Monday, February 16, 2009

home town drive (winter edition)

It was a spectacular weekend and thanks to the presidents la femina and I were able to take two days off together and get out of the city. We headed east to my folks place and my home town out at the end of Long Island. Since our engagement we have been having a lot of fun thinking about where we might get married. There are a few things we know: fall, east end of Long Island, close to or on water is important, the general size, focus on being outside and enjoying the surroundings, space to drink, eat, and dance until we can't move anymore. And then there are a lot of things we don't know: our ultimate budget, what "expensive" really means in terms of numbers, safeguarding against bad weather, and a million other topics we haven't even thought up yet. But we decided not to get too ahead of ourselves. We used the weekend to treat ourselves to an adventurous drive around EH and MTK to brainstorm some ideas. I kept reminding myself this was more for information gathering than decision making. In the end we were excited to find that we did learn a lot about how to look at a space and what spaces we already love and different ways to think about doing the ceremony and reception. Above and below are a few pics from our days out and about.

Mansion and Hydrangea
One of the first stops we hit with my mom, who lined up for us a special viewing of a mansion overlooking the water off Cranberry Hole. The place was massive, and so funky, and parts of each of us really loved it. The space, as terrific as it was, however, would need way too much amending to make it work for our wedding, more money and time than we knew was possible. Such a shame, but we still loved lurking in those old hallways guessing about all the summers gone by.

Fish Factory and Pinus
We told mom we'd see her at cocktail time and we sat for a minute to plan our general itinerary. On our way out to Montauk I took my love by the fish factory. As much as it was a wedding planning drive it was also a chance for us to visit a bunch of the beautiful vistas I was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by as well as share them with my love. Granted rusted warehouses aren't necessarily beautiful to everyone, I knew she would love how they looked against the sand and evergreens and blue sky. We put the car back in drive and moved on.
Montauk Manor
We climbed the hill to Montauk Manor and it reminded me of a million years ago when my old babysitter worked as an engineer there. The building is massive and so picturesque standing tall above the village.
Montauk Manor and Prunus
The courtyard has these fabulous old cherry trees that have weathered the storm well in their nice sheltered nook.
This sure does scream wedding, but the sticker shock could also have us screaming for the hills. There was no need to talk to anyone or attempt to get an actual quote. It's winter in Montauk and it is a different beast. We were just out for fun, and nothing was going to interfere with our day dreaming.

We migrated down to the ocean. One of the things we discovered right away was that most places do not necessarily have a big meeting/event space. We scoped out what might end up being great accommodations recommendations more than wedding spots. But hey, we're learning, and that is awesome. A few places we checked out were awesome in fact. The catch I realized though is that we were basically trespassing around a few "members only" areas so I had to limit amount of pics posted. Ooops! ;) Silly kids!

But when we got to the end of East Lake, a road I definitely hadn't been on in years, we stumbled upon the Inlet, a restaurant mom noted that morning.
The Inlet Restaurant
Since it was winter we couldn't get too close or inside but we decided we have to get back here during the summer and check it out. The beach was nearby, plenty of parking, some great water views. According to the internet and some images I found on flickr the food looks slammin'. One thing about restaurants is the question of where to dance, another very important aspect of our special day. But the Inlet with it's two big decks had us really intrigued. Coming soon: Montauk Summer Session 2009!

Maidstone Pavilion
From Montauk back to Amagansett, my roots, for some more drivebys and snacks. Eventually the sun was fading and so were we. As a last stop we decided to climb up into Springs, to one spot we know we love. The pavilion has been home to some of the best, most raucous, most loved, and most blissful parties and moments ever. How we would make it work we still have no idea, but we did talk a lot about getting married somewhere that means something. And this place does.
It might not look like much to the unknowing eye, but this wooden structure has more life in it than you could ever imagine.
And the surrounding beauty? Oh, come on, it's unmatched as far as I'm concerned.

Sunken Garden
The other place we love that falls into the "how would we make it work?" category is the sunken garden. It is a relatively unknown spot and for that reason we love it all the more. We love it as one of the last sacred spaces out east that hasn't gotten too bitten by all the selfish tourism. Before calling mom to let her know it was time to head back to their place we did a quick walk through. The space was bigger than I had remembered and it was so fun to envision all of our loved ones sitting and celebrating our love. Who knows if the owners would ever in a million years consider it, but it was fun to dream.

Now, on to that cocktail.

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