Saturday, October 13, 2007

Venue one: Rivers Crossing Retreat

We began the search for our venue immediately after almost after becoming engaged. I'd always heard that once the venue is booked, everything else falls magically into place - hah! We'll see about that.

First stop - The Treehouse at Rivers Crossing Retreat

This is a new venue on vancouver island, situated in the Highlands, appoximately 15 minutes north west of downtown Victoria. It's a truly gorgeous area with great potential.

They currently have one main reception area called 'the treehouse' which holds approximately 60-70 guests for a sit down dinner. There is also a room on the second floor that could be used for a kids room, dance floor, cocktail hour, etc. They are also in the midst of building a second, slightly larger, reception venue with multi-tiered decks extending down to the amphitheatre, which is the perfect setting for an outdoor ceremony, and pictures. They were still working on the landscaping at the time of our visit, but again, there was tremendous potential there (photo courtesy of Rivers Crossing Retreat website)

Sandy, the event coordinator, was very pleasant and accommodating; she answered all of our questions, and seemed open to suggestions and requests. We were quoted $1200.00 for rental of the treehouse and amphitheatre for the day, which seemed very reasonable considering the beautiful setting and the future potential of the venue.

The inside of the treehouse is very warm and inviting. The wood floors and beams are made of trees from the property, and the decor has a slight tuscany
feel with rich colours of rust, gold, and sage. You can see the sound system to the left of the picture, and the lovely stone fireplace on the right. (Note: the kid's toys are not part of the decor, they are currently running a daycare out of the building during the week until the daycare centre is built).

You can see the kitchen through the pass through window in the pic on the left. Its also a good pic of the faux paint finish on the walls that gives it that hint of 'tuscany'.

These bench seats run all the way around the room and are a good representation of the colours used throughout the venue. Perfect for a fall wedding!

We didn't take any pictures of the outside (or so it seems after searching endlessly through our picture files) but it was definitely a beautiful setting, you'll just have to take my word on it. And as they complete the buildings and landscaping, it will only become more beautiful.

What worked for us:
*reasonable rental rates
*beautiful setting
*new venue
*friendly event coordinator
*beautiful setting
*caterer of our choice
*bring in our own booze

What didn't work for us:
*a bit far from downtown Victoria
*only one hotel nearby and very expensive
*no view of the mountains (lots of trees)
*venue was a bit too small for our liking
*booking on "potential" is a bit of a risk
*colours of treehouse don't work with our theme
*beast to choose vendors from victoria (which means many more ferry trips for us)

In our situation, the con's outweighed the pros, but I have no doubt that this venue will be the perfect spot for many happy couples out there.

Next venue: Overbury Farm Resort on Thetis Island

No comments: