Wedding Planning: Previewing Venues (Part 1)

Sorry for going MIA again.. things have been crazy, like usual. Dang sickness going around!

So.. wedding venues.

I previously asked what an acceptable number of people to take wedding venue shopping was and I received some great feedback, so thank you guys again.

Last Saturday..err two Saturdays ago we went and checked out a few places. I ended up inviting my mom, Amy (aka wedding planner) and Beth (Amy’s good friend, who has repeatedly told me she would love to help. Her ML planned her wedding and she basically didn’t get to take any part in it).

As for the setting/venue- I really like western/rustic. Lucky for me rustic is really in right now, so I have been able to find lots of avenues for design ideas. I just hope my wedding doesn’t look “so 2014” in pictures later… It really is “me” though, so I am just going to go with it.

Our first stop was at a place called Pioneer Village. Pioneer is particularly special to us because it was where T and I had our first dinner together after we went out of town for our first day trip (in high school!). It’s also cool because my best friend worked there, so I’ve spent plenty of time there. The third thing I really like about it is the fact that it is a non-profit. This means that everything is reasonably (or as much as a wedding can be) priced and the facility does lots of community outreach. My favorite of their outreach programs deals with their horses- they load up everything and give kids at the local cancer center carriage rides every Tuesday. Other than that they have the rustic (without being cheesy) feel, and everyone I met was very knowledgeable and seemed to truly care about the facility, their events, and their mission. Oh, and the coordinator was awesome and they would let Lori be the ring bearer.


Pictures I grabbed from their website.

T and I weren’t thinking a Church wedding, but I kind of fell in love with the “little white Church..” They also have a GORGEOUS gazebo/pavilion area that you can kind of see in the smaller pictures on the table. It’s on a big green lawn and is surrounded by pretty, BIG trees 🙂

Also, everything is historic and local to Arizona. They have a whole town set up that you can explore and learn AZ history… nerd alert. haha


After we left pioneer we went and grabbed lunch at a Mexican restaurant near where our next appointment was. In the past I said I would love to get married at the restaurant, but I always thought it was too small and expensive.  The restaurant has this amazing patio, complete with a HUGE pond, that has turtles, ducks, geese, water features.. basically all the good stuff. The restaurant is out in a small town on the outskirts of Phoenix, its surrounded by awesome desert views and “legit” western stuff.

gallery5 pond-tables

These pics were also taken from their website.. they don’t do it justice at all though

My mom hadn’t been to the restaurant so I wanted to give her a little tour before we left. We walked over to the far side of the patio and imagine my surprise when I “discovered” a whole other side to the restaurant. Turns out they have a huge private patio over there. They also had little animal food “quarter dispenser” things, so Beth decided to feed the ducks.. Only the geese hadn’t been fed yet that day so they were super aggressive.. ahh!!

As we were leaving an employee came over with a big pitcher of pellets for the birds and asked if we needed any help. I took the opportunity to ask if they hosted weddings there and he said yes and went to get me their coordinator’s info.

As much as I love the place.. I didn’t bother to call the coordinator. Breakfast/lunch for 5 people was $140, so I just don’t think with our huge families (+ decorations, officiant, DJ, Cake, blah, blah, blah..) that would work.

Sad, but it was a fun experience nevertheless.


After we ate we still had some time to kill and there was a place Amy really wanted T and I to check out that was  only .5 miles away.

It would probably be a cool place to hang out… but for wedding I just wasn’t feeling it.

No pics.. Trust me on this one people. Wood paneled walls and animal heads.. I’m not that hillbilly 😉 Just almost


At 1 we finally got to go to our last appointment, that was also about a mile up the road. It was at a steakhouse that had a GORGEOUS patio. Think big tree + fairy lights + ponds w/ bridge..

Based off the website the place didn’t really sell me, but I met with their coordinator at a bridal show last January and she was one of the few people there who really had her ish together… plus a girl T grew up with is getting married there in April and has nothing but good things to say about the venue/coordinator (so far..) 🙂

PicMonkey Collage

I admit it.. I’m a terrible blogger. Images from website, AGAIN.

The place is really reasonably priced, and the coordinator really seemed to have all the details covered… but it just seemed like she was running through her “spiel” for the 9 millionth time.. it didn’t feel personal at all and I didn’t like that very much. There is also a little western town type thing in front of the restaurant, and it just felt a little.. unauthentic? to me.

T also has some super secret plan for the wedding day, and he said it “will work, but it will be hard”.. I have no clue what the means, so please don’t ask me. I can tell you I’m dying of curiosity though! haha (Pioneer works well for the record..)

After we checked out the steakhouse we headed home and relaxed for a bit before we headed out to T’s Phoenix birthday celebration.

To be continued… 🙂

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9 thoughts on “Wedding Planning: Previewing Venues (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Picking A Venue: Revisting Pioneer | Another Mile, Another Memory

  2. Pingback: The Wedding: Deciding on a Venue & Engagement Photos are in!! | Another Mile, Another Memory

  3. Pingback: Another Mile, Another Memory

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