Hi! I haven't been on the boards much lately, but I just remembered I was supposed to tell you about my visit to The Umstead and the tasting. I'm not sure if you're still looking for a venue or still considering it, but here is an update on my experience so far. I recently visited and had a tasting, and I'm getting lots accomplished so I have more to say about what it's like working with the venue.
I can't sing their praises enough! First off, the food was absolutely PHENOMENAL! The care that went into the tasting makes me realize how out of this world the actual wedding meal will be. The venue is so beautiful and the outdoor ceremony site in front of the lake just can't be beat. I can't remember if you had visited or not yet? It's really cool because your bridal suite looks on to the ceremony site, which is also really convenient. Also, after the ceremony, guests walk along this pretty pathway on the lake and then up these stairs and they're at the terrace for the cocktail hour. The view from the terrace is so pretty too. I think it's all so great! I remember that you were wondering about working with the venue. Ami (who you probably met if you visited) is amazing and extremely on top of EVERYTHING. She is extremely responsive to my e-mails--seriously, it's impressive. She coordinates with the vendors you choose (arrival times, setup info, etc.), which is such a treat because I know it's not that common for people from the venue to also do all that. For example, the photographer I chose hasn't photographed there before and she just said she'd reach out to him and give him the lay of the land, to make sure things will be all set and perfect on the day. So she really makes it so much easier on you! Honestly I can't tell you enough how on top of her game she is and how much I recommend you have your wedding there. I think it's the perfect mix of everything--the convenience of a hotel, the beauty of an art gallery (um, oh yeah--the art is so pretty!! All the furniture and other decor too!), the unique and natural outdoor ceremony setting, etc. etc. Plus the venue is the best to work with. I know a lot more at this point, so please let me know if you have any questions because I'll be more likely to be able to help you now : )