Ok, before I start ranting about how fabulous my venue is...I wanted to recap the process of how we decided upon it.
Choosing the perfect venue is a HUGE undertaking, clearly! Oh boy, did I ever stress about it (in my head at least). There are a ton of things to consider, and it can all start adding up (figuratively, and financially too, haha!). And here is where I began...with answering some important questions to narrow my search!
Problem #1: Do we want the ceremony and the reception at the same venue, or separate?
So, do you want to get married in a church?
On the beach?
In your parent's backyard?
Personally, I wasn't dead set on one or the other, so yeah...that question helped me very little at first! But, then I began thinking of details:
Separate venues = guests must travel between the two...
Can you find 2 that are close in proximity?
Will you have to provide a transportation service?
Will guests easily be able to navigate between the venues?
Ah, now this helped me! The majority of my family and friends are from out of state, and part of his are too. Gosh, would it be just that much more difficult to give people 2 sets of directions??? When in doubt, K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid). So, I decided that it might be easiest to double dip...do the ceremony and the reception at the same locale. Problem #1 - solved!
Problem #2 - In an ideal world, where do you WANT the wedding to take place?
I think it is perfectly realistic to have a "dream" location...area...etc. Why the heck not? And hey, if it all works out perfectly, then perhaps it can be a dream that comes true!
Hm. I wouldn't say I had ever thought up a "dream" location. Great. So, Justin and I got to talking about what would be important to us, and we mutually came up with the idea that we wanted our nuptials to take place somewhere on/around the beach, since that is where we met...and with many out of town guests, we thought that they would want to have the opportunity to enjoy some sun and fun while they are in town! Done and done! Problem #2 - solved (well, narrowed down at least...)!
Problem #3 - What venues fit my style? And...my budget?
I found this to be EXTREMELY important. Oh, the complexities of decor, lighting, room setup, etc etc etc...AHHH!
Does the wedding have a "theme?"
What is my personal style?
How will I incorporate my style into venue selection?
Are you interested in being "modern," "rustic," "romantic," etc.?
What time of day/night do you want the celebration to take place?
***Gulp*** What can we afford?
Although I wouldn't say that we have a "theme" for our wedding, I determined from the start that I did not want anything overly dramatic. My personal style...I think...is sophisticated yet fun, not too stuffy, and maybe a touch of quirky. I don't like gaudy...I don't like over-the-top. I wanted a comfortable setting that feels intimate/comfortable, yet can still accommodate my guest list. Because we wanted a location close to the beach, we desired an evening ceremony so that we can all catch a beautiful sunset, weather permitting. Oh, and yes...the dreaded budget question. Yep, that would narrow it down...
So...after all of that, I began to compose a list of potential venues. The plethora of wedding magazines I accumulated pointed out a large number of locations with potential, but thankfully I was able to rule many out from the start! Whew!
Coming up next...I ponder the possibilities!