My Big Fat Dish Wedding: Part One – Finding the Perfect Vendors

I have a confession to make: I am getting married in under three months, and I have a fear of commitment.

I thought getting engaged would put an end to less than perfect suitors, however, the venue-searching process is quite similar to the dating cycle. We came across many types of venue coordinators: some didn’t click with our personalities, some were aloof and did not bother to return our calls or emails while others were needy and tried to get us to commit right away. The last type of venue made me want to run for the hills. These venues pressured us to play by their rules, where we would have to use their overpriced caterer who only offered four set-in-stone packages of mediocre food. Frozen veggies and a pot roast getting too much love from a heat lamp are not on my guest list.

My fiance and I desired a location for our November wedding that had a casual and one-of-a-kind ambiance, is elegant sans tuxedo tails and crystal chandeliers and is inexpensive without being out of date and uninspiring. After visiting ballrooms, gardens, and museums, we came up dry, until we realized there was a venue in the heart of West Chester that met our criteria perfectly—the Chester County Historical Society. Located on the corner of High and Chestnut Streets, our guests will be within a stone’s throw from restaurants, bars, parking facilities.

IMG_0161

Vintage Before It Was Cool

Beneath the brick facade of one of the oldest buildings in town lies a six gallery museum filled with a nationally recognized collection of 18th and 19th century decorative arts, manuscripts, and photos, a three-story atrium, a history lab for children of all ages, an outdoor terrace, and a 2,600 square foot convertible Cultural Center with vaulted ceilings, hanging lanterns, and state of the art equipment. During cocktail hour, guests will travel through time via the museum’s permanent and rotating exhibits showcasing Chester County’s rich history and heirlooms dating back from the 1600s.

IMG_8397

An Experienced Support System

A wedding is a special day to celebrate the love of two people, so shouldn’t that day be sprinkled with personal touches throughout the venue? Whether couples are looking for a formal sit-down dinner or casual cocktail party, the Historical Society’s list of knowledgeable preferred caterers can fit the style and budget of any couple. No fledgling caterers can be found on their approved vendors: Queen of Hearts, Limoncello Catering, Brandywine Catering, Delightful Desserts and Culinary Creations, and Jimmy Duffy and Sons, Inc. These caterers all dish out years of knowledge and experience with their menus and event planning services.

With the friendly staff at the Historical Society, no question or phone call goes unreturned, and their doors are always open for a walk-through or meeting. Melinda Wentz, Facility Rental Coordinator, is an excellent matchmaker, only connecting us with the best vendors around. Weddings are not the only affairs being held in the keeper of the county’s historical treasures; CCHS regularly hosts fundraisers, showers, parties, film festivals, concerts, and conferences.

CCHS may come with many things: qualified vendors, friendly and courteous staff, flexibility, and a unique ambiance, but there is one thing you won’t find there—pressure. They offered the freedom to decorate as we like, gave us generous setup and breakdown times, have very few tight deadlines and best of all, the ability to pick the very best caterers around.

By choosing to host our wedding at the Chester County Historical Society, our guests get to experience the past and present of our vibrant town—a fitting venue for a day that will be a significant chapter in our relationship and our families’ history books.

This originally appeared on West Chester Dish. Photos by Mizfam Photo Video Design.