Fi kept referencing a wedding we went to years ago at the Z Mansion. I liked the wedding and the reception. But the Z doesn't really offer any views of the mountains. Which in Tucson is hard to do. For those of you unfamiliar with Tucson there are basically 4 Mountain ranges that surround the city. So to find a location that offers no view of the mountains in Tucson, well it ain't easy, but I found it!
But the Z has a vibe. I blogged before about how awesome the Hill family is, they really welcome us into the family and the house. Every time I walk in the door, Tom greets me with a hug and a smile! But beyond that the house has a vibe. It is old and has great history and it reminds me of the houses I loved living back east.
According to their website the Z Mansion was built at the turn of the last century by Judge Charles Wright. At that time, Queen Victoria ruled England and Tucson millionaires celebrated their Victorian-era wealth by building extravagant homes along Church Avenue. No expense was spared. When Judge Wright died in 1901, the house was sold to the Zellweger family, millionaire cattle barons, who lived in it for 73 years. In 1974, the mansion was purchased by multi-millionaire Margaret Carmichael, co-owner of Secretariat, the Triple Crown winning racehorse. Her estate sold the Z in 1994 to the heir of the Pinkerton tobacco fortune, Jay Pinkerton Murray. In 2002, it was purchased by the Hill family.
The legend, as I heard it from Tom, was one day in 2002 a potential bride knocked on the door and asked if she could host her wedding there. The family said no, it was a private home. The bride plead her case saying she grew up in Tucson, always wanted to get married there. Again they said no. So she sat down on the floor in the foyer till they changed their minds. So, six years later...I can get married there! The family had so much fun the agreed to offer their home to brides and non-profit organizations for events.
How cool is that? The history is cooler told by Tom on one of the tours. He can point out bullet holes that ended up in the carriage house during a raid!
So I called and gave them a list of dates I was interested in: March 08 booked, October 07 booked or not doing weddings. October 08? Sure they had every Saturday open. I thanked Em, got off the phone and onto the Internet, a quick search assured me that U of A football was away (important for friends and for hotel availability), called my mom asked her what she thought, called Fi and finally called back Em with a credit card in hand. Em slowed me down and asked if I wanted to come by again and look at the Z? No, book it! (I did go the next day).
So with in a week we had gone to 3 resorts, 4 hotels, 2 ranches, and 1 wedding place. We had an idea of when we wanted to be married, but really the availability of the Z and religious holidays determined our date! It was out of our control! I like that the date is a sequence of numbers 10/11 but that date has no real significance to us, yet.
Eighteen months may be too long for some people for an engagement and there are times that I think a resort package would have been easier (albeit a bit more pricier) but every time I see the Z I am so thrilled we are celebrating there. (You would have thought I would have come to the decision to have the ceremony there sooner, but I didn't!)