When we left off, we had found three venues that we loved, but none of them worked out. So, we started over and narrowed it down to two potential venues—not our first choices but maybe better. (That happens sometimes!)
I'm going to spoil this post and just let you know that this story has a happy ending!
Announcing... Luttrell Lodge at the Pleasant Ridge Camp & Retreat Center, the location for our laid-back family wedding. It's perfect!
We toured the lodge, and I took pictures—unfortunately, the quality is so, so awful I won't post them and ruin your impression of our venue, since it's really very nice. Instead here's a few more pictures from the website. Trust me, it's better this way.
The inside of the lodge all set up for a wedding. I love that there is a fireplace with a mantel—I'm so excited to use that as the background for the ceremony (what would be in a church the altar).
Another shot of the inside of the lodge. This one is taken from the kitchen and serving area looking out onto the entire seating area. The lodge technically seats 200 people—there's plenty of space. We're doing both our ceremony and reception in the same room (more on this later) so I wanted to make sure guests didn't feel cramped.
This is the outside deck area of the lodge. The glass doors open into the lodge so guests can enjoy being outside if it's a nice day. May in South Carolina can go both ways—it could be beautiful and pleasant or it could be humid and everyone will want to stay inside with the air conditioning. This is one of the main reasons I didn't want an outdoor wedding. If the weather is nice, though, it will be great to have the extra room.
Pleasant Ridge Camp & Retreat Center is also the home of Camp Spearhead and Camp Courage—two really great ministries for kids with special needs and illnesses. I was very impressed with the camp director and his passion for the camps, as well as the space itself and everything that they'll be providing for us—for much less expensive than we found elsewhere.