It seems like I’ve been doing a lot of celebrating lately. I got Shake Shack after my first week at my new job as a teacher, and last weekend I went to Denino’s, a delicious pizzeria in Staten Island, to celebrate putting a first payment on a wedding venue. Todd and I had a nice time eating shrimp parmagiana, fried calamari, plain pizza, and meatball onion ricotta pizza with our parents.
Todd and I have spent the last few months visiting a variety of venues in Westchester, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We decided that Long Island was too far away, and we didn’t come across anything we loved in New Jersey, Queens, or Brooklyn. And Manhattan didn’t seem to fit with our dream of an outdoor August ceremony amid lush greenery. We also felt concerned about Manhattan prices and don’t want to completely break the bank just for our wedding.
We narrowed down the list to a few venues that we really liked. Our favorite unfortunately ended up being too expensive, with extra charges for everything from chairs and linens to a fee to become part of their yacht club. Others seemed like a good bargain, but had aspects that we didn’t care for: an ugly room for cocktail hour, a plain and unexciting outdoor ceremony space, or just an overall vibe that didn’t mesh with our personalities.
Todd and I ended up choosing the first venue we visited: Nicotra’s Ballroom in Staten Island. It’s convenient for our guests because it’s part of the Hilton hotel, it has a beautiful outdoor space for the ceremony, the food sounds delicious, the main ballroom has huge windows to let in natural summertime light, and the woman who will be working with us was really helpful and knowledgeable.
Now that I’m so busy with lesson planning, grading papers, writing behavior charts and memos, and doing work for my graduate classes, I’m glad that choosing the wedding venue is behind us. I think we’ll wait until the summer to make any other major wedding decisions, but I’m very happy with this first step toward our union.