For those of you who are currently planning your big day, has the famous idiom, “the third time’s the charm,” been resonating with you in a new, rather intense way? To be honest, I feel like this famous phrase is THE descriptor of my wedding-planning experience!
First, our search for the perfect, intimate venue was long and confusing. At the beginning, we had our mind set on Place #1, a beautiful bar/lounge located in downtown Montreal. Its impressive decor, which includes contemporary art works and gorgeous mouldings, was enough to charm us. However, when we ventured there one evening to experience the place before officially booking it, we were disappointed; it was as though the excitement and certainty we felt before arriving slowly dissipated as we sat, sipping on beautifully concocted cocktails. I couldn’t put my finger on precisely what it was — or perhaps I can, but I’m just too polite — but it didn’t click: there were no sparks! So, the search had to start anew. After spending hours on the internet, I found the perfect option: Place #2! Since we’re getting married at the Palais de justice located in the Old Port, this option was ideal — a mere 5-minute walk away! To top things off, I found stunning pictures of the private venue room, and the fact that this place is actually a hotel was a huge bonus since many of our guests are out-of-towners. Needless to say, we were sold! We consulted their banquet and cocktail menus and reserved the date (wink wink), but we still hadn’t physically visited the spot. On the day of our visit, there was a freak snowstorm — remember when 45 centimeters of snow fell in Montreal? Yeah, on that day. Although we hoped to still make it to our appointment, we called the consultant a few hours before our meeting to reschedule; to our surprise, she was MIA: no phone call, no email, nada. And, we thought to ourselves, “Hmm, if we had actually braved the storm and gone there for our meeting, we would have had our consultation with…the hotel receptionist?!” I guess we can say things went downhill from there: no wow factor upon our first visit, their lack of flexibility, and everything seemed to be so difficult. So, we were back at square one; it’s just that this time, we were more annoyed and anxious.
Then, I found THE place: L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel. I don’t know why I hadn’t considered this place before, especially since it’s in the Old Port. When I visited their website, they had beautiful pictures of past weddings, so I was very hopeful and quickly called to make an appointment. Even though I had high hopes before our meeting, I kept reminding myself that we had been disappointed twice before and that if this place wasn’t for us, we would settle for the other, frustrating Place #2. We visited L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel after its over-the-top New Year’s Eve party, during the two-week period at the beginning of January where the place is closed for post-party cleanup — imagine that! Our consultant was professional and experienced; she was also deeply apologetic for having us visit the premises when it was at its worst state. Still, when we entered the private room, we knew we had found the perfect spot!
Right now, the same story seems to be repeating itself with our DJ: after having considered one recommended by a friend, we opted for another who has now stopped responding to my correspondences. No later than this afternoon, I contacted a third option that seems very promising. With three weeks to go before the big day, I hope things work out! Third time’s the charm, right?