I've decided that the first order of business is figuring out where to have this little shindig. (See? I'm being decisive!) After discussing with Mr. UB the merits of both local & non-local weddings (we're in LA, by the way), we lighted upon the idea of having the ceremony in San Francisco. We're both originally from the Bay Area -- I'm from the SF 'burbs, he's from Oakland -- and we both love the beauty of the city. (San Francisco, that is. Not Oakland.)
My first thought was the Palace of Fine Arts:
Residual effects of my "I'd rather just be alone on a beach" idea, perhaps, since it's right off the bay. It also has a killer view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Mr. UB shuddered at what that might cost, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. Turns out, it really can be quite painful sometimes. But not in this case! GOOD NEWS: They rent the Rotunda (the round building in the pic) for $150/2 hours! BAD NEWS: It's being renovated & construction is estimated to take until 10/9/09. At least. Well, phooey.
Another place that I stumbled across online as an alternative to the POFA is the Legion Of Honor:
It's also got a killer view of the Golden Gate, but it's a little more militaristic than I'd like. Also the cost & set-up make more sense for a ceremony and reception, which isn't what we want. Basically, we're looking to do a very, very small ceremony with just immediate family & our closest friends, and have a much bigger reception closer to home. My head's already spinning with what that part is going to cost ... but I digress. So I don't think this is going to work, either.
I've been surfing all over HereComesTheGuide.com, which has tons of info on locations all over California. Holy crap! I must have REALLY good taste ... but as soon as I see "deposit is $6000" I cannot physically make my eyes focus on any of the words after that. On the off-chance that we'll end up doing the ceremony in LA, I've been looking at some of their listings down here. I found this place:
It's called the Butterfly House, and it's in Topanga Canyon. It's pretty, but the layout of the place seems a little goofy, at least in the pics on their website. GOOD NEWS: $1500/8 hours. BAD NEWS: No view of the ocean, and I'm pretty sure there's no chance of seeing the Golden Gate from there, either.
So, either I grab some plaster & terracotta paint and go fix the POFA my damn self, or it's back to the drawing board. Grrrr.