Picking out a venue is one of the hardest decisions for many brides. In fact, I’ve known a few friends outright obsess about getting the right venue for the right date, stalking the wedding directors and moving their wedding date months later in order to have the perfect wedding venue. They’ve even made movies about it. But it is a very big decision, and usually the first one after you get engaged. The venue sets the stage for the wedding and there’s a lot of pressure to find one that meet all of your wishes.
We had our own set of venue wishes: convenience, aesthetics, proximity, and price.
At first we were going to have the wedding at my parents house in an effort to save money. Then we started brainstorming: it would need to to be outside, since our home can’t accommodate more than 50 people inside. We would need to rent tent, in case it rained, in addition to tables, chairs, silverware, plates, and even porta potties. That’s when we dropped the home-wedding idea. No matter how fancy it may be, there’s no way I want any of my guests visiting a porta potty at my wedding. Plus after looking at all of the extra items we would need, we would end up spending about the same amount on a place that provided all of those things.
So then we looked at the venues around my hometown. I wanted somewhere close to my parents’ home so it be the central-hub for where my bridesmaids stayed and all of the family friends hung out during the weekend. I wanted a place that we could easily run home to pick up a vase or cake stand or my passport if it was left.
I also wanted somewhere pretty and convenient enough that we wouldn’t have to nickel-and-dime everything. You’d be surprised at some of the overpriced plain-Jane venues out there that require so much work to decorate and make it look like wedding!
I also thought it would be very convenient to have the ceremony and reception at the same location to avoid everyone traveling after the ceremony–we can just party right where we are! Even though both our families are very religions, it wasn’t a big deal not being married in a church since I didn’t have a real connection to one physical church in my hometown.
And that’s how we decided on Our Venue.
It’s a place close to my parent’s home that I have driven past so many times. In fact, years ago, back in high school, I remember thinking “I’d love to be married there someday.” Of course on our $10k budget, I never thought we’d be able to afford it. But we inquired anyway, just to see what the prices were like. And we were right–it was expensive. However, after a few visits and negotiations, we were able to get the price down $600 from their original offer, plus received a $100 discount for paying in full upfront. 20 days after I got engaged, I wrote the largest check I had ever written, and it was ours.
The venue has a beautiful facility with cute bridal rooms and masculine grooms room where we will get ready. We will get married under an arbor outside in a beautiful yard. Nearby, there is a tented patio for the reception, which we will use for the ceremony in case it rains. There are beautiful gardens and little pools surrounding the ceremony and reception area. The whole site is gorgeous and will take little effort to decorate.
I won’t share where it is (to avoid creepy wedding crashers), but here are a few pictures:
What kind of venue do you want or did you have for your wedding? Is getting married in a church important to you? What is the most important thing about the venue in your opinion?