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Oh Paris on Ponce. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the BEST wedding ever. OK, technically it was my lovely, patient planning ninja bride who dealt mostly with George, Judi and Shane (owners and manager respectively), but I was there through the walk through, the rehearsals and, oh yeah, the wedding. Shane is a man of infinite patience. He knows how to speak to brides in the calming tones reserved mostly for the suicidal or those strung out on crank. He lays things out clearly, but is willing to work with you on most facets of planning. The contract is clear and easy to read. Nothing hidden, no small print. Now there may be some confusion here. When we first selected Le Moulin Rouge, that was its name. Paris on Ponce (PoP) is in the process of rebranding the space to Le Maison Rouge. I'm not quite sure why, but I have a feeling it was to do with Le Infringement de Copywrite. So keep in mind that I'll still refer to the space as Moulin Rouge and it may still be listed as this in Yelp (until they fix it), but it's now Le Maison Rouge. Rewind: we chose Paris on Ponce's Moulin Rouge (Now Le Maison Rouge) based on a few criteria. 1)Location: it was in the middle of everything we do, especially since we both have a fondness for the Poncey-Highlands. 2)Uniqueness: I've been to weddings at the Fox, Trolley Barn, about 3 at The Park Tavern, but none here. In fact, few people even seem to know about this great space. I swore months ago never to use the phrase ""hidden gem,"" so instead I'll say it's definitely a secluded treasure. A covert jewel. A disguised den of definite radness. 3)Pre-furnished: I pledged early on not to spend money on decorations. It seems like a waste to me. So while I appreciate a good ice sculpture along with everyone else, to see several hundred dollars literally melt before my eyes is something my tightfisted self couldn't deal with. No need to spend money on the crazy/beautiful PoP. Without fail, each new person who walks into the room(s) gasps. (Well, everyone except my mom who found the entire place ""confusing,"" but my mom would find a way to complain in heaven. ""All these clouds aren't good for my sinuses, you know."") Not only did we not have to spend a dime on decorations, chairs and tables are also provided. And the tables are nice marble-topped ones so we decided we didn't need to rent linens either.
4)Price: For such a space, the price was relatively inexpensive, especially when we compared it to the other top venues like the Fox or Park Tavern (let alone the Botanical Gardens or the Aquarium.) PoP allows you to bring your own liquor and has a large list (9+ vendors long) of preferred caterers. However, you're not required to choose from that list, though it may cost you a bit extra. 5)Size: For the love of my bank account, the space accommodated my entire wedding, all 165 people worth. (The arrangement we picked, could handle 200.) We didn't really feel crowded, though I wasn't in the room during cocktail hour when our coordinator had everyone corralled in the main room away from the buffet set up. It may have gotten a little intimate in there, but we were busy running around the store taking strange wedding day pictures with all the antiques (which, yes, PoP allowed--actually ENCOURAGED--us to do.) The rest was all in the customer service. Shane was truly easy to work with. When we had to drop boxes of liquor and pallets of beer off, he told us, ""Anytime Saturday. It'll be fine."" When we needed to pick up the leftovers, ""Oh, Sunday afternoon is fine. Don't worry too much."" The rehearsal went off without a hitch and he and George and Judi greeted us like old friends whenever we walked in the door. Now that we don't have to worry about having a friend or acquaintance steal PoP out from under us, I'm going to be praising them from le rooftops. Thank you again, Mon frere, or as they say in France, ""Mercy buckets."" Five stars!
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