Once I had been disabused of a few not-quite-realistic ideas for the reception (you mean we can't fit 200 people on my parents' back porch?), I didn't have a lot of specific ideas or desires for the reception. Just someplace nice, you know? My parents went to see a couple venues while we were still in DC, and there was one that my dad was apparently ready to make a deposit on right then. (Mom convinced him that maybe Ben and I should see it before any final decisions were made.)
While we were in NY so I could go to Michelle's bachelorette party, we scheduled appointments to see several places. We spent only a few minutes looking around the place my parents had already liked, went with my parents to speak to second venue, and the two of us went alone to third.
The one in the middle we did not like at all. While the dated look might not have been a deal-breaker for me, the funny smell and the bug on the table definitely were.
The other two were pretty similar, and we ended up going with the larger one, simply because our families are, well, large. And we even have friends, too. Trying to be simple or not extravagant is more or less a moot point when you're up to your ears in relatives, but we wouldn't have it any other way!
The reception will be at The View on the Hudson, which has . . . wait for it . . . a beautiful view on the Hudson! (The other place we really liked, which was in Nyack, several miles upstream, actually had almost the exact same view from the opposite perspective.)
Next up: Wedding bands, photographers. Does anyone know how to choose wedding bands or photographers?