Image Credit: Riordan Mansion
I spoke with a Park Ranger at the Northern Arizona Wedding Expo and then went and visited the facility the same day. It is a gorgeous space and comes at an incredible price! $200 for four hours per area (both the Veranda pictured above and the Visitor Center are available) plus $2 per person! You are probably asking yourself right now how we could possibly say that we don't think the facility is right for us if we are trying to do this on a tight budget! To be honest, Riordan Mansion is still in the running since it is so close to downtown Flagstaff and thus hotels. The problem is that you can't have live music (it isn't even possible as there are only two low-power power outlets on the Veranda). The other thing is that you have to be out by 9 PM and by out, they said that meant that everything had to be cleaned up and off the premises. Initially, I thought this would be fine since a lot of people would be traveling from earlier time zones. Being completely cleaned up by 9 means being done with the reception probably by 8 though and that is just too early for us to be done celebrating! This venue would be perfect for a morning or early afternoon ceremony!
One other thing that I wanted to note with the Riordan Mansion is that I did discuss with the Park Rangers the possibility that the park would be closed due to state budget cuts. The Arizona State Park system has already been through quite an ordeal but there is still a large deficit that needs to be dealt with. The Rangers said that with the Arizona Centennial in 2012, they do not expect to lose funding before then. After that, they can't say but they are advocating to keep someone on staff to do private events (such as a wedding) should the Park close to the public.
The other venue I wanted to address is the Museum of Northern Arizona. This is a privately run facility so it is not reliant on the state government but is still susceptible to the economic issues of the state. I would love to be able to give my money to this venue instead of to some other corporation as I really support the work that MNA does!
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The Lobby of the Reception Area
Image Credits: Museum of Northern Arizona
I also visited this venue on the day of the Northern Arizona Wedding Expo and it is a wonderful space. Unfortunately, they don't allow dogs anywhere on the grounds which would eliminate Mortimer as our ring bearer! The price of the facility is more than we were hoping for as well. It is a flat rate of $1000 for ceremony and reception on site with an charge of $25 per person. There is also no lodging near the Museum so we would either have to provide shuttle services or make people drive themselves. Too bad MNA won't work since they have awesome archaeological collections and dinosaurs (though it costs extra to have the museum open during the reception)!!!!!