As you may recall I was super excited about this place. The venue it’s self was VERY nice… but I think I maybe built it up a little too much in my mind. It doesn’t help that it’s located in Florence, AZ.
There is one thing Florence, AZ is known for…. it’s prison.
I know my family and the jokes will never end if I were to pick this place. Our initial introduction was actually priceless.
T, my mom and I left work early a couple Wednesdays ago so that we could make their 5pm open house. Phoenix traffic can be a bit of a beast so with that and the distance it was an approximately 90 minute drive. Realistically I wouldn’t have even considered this places, but I really fell in love from the pictures so we decided to check it out.
I work the closest, so everyone came to my office and we left from there. I plugged the address on their website into my GPS and we head out… annnnd 90ish minutes later we show up LITERALLY TO THE DOOR STEP OF THE PRISON.
My mom and T thought I was messing with them.. I was not. We tried calling the venue and no one picked up (thankfully?). Finally T pulled up the address himself and after a couple moments realized that I had put in East when it should have been West.
Wow. Such a first impression :-).
Traffic moving into the venue was moving super slow and we couldn’t see why at first..as we got up the road we saw it was because there was a tractor on the street! So many random things.. haha.
Once we got there we were greeted by a friendly older man who directed us where to park. An employee asked us to sign in and then within 5 minutes someone came over and lead us on a personal tour of the property. It is quite large, so there were a couple different options for the ceremony and reception spaces.
I really liked that where were animals and cool antiques around. Couples can rent a driver and the car in the picture above if they’d like.
Attack Turkey. This guy was mean.
Burro. Also- see first evidence that my mother will never be a photographer… No that’s not a fisheye lense.
Apparently they have little saddle things they put on the Burros so that couples can have “Beer Burros” at their special day.
These guys were so sweet… they kept pushing the other out of the way to try to get more pets.
Kitty over by the bridal cottage.
One of the spaces you could choose. Complete with an old T-bird.
Remember the arches? The picture above kind of does them too much justice.
T and I are both tall… and we were about as tall as them. The water is also on the backside and not visible to the guests during the ceremony.
The open house we went to was to premier the new “Lake House”.
Barn like interior.
It was nice.. but it wasn’t finished for the preview. This was the first venue that we toured that had all of their vendors there so that couples could meet them and see their offerings. The lake house had the upgraded catering, and oh my gosh was it good. We were only in there for a total of 10 minutes and the power went out and was out for all but about 30 seconds of it. That made me a bit nervous as well..
Neat Chandelier (for a winery) that they are working on in the lake house.
Where the ceremony would be held if we choose the lake house.
It’s pretty, but we have enough guests coming that people would be split between the “upper” and “lower” areas which I don’t really like.
This is at the back of the property and the last thing that we saw. It was right about then that I realized that I hadn’t seen anything very vineyard-like. (I’m quick on the uptake like that ;-))
Apparently Winery is in name only haha. The venue had bars open for the event and as we were leaving I checked them out to see the wine and I didn’t even see them serving their own wine! it was odd to me.
The walk back to the car. Nail in the coffin- my mom will never be a photographer.
I even asked if it turned out and she said yes! hahaha!
We had a fun time previewing the property, but between the price and how far out it is I just don’t think it will work. It’s more than I wanted to spend, but I figured if it was my dream location I would figure it out.. I’m glad I looked and realized I’m not missing anything there. 🙂 I do however want to go back for a wine tasting! I saw flyers for it, so I know that it does exist.
I’ve got a recap of our trip back to Pioneer scheduled to go up tomorrow 🙂