We have a venue!

We've picked a venue!  No contracts have been signed yet, but the date is reserved and I've cancelled all of our other visits!  Joe & I will be getting married at the Sheraton Atlantic City!
My senior prom was actually at the Sheraton, though I don't remember a lot of it, lots of drama with my high school boyfriend overshadows the dancing and whatnot.  Anyway, the Sheraton was always on my short list of venues to look at because it has pretty much everything we're looking for.

1.  We wanted to have the wedding at a hotel or at a venue with a hotel very close by (like within walking distance in the middle of winter).  I didn't feel right inviting people to an event on NYE, giving them free drinks for 5+ hours and then just sending them out onto the roads at 2am.

2.  A modern look.  Because the wedding is on NYE I felt like the ever popular vintage/cutesy theme wouldn't work, plus it's not really our style.  A lot of the venues we looked at a definite vibe (nautical, old world) and none of them were modern.

3. A fair price.  We went into planning with the knowledge that this could be expensive and we might need to change our date, it is NYE after all.  My biggest concern was that we book a place that wasn't price gouging us just because it's a "holiday," the Sheraton is not.  As far as I can tell we are getting a standard wedding package from them with no additional taxes & fees based around the date.

Here is a basic rundown of how our wedding will go:

Our guests will pull into the driveway in front of the building and receive free valet parking.  Upon entering the lobby they can check in for the evening ($199 a night) or proceed upstairs for the ceremony.  Across from the concierge is a gift shop where they can pick up Atlantic City nick knacks or toiletries they may have forgotten in their overnight bag.  Just beyond the lobby they will be greeted by the atrium filled with Miss America memorabilia and the grand staircase.
I've had a hard time finding pictures of weddings at our venue, I keep coming across the same two couples.  Maybe I'll see if our planner and direct me toward some more.  Here are some shots of one happy couple taking advantage of the beautiful architecture.
At the top of the stairs is a bar that will be open after the ceremony, during cocktail hour.
While are guest are arriving Joe & I will be in the VIP suite with our bridal party.  The suite is included at no charge with our package.  The ladies and I will get ready there and then I'm assuming after the first look the boys will join us until the ceremony starts.  
The pictures really don't do it justice.  When you enter there is a bathroom, dining room & living room that are easily the size on our entire downstairs then through double doors to the right is the master bedroom and bath that are also enormous.
The ceremony will take place in the smallest ballroom.  Here are some pictures I found of a ceremony at the Sheraton.
I'm thinking of something similar to the picture below but not as woodsy, lots of greenery and candled with few or no flowers.  I've heard you can rent trees from a nursery...
Cocktail hour will be held in the Boulevards restaurant that overlooks Atlantic City.  The view during the day is beautiful so I can only imagine what it will look like all lit up at night!
They pull out all of the regular tables and chairs and add cocktail rounds.  I'm thinking of decorating them with martini glasses full of beads and disco balls then adding sparkly Ls, Js and votives.
After cocktail hour guests will be shown the main ballroom.  There are two that we can choose between depending on how many guests we end up with.  But they both look basically the same.
I don't want to compete with the decor in the ballroom so the plan is to keep the decorations in basic colors (black, ivory, champagne, silver) and include lots of glitter!  My flower budget is super small so I'm planning to stay with babies breath and carnations and if the price is right maybe even DIY everything except my bouquet.
Obviously these are all just pipe dreams right now, I have no idea if I'll be able to recreate any of it, if it will work together or what the cost will be.  But keep your fingers crossed for me and I'll keep you all in the loop as the projects unfold!

An extra bonus of using the venue we are is that there is a bar right next door!  I have been assured that the Tun Tavern will be open after 1pm when the reception ends and we can even set up specials for our guests!

Now that we have a venue the next stop is save the dates!  Well that and interviewing photographers and DJs...

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