That's right, party people. We have a reception site pinned down, the Cherry Hill Conference Center right down the street from the University of Maryland. Eric and I had met a pagan couple who recommended the place, since they are having their reception at Chery Hill in October. Being blue-eyed and naive as we were in the evil, expensive ways of weddings, we thought the rental fee was outrageous - especially given that the place is in the middle of a campground and across the street from Shoppers.
But we learned quickly how expensive everything is in warped wedding world, and having nothing to show from months of research, we revisited the idea of Cherry Hill when Eric's parents were in town last weekend. They visited the place and loved it, so we went to check it out for ourselves. Wandering around the building, it was just one of those moments when things fall into place. It was perfect. It wasn't some trashy trailer park as I had feared. It was a campground (replete with RVs, but a campground nonetheless) with a building perfect for the huge party after my wedding. The building has an oak-floor ballroom, a catering kitchen, a balcony and three separate rooms for our use. Having a kitchen on-site means that Alli can probably still cater, and having extra rooms will be wicked for karaoke or guitar hero or whatever else occurs to us!
You haven't heard the best part yet, my droogies! Because of Cherry Hill's prime location, I will realize my dream of biking from the ceremony to the reception! I invite the bridal party and whoever else is interested to decorate your bikes (I also know where we can rent them for you out-of-towners) and ride with us down the Paint Branch Trail from the university to Cherry Hill. It's an easy ride of about two miles.
I'm checking into discounted camping rates for my guests - if I can wrestle some sort of arrangement, I'll encourage people to camp.
Eric and I are so relieved to have this albatross off our necks. A reception site had alluded us for months, but now we feel like we can focus on the details since the big decisions are behind us.
Remember, a wedding reception is essentially a huge party. So meet me in College Park for a damn good time.