Venues: The Search Begins

Okay now that we’re a couple of weeks into engagement we are skimming the surface of wedding planning. It’s nice to have a while to plan because we can get a head start, less stress, and more options. I don’t have strong opinions about what I want my wedding to be like. The really important things to me are the people and the location. Decorations, food, everything else really takes a back seat in my mind. Besides, I have really enthusiastic bridesmaids, including one who started a Pinterest board for my wedding! I think they’re more excited about the decorations than I am 🙂

The venue is important to me because I want a location that represent us, won’t break the bank, and keeps it as stress free as possible. So we came up with a few basic requirements:

  • We want to have the ceremony and reception at the same location. Trying to coordinate two different venues is a headache, and we don’t want to have to rush from here to there to everywhere.
  • The venue has to have tables and chairs. Not necessarily for the ceremony, but definitely for the reception. I really don’t want to add dealing with rentals to my plate. Mo’ money and mo’ problems. And those tables and chairs can totally be picnic tables.
  • We want to have a peaceful, nature/outdoor environment. We are both very reflective people who love being out in nature, hiking, biking, stargazing, camping, everything. The Earth is a beautiful place and work already keeps us indoors more than we want to be. Fortunately in San Diego and in Fall, inclement  weather is not a big concern.

Thus far we have chosen nine potential venues. Five are county parks which are relatively inexpensive ($625-$1200) and all come with gazebos, dance floors, and tables (picnic tables!). We would have to rent linens which I don’t mind and AV equipment, and possibly a coordinator which would add another $300-$800. The other four are ranches/gardens which are a tad more expensive ($2000) but come with the added bonus of lighting, linens, possible sound equipment, and staff.

Over the next few months we will be checking out these venues. Slowly. In a non-stressful way. Parks are great because then we can just plan a visit then have a picnic!

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4 thoughts on “Venues: The Search Begins

  1. You said in an earlier post “He is uncomfortable being the center of attention, and feels like we’ll be stuck “guilt inviting” a bunch of people that, in his mind, have no business being a part of such an intimate commitment to each other. I could do without the expense/stress/social pressure of wedding planning and would love an intimate little ceremony with just us and our immediate family. Also I would love to give the WIC a fat middle finger.”

    In all honesty, why not? When we were required to get married (the military gets confused if one doesn’t), we did it in the lawyer’s office with only my mother (and the lawyer)(and obviously the marriage commissioner) as the witnesses. If you would like your whole immediate families there, invite them along too. I hate the idea of being the centre of attention and the thought would cause a mild panic attack. Plus, if you’re into giving institutions the middle finger, eloping (with family, if you want) gives societal norms the middle finger too!

    That being said, it’s your life – do what you want. I would not want you to feel judged by a random stranger on the interwebs. Stranger-judging is just not appropriate.

    • The reality of the situation is that in my dream to give the wedding industry a fat middle finger, we feel like we would be doing the same to our friends and family that stood by us and supported us throughout our lives and our relationship. It’s an interesting ride between, “OMG are we not being indie enough” to “are we going to regret NOT having a wedding” to “are 13 groomsmen too many, because I have to have ALL of my best friends?” That may be a story for another post too. And we may change our minds. There’s still time…

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