post-squat, industrial bohemian chic“.  The building and the area aren’t exactly what most people think of when they imagine a wedding reception but for us it was perfect and we consider ourselves lucky. We booked the venue within 6 months of the venue opening and shortly after our wedding the venue received bad news from the city.  In order to continue hosting events they would need to do some seismic upgrades.  They are working with the property owners and hope to be hosting weddings again in 2012.  If you have your eye on this venue you can stay up to date on this issue on the Georgetown Studios blog.

*All images by Amore Studios unless otherwise noted.

Our reception venue was on a busy street and the turn into the parking lot was easy to miss.  This easel helped direct traffic- plus it was adorable!

While we were taking photos our amazing our amazing DOC (Bobbi Roth Wedding Design) and our fabulous catering company (City Catering) were transforming our reception venue with lots of whites and bright colors.  We had a variety of seating options for folks; two lounge areas, numerous large round tables, and cocktail tables.

Our vision was that people would move around throughout the night but in reality people  grabbed a spot and “camped out” for the night.  Mamma Pretzel’s family took ownership of the lounge above while my co-workers grabbed the “secret VIP lounge area” tucked in the back.  Mr Pretzel’s family took ownership of a large round table near the dance floor.

Lesson to Mr Pretzel and I, people like to have a seat to call their own.

The table centerpieces came together beautifully.  The white linens, milk glass, and picture frames provided the perfect backdrop for the vibrant flowers and colorful ribbon mats.

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

The frames held fun facts about us, the venue, or certain elements of the reception.  Most of our guests brought their Yay flags to the reception.  A couple made their way into flower arrangements too.

Previous two images courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

As our guests arrived for cocktail hour they were presented with some yummy options to quench their thirst.  We featured three amazing beers from local Georgetown Brewing Company who until just weeks before our wedding shared building space with our venue.  Manny’s Pale Ale, Roger’s Pilsner, and Chopper Red were all on tap and we offered a local Washington Chardonnay and a yummy Syrah as wine options. The drink that stole the show, however, was my family recipe wedding punch “Wedded Bliss“.  This heavy on the alcohol (lemon juice, Gin, vermouth, simple syrup, & grape juice)  signature cocktail was garnished with a frozen grape and was heavenly on a hot day.

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

The wedding punch was no joke and packed a powerful punch (pun intended). Our guests needed food in their bellies stat! Passed munchies during cocktail hour included mini red hook bratwurst, homemade soft pretzels, and homemade salt and vinegar potato chips.

While munching on goodies and sipping on wedding punch our guests mingled…

…wrote us notes in our photo guest book…

Image courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

…made sure our photo booth was working properly…

… and ultimately had a great time.

Preceding four images courtesy of wedding guest, Mrs Cherry Pie {Persimmon Images}

It was a bummer to not be at our cocktail hour but I’m glad everyone enjoyed themselves.  What were the Pretzels up to during cocktail hour?

Coming up next: Mr P and I get some time alone on a walk through Georgetown.

Need to catch up?

Twisted Together, aka Pretzel recaps:

Wedding Week

Getting Ready

The Ceremony
Photography
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May 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm Leave a comment

We Won The Lottery!

Ok, ok,  it’s only the Seattle Parks Department reservation lottery, but hey, it’s pretty important to making Mr Pretzel’s rehearsal dinner dreams come true!

Mad Microsoft clip art skills I tell you!

With a recommendation from Mrs Joey we settled the first part of Mr Pretzels vision- a pacific northwest menu– but the second part, location outdoors on Puget Sound was yet to be determined so we started to look at different Seattle Parks located on the Sound.  We found the perfect location, which I will tell you more about in a second, but we also learned that Seattle Parks have an annual lottery to reserve shelters at their parks.  Since Seattle only enjoys on average 71 sunny days a year you can imagine that there is a lot of competition to reserve park facilities during the summer (the sunny season).  To be fair, Seattle Parks has an application date in February for the following summer.  The application allows you to specify your top three shelter choices and the date/time for reservation.  In March applications are drawn at random and bookings are penciled in.  I have no idea where we landed in the lottery but I was ecstatic when Lynn emailed me to tell me we had “won” our first choice location.

Whoo Hoo!

There was no plan B so I am not sure what we would have done if we hadn’t gotten the park reservation.  In all I think it cost us $160 to book a shelter in the park. In addition to the covered shelter area, Lake Street Catering will also provide covered areas in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

So,without further ado meet our rehearsal dinner location:

Golden Gardens Park

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*Little confession I has actually ever been to Golden Gardens park – although Mr Pretzel had- I was booking this whole rehearsal dinner thing site unseen.

You know you are busy when you can’t drive 20 minutes to check out a location before pulling the trigger on making reservations. *Pretzel looks guilty* Because I personally had  not visited this park, I was sure to talk with everyone I could about the park, especially Seattle natives.  I also turned online to learn more.

“Golden Gardens is a little park on Shilshole Bay that screams everything about what makes Seattle Seattle: water, boats, mountains, seashore and humanity in all its colorful manifestations. It has been loved by generations of thumping-music cruisers, disc flippers, kite fliers, soccer players, dog walkers, beach strollers, picnickers, volleyball spikers, sunbathers, teen queens and pickup kings.” writes Greg Johnston

Uniquely Seattle? Yes please!

I think I read every review of the park, and looked at hundreds of photos.  With confidence I can tell you that the sunsets at the park are amazing. I did a little searching and found out that sunset on our rehearsal date is at 9:00.  We may or may not have actually planned our rehearsal dinner time around that little factoid.

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One thing that makes Golden Gardens unique is that the beach has fire pits for bonfires.   After hearing about Miss Trail Mix’s plans for a bonfire I put bonfire on my list of “gosh I would love to have one if it worked out” list and tucked the idea away.  I was happy to find out that the pits are available on a first come first serve basis but I am really hoping we can gather around the fire after filling our bellies with yummy seafood. I’ve already added “purchase firewood” to the list of wedding week tasks.

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photo by Erika Schultz

photo by Erika Schultz

The only downside to this location is that we won’t be able to serve alcohol.  For a beer themed wedding that felt pretty lame at first, but in reality we are sure that our guests will enjoy themselves without liquid lubrication. Its not like the rest of the week isn’t going to be filled with yummy hoppy goodness.

With luck on our side we secured a killer location for our rehearsal dinner.  Mr P and I are feeling pretty good.  Coming up next, we actually get a taste of what’s to come.

Did you leave any of your wedding arrangements up to the luck of the draw?

May 10, 2010 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment

Post-squat-Industrial-Bohemian-Chic

Since picking our beer themed venue– Mr Pretzel and I have developed a crush on the neighborhood its in.  Serious crush. We go out of our way to visit, shop and hang down there a couple times a month.  If we are even remotely in the neighborhood we find a reason to swing by…and maybe peek in the windows of our venue- not that I’m a “venue peeking Tom” or anything… no that’s not it at all.

We’ve enjoyed learning more about the history, charm, and novelties that the neighborhood offers.  We fall more and more in love with the location each visit.  I’m hoping that our guests can see the charm too- there’s just a little bit of worry that they will be thrown off by the “non-weddingy” surroundings and will think they made a wrong turn or are in the wrong neighborhood.  Ummm, yeah, that would kinda suck.

What makes it “non-weddingy”? The Georgetown neighborhood in Seattle is semi industrial.  It’s flanked on one side by the interstate, by Boeing Field (where Boeing does flight test on new airplanes) on another, by a railroad on another…   The venue itself has some cool history as the Pre-Prohibition era home of Seattle Malt and Brewing Company.

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The Brewery was built in 1903 and operated until 1915 when Washington adopted Prohibition.  At one time it was the 6th largest brewery in the world.  What, you ask, did they brew there?

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Haven’t heard of it?  No? Rainier Beer is a Northwest regional beer akin to Miller Lite, not really something one would associate with the yummy, hoppy, goodness that the Pretzels are so fond of.  But it’s a local icon- and thus kinda cool. (note- in 1999 Rainier Beer ceased being produced in the Northwest- it is now made in California. BOOOO!)  I digress- back to the neighborhood.

Since the 1990’s the neighborhood has developed a certain aesthetic.

“Creatively employing the open, airy brick-walled spaces left behind by industry and manufacturing, and augmenting them with local art and 20th-century detritus, Georgetown’s merchants consistently fashion warm, imaginative interiors: places you want to visit and never want to leave. Just walking through the streets you witness post-squat, industrial bohemian chic. – Laura Cassidy of the Seattle Weekly [Source]

While post-squat,  industrial bohemian chic sounds right up my alley- Jiminy Cricket in the back of my head reminds me that some of our guests will find this strange.  I alternate between being worried that our guests won’t see the same charm that we do and not caring if they do or not.  But Pretzel you ask, what does post-squat industrial bohemian chic look and feel like?  Check out these images from the neighborhood.

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First there are the crazy custom bikes. They pepper the ‘hood and always make me smile. The photo above was taken just down the street from our venue- notice the Malt House sign in the brick work- **swoon!**

There is Oxbow Park which houses two historic buildings (hat and boots) which once were part of a gas station- very Route 66-ish.

Fruitcocktail Collectables in Georgetown [Source]

Georgetown peppered with unique shops, bars, and restaurants.  I read somewhere that a large percentage of the businesses are women owned- sweet.  It is very community oriented, with an active community group and frequent neighborhood cultural events like monthly Georgetown Art Attack and the annual the Georgetown Festival.

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In the middle of it all is our venue. Our pre-prohibition, brick clad, former beer producing kick a$$ venue.  *sigh*  Mr Pretzel and I are in love with our venue, the neighborhood, the vibe – all of it. I hope our guests “get-it” too.   How excited does all of this make me?  See for yourself.

I just hope our guests embrace the “post-squat,  industrial bohemian chic”. *sigh*

Are you worried what your guests will think of your venue?  Did you look at non-weddingy reception sites?

December 21, 2009 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

In Search of an Urban Pretzel Party: The Conclusion

When I last left you on our Urban Pretzel Party search, I had just found out that our venue of choice , Pravda, was booked for all of 2010- with people waiting in the wings in case of cancellation.  I was seriously bummed but wasn’t defeated.  I reached out to my contact at our catering company  to see if she knew of any other spaces which fit my requirements, slightly modified.

  • Seattle Area or North Seattle
  • 150+ people
  • Open Catering
  • Loft-like
  • Not a hotel/country club/banquet hall

Ding Ding Ding!  By just scratching off the “North Seattle” requirement I opened up my criteria to the amazing SoDo (South Downtown) and Gerogetown neighborhoods.  The catering company suggested one venue in particular, The Engine Room at Georgetown Studios.

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Housed in the old Seattle Brewing and Malting Company complex, The Engine room has 25″ ceilings, concrete floors, 15′ arched windows – it is a virtual blank slate.

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But with a little effort you can make something magical.

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We quickly arranged a viewing.  Much to our delight, the Engine Room had an “unfinished, rough urban” vibe  which we loved.  It is housed in an old brewery and just a couple doors down from Georgetown Beer (makers of Manny’s Pale Ale- a Pretzel fav).  Our Pretzel brains started swirling with ideas of brewery themed weddings.

We were smitten, then I got a phone call from Pravda that left us torn.

Uhhh-Ohhh… All of a sudden we had choices.  The person who had booked Pravda on our date had backed out- and the two people in waiting had also found other venues.  If we wanted it- Pravda was ours.  We drove to Capital Hill to look at the space in person and we made our decision over dinner that night.  The back of a napkin became our Pro and Con list.

On Aesthetics:

  • We decided that while we liked Pravda’s sleek and modern vibe we preferred the rougher modern feel that The Engine Room had.
  • We couldn’t contain our excitement that The Engine Room was in an old brewery.   …. AN OLD BREWERY!

On Size:

  • The Engine Room was smaller than Pravda. But we worried that Pravda was a bit big for our 150 person guest list – read: it would cost us more to “fill up” the space with decorations and seating. The Engine room seemed to be the “right” size for 150 people.
  • When we visited Pravda, we discovered that the “parking lot” that Pravda advertised was approximately 10 stalls and parking in Capital Hill is a NIGHTMARE.  The Engine Room on the other hand has a HUGE private lot- and when I say huge I mean I could play a game of regulation football on it.

On Cost

  • The Engine Room fee was $1000 less than Pravda.
  • The Engine Room also had a photo booth in house for half the price of a normal photo booth- saving us approximately $600.

Over bowls of Pho we picked our venue.  I called the folks at the Engine Room and had them send us a contract.  This began our journey into a Brewery Inspired Bash– more on that to come!

December 9, 2009 at 11:59 am Leave a comment

In Search of an Urban Pretzel Party: Part II

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In my mind Mr P’s and my journey would sequence like this:

  • get engaged
  • plan a wedding
  • get married
  • buy a house

Pretty simple and standard. Life had other ideas. Ideas that have reshuffled those events to resemble this:

  • buy a house
  • (start to) plan a wedding
  • get engaged
  • get married

You see that subtle shift?  We took advantage of the dip in Seattle area house prices and bought our first townhouse.  WhoooHoooo! …except it took 80 days to close and tied up our $$ –read: Mr P couldn’t purchase a ring until the house was closed.

The other thing that happened was Seattle couples started booking venues 4-5 months earlier than normal.  Many of these couples had put wedding plans on hold until they got a better sense of what the economy was going to do. This summer they felt comfortable to book venues for the following summer- almost 12 months in advance.

We had decided it wasn’t fair to invite out of town guests to visit Seattle any time of year other than summer, when the weather is at its best.  We also figured that we had until October or November before we would need to tie down our venue.  …ummmm…. not this year!

On a whim I called Pravda, our reception venue front runner,  to see what their availability for the following summer was.  The helpful gal on the other end of the phone told me there was only 1 date available for summer 2010.

*Insert mini freak out*

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Poor Mr P had to listen to my crazy worrying- thanks to Mama Pretzel I got the worrier gene.

Miss P: What if someone books that date?

Mr P: Then we find another venue

Miss P: But that one was perfect!

Mr P: It will be ok, we’ll find another venue.

Ultimately we agreed that it was a priority for us to get married next summer so we would begin our venue search, even if he hadn’t proposed yet. Working with our families we had narrowed down the sumer dates to 1 or 2 that would work.  Thankfully one of the dates was the one date that Pravda had an opening.

When I called to set up a visit with Pravda I was crushed to find out that not only had they booked the date that had been open, but that there was not just 1 but 2 couples on the waiting list for that date. *cue foreboding music*

What. to. do.

What unexpected wrenches were thrown into your venue search?

November 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

In Search of an Urban Pretzel Party: Part I

When Mr Pretzel and I started to talk about getting married we didn’t spend more than a minute talking about where the ceremony location would be.

Mr P: You want Fr Jim to marry us?

Miss P: Of course.

Mr P: Ok, Saint B’s it is.

You see we are registered at two different Catholic parishes located a mere 5 miles apart.  We split our time at both Churches, but we are more involved at the Church I am registered at.  The choice didn’t even warrant a full  conversation- easy-checkitoffthelist-done.

We did, however, spend more time talking about the type of reception venue that we wanted.  Both of us had attended our fair share of wedding receptions in banquet halls and country clubs.  We agreed that neither of these fit “us”.    The words that we used to describe the type of location we wanted were urban, loft, brick, airy, open, modern.   In early summer I did some web research to get an idea what was out there and how much it might cost.

The criteria I was working with:

  • Seattle or North Seattle (I excluded the East Side, or anything South of Downtown)
  • 150+ people
  • Open Catering preferred (we had found a catering company we wanted to work with already)
  • Loft Like
  • Not a hotel/country club/banquet hall

Working with those limited criteria I found two contenders.  Pravda Studios in Captial Hill and The Loft by Russell Dean Catering in Bothell.  Since we weren’t engaged yet I created a file with all the info and tucked it away.  Here is how these two venues stacked up.

The Loft by Russell dean Lowell

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The Loft is actually the loft of an old barn.  It has high arching ceilings with a plethora of wood. Even though it didn’t fit our urban feel I kept coming back to it because of the beauty of the wood and the high ceilings.  The pluses and minuses:

+Located just minutes from our ceremony location

+Reasonable price

+ BEE-u-tiful!

– Located in the ‘burbs not the city

– Despite it’s name- it isn’t an urban loft- it’s a barn

– Restrictive policies that may make decorating or having a band or photo booth problematic

– Not open catering- although Russell dean Lowell is a wonderful caterer.

Pravda Studios

Operating as a natural light photography studio, Pravda also rents the space out for weddings and special events.  It is in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood and oozes urban chic.  The space is HUGE, full of windows/natural light and is a virtual blank slate.

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How did Pravda fair on the pluses and minuses?

+ Large

+ It’s an urban loft!

+ The windows and light *swoon*

+ In the city

+ Open catering (our favorite catering company is a preferred vendor)

– Parking in Cap Hill is a nightmare but Pravda has it’s own parking lot

– $$$$ at the top end of what we thought we would be willing to pay for a venue rental

Hummm… what could the Pretzel do with this space?  I took a peek at what other brides had done in the space, and promptly fell off my chair.

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*SWOON*  Mr P and I were in love with the sleek modern styling.  Our minds were spinning with the possibilities.  Secretly we were pretty certain that we had found our venue. But we were a long ways from setting a date (we weren’t yet engaged) and knew that nothing was set in stone yet.   We also hadn’t seen the space in person, we both felt funny about going to see a place before we were officially engaged.  This was in June.  Would we change our minds before our engagement in September?

What type of venue did you fall for early in your wedding planning? Was it the same type of venue that you ultimately chose?

November 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment


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