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Adventures in Colorado Springs

Today we went to Colorado Springs. I had seen pictures online of a church there that looked beautiful. So, today we went to scope it out. We also decided that as long as we were in the Springs, we might as well check out prospective reception sites as well. Here’s a TIP: when looking to book wedding and reception sites, call the local visitor’s bureau for information. Kem hooked us up with all kinds of venues we would not have found by ourselves. Thanks Kem!

Our first stop was the International Polka Club. We were kind of skeptical at first, based on well, the name, and the view from Google Earth. But, it turned out to be a pretty nice place. They offer the downstairs room for rental, but we weren’t too impressed with that room. Upstairs is nice though. It has a full kitchen, all wooden floors, stage, and lots of space for tables and chairs. The downside? The bathrooms. Each stall has a curtain for a closure instead of a door. I thought this was odd at first, but then I realized that this way, there were no gaps between the door and the walls. The International Polka Club also allows you to bring in your own caterer and alcohol. A huge plus.
Next we went to the Shrine Club. The Club was already set up for another wedding that was going to be there that night. It was nice getting to see what it would look like all set up. It has a nice wood floor throughout, a grand piano, and a stage. The room is also lined with benches. This was a feature that we really liked since we’re not looking for a full sit-down meal. The benches would allow for fewer tables and more dance floor. The downside to the Shrine Club? You have to use their alcohol and bartenders, but they don’t charge nearly as much as a local hotel would.
From there we went to Shove Memorial Chapel on Colorado College. There was a wedding happening later in the afternoon, and they were outside taking pictures. We still got to go in and check out the chapel. All it took was walking in. The place is so beautiful. I loved it. It’s a cathedral without a denomination. It welcomes all, from Buddhists, to Catholics, to everybody. It was so great, I loved it. I would have signed the contract then and there if we could have. But, they only book a year in advance, so we have to wait another month before we can try. When we met with the director, she said that the college meets in there on Sundays, so only Friday nights and Saturdays are available for wedding ceremonies. I was hoping for a Sunday wedding, but that’s ok. Then she said that there are also only a few weekends a year that the Chapel can’t be rented out because the university needs it then. One of those weekends was October 6, 2007 (the day I really wanted). So, now, if we want to get married here, we can do either September 29th, or October 13th. The downside to Shove Chapel? The parking. It’s either the street, or a university parking lot. The chapel doesn’t have its own parking.
By this time we were getting hungry. So, we went over to Leon Gessi Pizza. It’s owned by my uncle’s brother. It serves great New York style pizza. We’ll definitely go back for more.
From here we drove 40 minutes south on HWY 115 to Mystic Meadows. We were not impressed with this facility at all. It’s right next to a highway, so you’d get all the highway noise. It’s kind of a wilderness experience. Personally, we felt it would be nicer to get hitched in our own back yard. And, Mystic Meadows requires that you do the whole thing through them: ceremony, food, DJ. But, you can bring in your own alcohol. Jonathan and I went ahead and priced it anyway…the results? For 200 people to have a 4 hour party, and hors d’oeuvres only was well over $12,000. We were shocked. They wanted us to pay that for highway noise, a small space (that honestly, needs a few things done), and a ridiculously out of the way location? I don’t think so. Some people really like it, and that’s great. I’m just saying that it wasn’t for us.
The same people who own and operate Mystic Meadows also own Tre Luna. Tre Luna is a space in downtown Colorado Springs. It is smaller overall than Mystic Meadows, but has a much more fun and hip atmosphere. There are 1940s style murals on the wall; the ceiling is copper punch; it has a beautiful bar, and a balcony with tables. Again the downside, is that you have to use them for everything, which just isn’t what we’re looking for.
We thought we’d stop by the VFW Post 101 on our way home. I saw that they host swing dances there on Sunday nights. Well, it must have been a different Post. This place was tiny; it wouldn’t hold more than 100 people. But the manager there told us to check out the Eagles.
The Eagles was a nice place, again, a bit small. It had lots of stuffed eagles on the walls as decoration, which was a bit creepy to me. And, you’d have to use their alcohol and bartenders.
That was our last stop in Colorado Springs for the day. And although we didn’t settle on anything definite, we sure visited a lot of places and got a lot of ideas. It was a very productive day.

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