Great Oaks

Great Oaks

Oct 10
Great Oaks

Ok, so let’s face it. Great Oaks was doomed before I had even gotten there. I wasn’t feeling great that day, and I wasn’t 100% sure that I wasn’t going to pass out half-way through the tour. As far as venues go, this was a beautiful property. However, there was one superficial detail that I couldn’t get over – the red brick.

Every other place we looked at was painted white, and I never realized how much brick would be a shock to my system. It just didn’t give me the wedding feeling that I was hoping for. We walked in and got a very odd reception that made me feel uncomfortable. From then until we left, I just got the overwhelming feeling that my personality was not going to mesh with the personality of the woman at Great Oaks that we’d be dealing with throughout the planning process.

She began the tour by mentioning the man in costume that would talk about the history of the house. Ummmm. No. As we continued to walk through the house, we were given lots of history. As much as I loved the history of the house, I was afraid that that much would be forced onto my guests. David agreed there — he wasn’t with us that day, but when he was writing his thoughts on Great Oaks, he wrote, “One of the things Great Oaks stated was that they’d have a person in costume describing the history of the house to the guests. Were I there, I’d probably tune out right then. In my opinion, if you’re dedicated that much effort to something that’s about the facility rather than about the event that’s taking place in the facility, your focus as the organizers is fundamentally off. The facility facilitates: it should be a beautiful background and possibly have some interesting elements for those that choose to investigate further, but active attention shouldn’t be given to driving attention away from the event and to the facility itself. While I’m sure we could request that the person not be there, the fact that they organizers consider that a great idea makes me wonder about their overall focus as well, and how it would crop up in other areas of the house and the event.”

She took us outside, and it was really beautiful. It was very open and natural, and it would be a great spot for anyone interested in an outdoor ceremony. We walked to where the ballroom was and my first reaction was that it was so elegant… but then she pointed out the fake fireplace that she was rather proud of. That was another deal breaker. Not only was it fake, but I didn’t like where they put it. I also got the feeling that the room was too small, and we’d have to put some people outside. Their set-up is actually perfect for this situation, though. With the way the doors are situated, it wouldn’t necessarily feel like two separate areas. They have a tent already outside, so brides don’t have to spend a ton of money renting one.

She had lots of suggestions for layouts for us to consider and comment on. We went to her office to talk about the particulars, and we were assaulted with vendor suggestions. As much as I appreciate help, it was a little too much to digest… especially since she had a card for everyone. We left with a stack. She did give us the feeling that we’d have quite a bit more freedom at their location than at Primrose, but I simply wasn’t able to see myself there.

Random tidbit: A beautiful feature that this house has is a good morning staircase. It is a nice touch that none of the other venues had.

Verdict

Absolutely not. Might be good for someone else, but not what we have in mind at all.

(Image credit: Great Oaks)

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