November 7, 2014:
Wedding season is coming to a close, and fall is winding down along with it. This year has been exciting! We've learned so much over the first couple of years about how to take care of people and create the perfect wedding day. Looking at our calendar, we've just completed 26 weddings in a row with 100% happy couples!!! 2015 is booking up more fully than expected and we're having a ball meeting all the new people. The cobblestone driveway is now complete and we're getting ready to repaint the trim on the outside of the building. Today is a wedding day and we're all jamming out to Postmodern Jukebox while the bridal party is getting ready. The Bridal library is overflowing with new vases and today's couple has decorated the stage with some beautiful ironwork and antique birdcages. The next time you visit, you may also see some great new lighting in and around the stage and a new sound system in the cocktail plaza.
We've also seen an uptick in other events and parties toward the end of the year. We've done a corporate rollout, a couple of birthdays, and holiday parties are filling up fast. The whole staff is pumped - we're getting a GIANT tree for the cocktail plaza. We didn't have one last year and we all missed it!!!
July 17, 2014:
The heat of Summer is here and we've just had one of our biggest weddings yet. People were here from all over the world dancing the night away and having an incredible time. The outside is looking good - the ivy is growing fast, we're nearly finished with the old bricks lining the driveway, and a new landscaping feature was installed in the front walk. The new AC system has been working like a beast, and we've needed every bit of it. It's been muggy! After considering it for a while, we've decided to cut our basic photography prices down to just over a thousand dollars for a wedding. With the rise of both digital photography and the talented people that have picked it up, we've found that prices across the industry have dropped and followed suit. We're continuing to find ways to provide top-tier services for midrange prices.
Today we talked to the great folks at the 500 Parade Festival, and signed up for another year of taking care of the drivers, volunteers, and princesses through many steps of the process. They have been supporters of ours from nearly day one, and we're excited to do it again! It's also been a prime time for planning around here, and our 2015 event schedule is filling up fast. We don't know why, but weddings seem to be booking up twice as fast as they did last year. Finally, we's like to extend a special thanks to our couples from this year so far. We've had so many kind people, and it makes what we do even more fun!
May 16, 2014:
Winter has jumped right into Summer and we're in the thick of wedding season already. Last week the finishing touches were put on a new 5 ton AC unit for the main room, and it's nice and chilly in there to beat the heat in a month or two! This weekend we have three weddings coming up, two of which have put together some of the most unique menus we've seen yet. One is a European 6 course meal including squash blossom soup, cuttlefish, and wild poultry in a rose petal sauce - while another is a full fledged English tea party. Tanjerine was a smashing success with 4 days of fashion, food, and film. The organizers really delivered on the promise of the idea, and we look forward to see what they come up with next! Danielle is coming again in late June for another incredible concert (her fourth) and we're excited to share a few more that we have in the works as soon as they're final!
April 4, 2014:
The first batch of spring weddings has passed, and all three were a rousing success. It seems like everyone that has set foot in the building this year has been both kind and interesting, and we couldn't be more grateful. This last weekend we were proud to host Sarah and David, who were two of the people that helped work on this place when it was little more than a dream. To have them come back and choose to have the most important day of their lives here has been an honor and privilege. We also got some fantastic photos!
This month has been eventful just as always, and we're getting excited for the summer to arrive. It's time to stain the deck, mow the lawn for the first time, and finish the cobblestone on the driveway. We have also had such a big influx of goodies into our decoration library (or "Imagination room") that it's time to build new shelves. (vases, vases, and more vases.) Now that the frost is off the ground, it's time to get some things done!
We've had several events for the 500 festival crew and are getting geared up for the big day of the parade. The festival princesses continue to be some of the nicest bunch of young women we've encountered. Last year was the first year we hosted the celebrities, and we're looking forward to that too. The excitement of a parade day at The Sanctuary can't be matched.
The inaugural year for Tanjerine seems to be coming together nicely. Their team is beyond enthusiastic and it appears as though it's going to be a huge cultural event for this city, just like Oranje. We have no doubt that it too will grow each year after this - the talent both producing and surrounding this show is immense. Come check it out!
February 20, 2014:
February is winding down and we're getting excited to start the busy part of year three here at The Sanctuary. The year began with a beautiful wedding on the day of the snowpocalypse! After talking it over with everyone, the family decided to march on. The snow came hard and fast and made for some MAGNIFICENT photos. Half of the RSVPed guests ended up showing, and we had a great time. Since the other half didn't come and we had an available date the next weekend, we decided to have a do-over! We cleaned up a little, left the decorations right where they were, and EVERYONE that didn't make it the first time around showed up! It's the first time we've done something like that, and it was interesting. On the first day there was all of the preparation, anticipation, and detail that goes along with planning a wedding. The second time around not only was it all done, but everyone had already the experience of having a great event and there was NO stress. From anyone. It was so light and pleasant!
The blitz of tours is coming to a close, and now it's time for "spring cleaning". We're gearing up for a little work on the roof and are polishing up a ton of the woodwork inside. In the meantime, we have several other events going on. Oranje has locked down a sister event to hold here in the third week of April that should be fascinating. It's a music, food, and fashion festival they've called "Tanjerine". We're just now learning details ourselves, but we'll keep you posted as to what they are!