Yesterday, Dustin, his mom, my mom and I went venue shopping. Since we’re looking at June of next year, we need to pick a venue in the next couple of weeks or we’ll have to move the wedding date to April or August. Indiana June weather is still decent. If we moved it to April, we might get snow, and if we moved it to August, we’ll still be in the dog days of summer.
Coming back to the subject at hand, we all visited five venues yesterday: The Monon Community Center, Mavris, Lumiere Du Corps, the Ritz Charles Garden Pavilion and Blu Falls.
Monon Center front
The Monon Center is located in Carmel right on the Monon Trail (a walking trail that spreads from 10th Street in Indianapolis to 161st Street in Westfield). The community is hidden from the busy traffic on 116th Street and Westfield Boulevard. The venue is quiet. Although, the fitness center and water park might change that, especially in the summer. The community center is on 161 acres of beautiful park land. It’s got a fishing lagoon, skate park, trails and gardens, giving us lots of places to take pictures on the grounds. The banquet hall has a built in sound system and plug-and-play elements. So we could easily plug in an iPod during dinner if we wanted or we could have a slideshow playing on a projector in the room.
Monon Center terrace
The community center is exclusively catered by the Ritz Charles. It’s got places from the men and bridal party to prepare for the big event. The banquet hall has a total of 3, 375 square feet, so it’s plenty of room for our expected number of guests. We were a little worried about the shape of the room because we’d have to do the ceremony at one end of the rectangular room, then the guests in the back couldn’t see. We could have a ceremony outside, which is one way of taking care of this issue. The outside terrace is beautiful. We had discussed doing a cocktail hour on the terrace if we chose this venue.
Mavris banquet room
The next stop was Mavris Arts and Events Center. Mavris was such a unique experience! The building was originally built in 1883 as a grocery distribution terminal. It served as a factory/distribution space for a while, but the current owner bought the place in 1999 and renovated it into a deconstructionist-style banquet venue. It’s got a beautiful view of the Indianapolis skyline from the outside terrace. One unique aspect is that it’s right next to the train tracks. Depending on how we handle this, it could be an interesting aspect or an annoying one. If we had an outdoor wedding and the train came by during the ceremony, we’d either have to wait for the train to pass or turn up the volume and hope the people in the back can hear.
The venue also has an in-house, exclusive caterer who is open to trying ideas we have an fitting them in to one of the packages they offer. The venue also offers a shuttle service, a day-of coordinator and many other services. Dustin and I both really enjoyed this venue because of its unique location, style and atmosphere.
Stop number three was at Lumiere Du Corps. This venue is located in the country near Zionsville, Brownsburg and Lebanon. Not only is Lumiere a wedding venue, it’s also a salon and spa. There are two suites also, so Dustin and I could stay there the night of our wedding instead of worrying about getting to a hotel or back to our home.
Lumiere Du Corps pond
Lumiere has two outdoor chapels. The first is located at the top of a staircase of rocks. The other is like an amphitheater with large pillars surrounding a semi-circular stage. The audience would hear the ceremony through a sound system at both chapels. The venue offers an indoor or outdoor reception area, but the reception areas are completely tied to which ceremonial spot we chose. So, if we liked the amphitheater more, we’d have to have the outside reception area. Mom was put off by the country setting. She was concerned about how far out-of-town guests would have to travel and whether they could find the facility easily.
The fourth stop was at the Ritz Charles’ Garden Pavilion.
Ritz Charles Garden Pavilion
The venue is located right on Meridian Street near 116th Street, so it wouldn’t be difficult for people from out-of-town to find it, and there are hotels right across the street. The pavilion was very nice. It’s basically a glass house located in the middle of a garden. We could have our ceremony in the pavilion with the doors open and still feel like we’re outdoors. Since it’s at the Ritz Charles, the business exclusively caters the location.
Blu Falls outdoor ceremony site
Finally, the last stop was at Blu Falls. Blu Falls is a fairly new venue located outside Pendleton, Indiana. If you’ve never been to Pendleton, it’s a beautiful little town in southern Madison County, only about 20 minutes north of Carmel. From the outside the venue looks like an unmarked church. Inside, though, it’s a beautiful banquet hall. The largest room has a water feature that could be used for pictures or during the ceremony as a little reminder of nature. There’s also an outdoor ceremony area that has a small waterfall in the back. Blu Falls also does their own catering. (In fact, one of their blog posts is a catered event at Mavris.)
By the end of the day, Dustin and I had a good idea of what we liked and didn’t like, and which venues we liked the most. We’re going to look at a couple more places and make a decision, but right now, I think Mavris is my favorite. (I’m still a city girl at heart…) All of us were exhausted after the day— even Hazel.
Hazel in bed