The Foundry is absolutely beautiful. The pictures actually don't do it justice, which is bizarre because they're fantastic. But they just don't compare to being in the space itself. As I feared, it looks smaller in person, but no matter; it's still about four times bigger than it needs to be for the crowd we're expecting. It also comes with a certain amount of furniture and indoor greenery that we weren't expecting, which is excellent. I just discovered that the super-8 videographer I'm dying for will cost a minimum of $4,000 - OUCH! - so anywhere that we can save a little money is helpful.
We'd been thinking that we would rent the courtyard and tent it, and do the ceremony inside and the dinner in the tent. The full area of the courtyard would have been over 2K to rent (on top of the charge for the main interior space, of course), and I was figuring the tent would be another thousand maybe. Man was I wrong! The kind of tent I want in the size that I want is over three thousand dollars! And who knows if that even includes any heating or lighting... The discovery of this information could have been quite a blow, except that it came paired with another bit of news. That was the fact that The Foundry is in the process of building this amazing little rooftop terrace. When completed it will hold about 60 people for cocktails - pretty much custom built for what we need. It can have a fire pit, and it's partially covered, and it will look over a little reflecting pool and the lovely courtyard that we'd been so intent on renting. It's also about a fifth of the price of my whole courtyard + tent plan. So voila! Problem solved! Mostly.
The new plan - the terrace plan, as we'll call it - does leave us with some logistical issues. We now must organize having the ceremony in the main space, then bringing everyone up into the mezzanine and onto the terrace for "cocktails" so that the main space can somehow become an area for both a buffet dinner with semi-assigned seating and a dance floor. I didn't want to have that big a changeover, for one, and I also don't know how we're going to have dining and dancing simultaneously. We'll figure it out though; Jonathan and I are both somewhat skilled in the logistics department. I think the real problem is that we don't have enough information yet to really get working on it.
Our visit also allowed us to figure out that for a very minimal charge we can have lights strung across the atrium like this, and votives put along ledges like this and this, by the landscaping company that operates off of the same property. We feel that these touches will give the place a clean polished look without a lot of excess. I'm not planning on bringing in much in the way of decoration or flowers, so that works well for me. A few more trees, some embellishments on the gift table (what there is of one) or in a corner here and there, and well set tables, and we're good to go.
So we're pretty psyched. We may still look at other places but I doubt we'll go with anywhere else. This is the spot for us. There are approximately 143 other things we need to get nailed down to make it all happen, but there's time. After all, we're not even engaged yet. ;)