Best View in the City?

So, being the newspaper nerd that I am, I was digging around for anything that has been in the news in the past few years about our wedding venue.
The most useful thing I found was that our Venue, the BP Tower in downtown Cleveland, is apparently no longer CALLED the BP Tower anymore…Umm, yeah. Now it is just referred to as its Public Sqare address. Weird…

Second and perhaps most interesting info was the subject of the Plain Dealer article I found, “The best view of Cleveland.” Useful mainly when thinking about where to take cool pictures that will really capture the city for me and fiance’s wedding and day-after photos, and my bridals.
The article talks about how the Terminal Tower used to have a 42nd-floor observation deck that was by far the city’s best view. But now that space is used as storage and inaccesible to the public…Boooo!

It then mentions the Key Tower and our venue (the former) BP Tower as having great views–but neither has an observation deck!

So now, apparently the best view in the city is: (drum roll) the deck of the Superior Viaduct, the remaining seven arches of the 1878 bridge that spanned the Cuyahoga River, connecting downtown to the West Side.

**shot from the Viaduct**
There is also a restaurant, Ponte Vecchio Ristorante Italiano, on the viaduct that has a patio and offers a stunning city view.

**parking at Ponte Vecchio** (Geez, that’d make for some amazing photos)

Also, I have seen photos shot from Edgewater Park that provide a great panoramic view. Like these:

So, if you are planning to take urban engagement or wedding or whatever photos in the city, this is news you can use!
Also, has anyone ever been to that Ponte Vecchio restaraunt? I had neverrr heard of it before today!

March 18, 2008. cleveland, photography, venue. Leave a comment.

The RD Alternative…

So…not a huge fan of the idea of a formal, sit-down rehearsal dinner.
Kind of reminds me of the last supper in a strange way…
So, fiance and I have decided to instead host a ‘Meet-and-Greet’ or ‘Mixer,’ if you will, for everyone involved in our bridal party and for our out-of-town guests the evening before the wedding.

Now, the more I think about this, the more it seems like a great opportunity to entertain and show our guests a great time in the city before the wedding. A chance to relax and greet our guests on a one-on-one basis before our wedding day.

So, this mini-soiree–which will ideally be a wine/cocktails+light appetizers+music affair–is set for a Friday evening before our Saturday evening wedding. Because our venue–and the rehearsal–are downtown we will have the meet-and-greet downtown, too. And there are so many options…

Option 1:D’Vine Wine Bar
Location: W. St. Clair Avenue, downtown Cleveland
No room rental fee
In-house food
Fiance’s favorite
Can order bottles of wine and appetizers. Charged by bottle. Not sure about any music. Small outdoor ‘patio’ area and cigar room. This is also where fiance took me to share a bottle of wine after he proposed=sentimental value!

Option 2: Anatomy Ultra Lounge
Location: West 9th Street, downtown

A hip, trendy two level lounge in heart of Warehouse club district
Small outside patio in first level and small rooftop area
Room rental fee–kinda pricey
Charge per cocktail or glass of wine
Can bring in outside caterer, but no in-house food
Music! Either streaming satellite of whatever you choose or you can hire a DJ for about $200…

Option 3: Vivo
Location: Euclid Avenue, downtown
Very cool, cozy restaurant and lounge

Short walking distance from hotel and rehearsal/wedding venue
Two levels–restaurant upstairs and loungey area down
Very good food
V-Lounge downstairs is intimate
Unsure about rental fees etc. right now

Option 4: Jac’s
West 6th Street, downtown
Restaurant and lounge with private area
Mixed reviews of place and customer service
Unsure about pricing and rental fee(s)
Outside patio

Option 5: Zocalo
East 4th Street, downtown
A Mexican grill and…Tequileria!! Great, vibrant atmosphere.
New addition to up and coming E. 4th Street dining area
Short walking distance from rehearsal/ wedding venue
Mixed reviews on food and service
Crazy, crazy tequila menu= bad drunkeness potential
Not sure about private party policies…

So, what do you think?

March 4, 2008. cleveland, venue. 3 comments.

Let there be Light!: Part II

Let there be Light: Part I
So, I went to Cleveland for Thanksgiving, super excited to meet with the fourth and last lighting company for reasons explained in Part I.
I have already received quotes from three other Cleveland-area companies–two who had actually visited my venue and one who , without seeing the location, gave me a ‘rough quote.’
So fiance, toddler and I woke up early Friday morning in some very frigid and blustery and typically Cleveland weather to meet John from RCS Corp. at Starbucks in the BP Tower. (The BP Tower houses several businesses and on the first floor has about a dozen storefronts and small shops).
We headed up to the third floor so John could check out our space and tell us all of the amazing ways he could transform it with fabulous lighting.
But as he scoped the venue, he looked perplexed…
“I would love to take your money,” he said. “But this is going to be a very difficult space to do much with.”
Why, I asked?
The answer: Power.
There was not enough power–as in power outlets–in the venue to accomodate any significant lighting set-up.
He said he even remembered working in the space once before for a high school gala and having the same issues.
Further, he explained, with an August wedding and the sun not setting until around 9 p.m., natural light would be a huge obstacle to lighting.
One reason we love our venue is because one whole side of the room is open and overlooks an atrium. The building it’s housed in is, on the front side, made entirely of windows. And although our space is set back from those windows, I was assured that natural light would clash with any man-made lighting–and we may only have two hours where lighting would even be noticeable…
I can’t say I hadn’t heard this before. Two of the other lighting companies told me it would be a “difficult room to transform.”
I guess I was just waiting to meet with that company that would tell me they had some fabulous idea on how to get past the obstacles!
So, I’m sad. The very reasons why we chose our venue–the windows and the view–are working against my plans!
A few good things from our meeting with RCS:
1) John had a GREAT idea for our ceremony space!
2) John talked to us about a new designer RCS recently hired who is young and really good at thinking outside of the box on how to use lighting; he plans to send him to our venue next week to see what he comes up with…
To be continued!

November 25, 2007. cleveland, lighting, vendors, venue. Leave a comment.

The Space

So the fiance and I easily agreed on one of the most important parts of our day (besides us putting up with one another for life): the place. We chose to have it at the BP Building dowtown on Public Square on one of the upper levels that is used for banquets.
The fiance really loved this place just on the merit of its being located downtown. He says he wants all of his frat brothers and friends from out of town to have a chance to see “the best of” Cleveland…
I also like the space because it’s downtown and seems perfect for a modern-style wedding. But I like it most because it’s a really stunning space all by itself and I won’t have to “fight with it” to make it beautiful.
The architecture and windows plus the fact it overlooks a lush atrium all sold me.

It’s also very spacious which allows for it to be divided into several different spaces: ceremony/cocktails/dinner/party.
I took some raw photos of it when we were last in Cleveland so I could figure out decorating needs. But I FORGOT to measure and do you know the event manager there doesn’t even know the space’s measurements! So I’ll do that when I return to Cleveland in October, I guess.
Oh, another selling point of this place was the fact that for a small extra fee we can take our wedding photos in that pretty atrium you see above. And the bridal party also gets to use two huge conference rooms for free.

August 20, 2007. cleveland, vendors, venue. Leave a comment.