My original vision for the wedding venue was Petra. It is a place that brings out the childhood wonder in me. A “Lost City” in the desert that was once a thriving hub due to the Nabatean mastery of local water sources. But that was all before the Romans came. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site that spreads over many acres, yet it still has locals moving their herds through it.
Sadly, it is the scale of the site that made it an impractical choice. It takes at least 30 minutes to walk from the gate to the Treasury – the first of the big attractions and most famous backdrop since it was in Indiana Jones. The hawkers that stalk the area would be hard to keep away and the acoustics in the big open spaces and narrow canyons would make it hard to hear. It is also a 4 hour drive from the capital city of Amman.
Thankfully a Jordanian friend suggested an even better venue that still has that ancient magic but is more suited to gatherings: the Roman Amphitheater at Jerash. Jerash is only 45 minutes from Amman.
I had been before and done the touristy thing of standing in the center of the floor to proclaim my thoughts to the imaginary crowd. I experienced this amazing aural sensation when I spoke. I could tell my voice carried to the top even before sending someone up to check. So much better than a microphone!
It was because our friend had seen a graduation event held there that it became a possibility to use the Amphitheater as our venue. But there is one key problem: it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is not available to book for private events. They do however host concerts and special events.
So we need to find a way to convince the Ministry of Tourism that we qualify as a special event. Through a bit of research and phone calls we connected with a lovely woman who has not yet said “no” and even said it “could” be possible. Not quite a “yes” but we are optimistic. We have an appointment next week and then we will find out just what it takes to be special.