Our wedding was perfect! Instead of having it in Colorado or Maryland (where our parents live) we decided to have our wedding where we have made our life together- in Cambridge! We went into our wedding planning with a fairly laid-back attitude and tried not to plan a ceremony or reception with too many details to worry about. We also knew want we wanted and decided on neighborhood locations that were close to where we live early in the planning process. We spent a lot of time (and money) putting together an info packet including maps, walking directions, T directions, and a $5 pre-paid Charlie card for our guests to help them get around. Wedding Mapper helped with this process greatly as well! We also found that a comprehensive wedding website was helpful to our guests. In the end we hosted a "wedding-weekend" with our wedding on the 3rd, tickets to a Red Sox game on the 4th, and watching fireworks from river-facing rooms at the hotel. We wanted to create an event that would be special to us but also give our mostly out-of-town guests a good feel of Cambridge and Boston during their time here.
We loved the look of Swedenborg Chapel, as well as its proximity to public transportation and our reception site. They have a "Build-a-Bear" wedding ceremony kit that lets you customize your ceremony to be as religious or non-religious as you want. We liked the idea of getting married in this church, but didn't want the ceremony to be about religion, per se, but rather about the celebration of marriage.
They did double-book our wedding date and time, forcing us to move our ceremony time up 1.5 hours. They said this was unprecedented and had never happened before, and made it up to us by not asking us to pay more than the deposit we had already put down. They did everything in their power to make things right in a timely manner and we could tell the pastor felt horribly about this mistake.
Throughout our wedding planning process the pastor, organist, and event coordinators on site were very pleasant and easy to work with. We really felt that this place had it all- a small romantic chapel, a ceremony outline that we could customize to our liking, a helpful church staff, and they even rang the bells as we walked out of the chapel after the ceremony! It was a true fairy-tale wedding!
West Side Lounge is our absolute favorite neighborhood restaurant and we have spent many a night there as a couple and with our friends. When it came to choosing our reception location, we decided we couldn't do better than to hold it at a place that is meaningful to us and that always has good food, great drinks, and an attentive, friendly staff. We wanted a "cocktail party" type reception, with hand-passed appetizers, a few food stations, and no assigned seating. People were free to move and mingle as they wanted and there wasn't an actual sit-down meal. We had an open wine/beer bar and "bride" and "groom" martinis. All other alcohol was paid for by the guests. We supplied the music on an iPod that we plugged into the restaurant. The GM at WSL was fantastic to work with and was willing to meet with us over and over to make sure every detail was perfect. The staff that worked on our wedding night were phenomenal. They ensured that everything went smoothly and bent over backwards to take care of us and our guests. We didn't want a "traditional" wedding reception- we wanted a fantastic party at our favorite restaurant with our closest friends and family- and that's exactly what we got at West Side Lounge! WEST SIDE LOUNGE ROCKS!
We chose this hotel because it is on the Red Line and close to Harvard Square. We had difficulty establishing initial contact with them because we kept being reffered to their corporate offices. Once we were in touch with the event staff at the hotel things went very smoothly. We were able to reserve a block of rooms for $150/night- much cheaper than other locations for July 4th weekend. The event staff was in constant touch with us, letting us know who had booked rooms and reminding us of our cut-off date. They ensured that all details were taken care of and even surprised us with an upgraded suite for our wedding night. They were very helpful in problem solving different situations that came up and seemed to genuinely care about us as people, and as a bride and groom. The event itself went off without a hitch. We held a bridal breakfast there as well, and the staff was always accommodating.
After our rehearsal dinner plans at a different restaurant fell through, we talked to the GM at Christopher's at the suggestion of the staff at West Side Lounge. (The two restaurants are owned by the same people.) Christopher's quickly helped us plan a dinner for 40 people in one of the private rooms on their second floor. The menu was open to our guests and the wait staff was very attentive and friendly. Christopher's is right across from Porter Square T stop which was great for ease of transportation for our guests.
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