Of pink poodles and velvet curtains: Picking the wedding venue
1840s ballroom (1840s Ballroom / October 25, 2012)
- Blog: Married in Maryland
- Maryland weddings [Pictures]
- Maryland celebrities' weddings [Pictures]
- 20 great places to get engaged in Baltimore [Pictures]
- b's Baltimore wedding guide [Pictures]
- Charm City Cakes' summer 2013 collection [Pictures]
See more photos »
See more topics »
Although we had both attended events at our three contending locations, walk-throughs were still a must. A space can be absolutely stunning, but if you can’t stand in the middle of the room and picture your dream wedding unfolding in that exact spot, it’s time to keep walking. One site was quickly ruled out when we learned that they were as flexible as an iron beam. So strict in fact that a single chair cannot be moved from where they deem it should be. Standard rules are to be expected but this all seemed a bit too regimented. Crossed off the list, and it was time to move on.
The two finalists were 1840s Ballroom and American Visionary Arts Museum. Both stunning in their own right but also innately different. As the name conveys, 1840s Ballroom is plush with old school charm, rich color palates and massive chandelier-clad ceilings. In addition to having our pick of three very distinct ballrooms, we were giving the option of using either of their two courtyards. AVAM, on the other hand, offers a more contemporary atmosphere surrounded by an array of the most inimitable artwork you have ever seen. The prospective reception site was a sprawling, comparatively bare bones, brick-walled space just begging for any creative minded individual to mold it into his or her ideal marital setting.
We loved that both are centrally located in very distinct areas of the city, giving out of town guests the opportunity to experience a uniquely Baltimore night. In the end, our decision came down to a few factors. From a budgetary angle, outfitting an open space like AVAM has limitless possibilities but also a much heftier décor and floral bill. Keeping in mind the myriad of other expenses, this could undoubtedly put a hitch in some of our plans. On the contrary, 1840s Ballroom is so lavishly outfitted with thick, velvet curtains and hand-painted murals of old school Baltimore that it requires little more than simple floral arrangements and beautiful linens. The final deciding factor was the space itself. Both are striking and full of charm, but what it really boiled down to is which is right for us. After visiting both one frazzled Friday evening, we retreated to a nearby bar to deliberate over a much needed cocktail(s). After a lengthy and at times heated discussion, we concluded that 1840s Ballroom was a much better fit for our combined aesthetic. Largely due in part to my fiancé’s confession that he was not thrilled at the prospect of AVAM’s resident larger-than-life pink poodle sculpture, Fifi, menacingly staring him down all night.
Equal parts ecstatic and relieved, we couldn’t wait to gush to our family and friends that our long awaited engagement was taking strides toward becoming a real ‘’holy-crap-we’re-getting-married’’ wedding.