Today, we went over to the alma mater, The University of Massachusetts Amherst to look at the Marriott Center there as a potential reception location.
The Marriott Center is located on the eleventh floor of the Campus Center, an unattractive building located in the center of the attractive UMass Amherst main campus.
The new Marriott Center is completely lovely though! I actually think that I helped raise money for it when I was working at the Annual Fund and making calls for UMass Amherst.
The Center is very modern and has wonderful natural light.
The view of campus is tremendous. Here is the south side of campus. You can see the Old Chapel, Memorial Hall (where I used to work in the basement at the Annual Fund), The Fine Arts Center, and the Southwest Dorms to name a few items.
Here is the view of the north side. You can see the Northeast Dorms, the North Dorms (still just called North A, North B, North C, and North D - they are waiting for rich people to name them), and the edge of the Lederle Graduate Research Center.
The pro's and con's. The pro's are easy: 1. The center is very neat looking. I like the modern patters and the neat lighting. The view is amazing! It reminds me of all the wonderful things that UMass Amherst did for me. I think it was the most wonderful undergraduate experience I could have had. I love UMass Amherst dearly. 2. This ties into the first point. The idea of having the reception at UMass Amherst is very nestolgic. We met at UMass. We loved at UMass. It brings back nice memories. 3. UMass is pretty affordable. The wedding food packages are a very good value. (Especially compared with what we saw at Hampshire because Hampshire had the food price and then a rental fee. UMass does not and includes wine in the fee, flowers, and cake. The service fee is also only 15% instead of the standard 20%.) The con's are also easy: 1. The outside of the Campus Center isn't too attractive. 2. Is this unique location? Is the fact that it's at UMass unique? Are there neat things that we could do on campus or would we just be located in the Marriott Center? 3. There isn't an opportunity for going outside - it would be nice if they had a balcony from which to enjoy the view during a cocktail hour but they do not.
In sum, a good option, as The Carle was a good option. So far, I like The Carle and UMass Amherst best.
Going forward: Again, we have The Barney Carriage House on Saturday. It might be too far away - we'll have to see but the pictures make it look lovely.
The Springfield Museums are out! They don't have any place where you can have dancing except if you do a tent on the outside lawn, which is not what anyone wants. Too bad.
We have yet to hear back from The University Club at Umass Amherst. I will try to follow up, but it's difficult because the staff person didn't answer his e-mail, and I cannot call the Club because they are closed in July and August for renovations.