Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wedding Post: Venue

I'm engaged, and it's wonderful, and he's wonderful! And now that we are getting married, we are planning a wedding that matches us: one that is high quality, but unique and budget-friendly. We don't want to go into debt, and we don't want the wedding "show" that many people focus on to overshadow our love and commitment to one another.

I've been reading a blog called "2000 Dollar Weddings" and it's brilliant. They focus on the idea the you can have a meaningful wedding that is beautiful without spending the $25k that they typical American wedding costs. I'll be posting about my budget wedding planning, too, because, well, it's my blog. :) And it's really fun for me, but might be fun for you, too!

The first thing I knew I had to do to keep this wedding to a small budget was find the where. If you choose a venue with exorbitant fees or catering costs, your budget is busted right off the bat. 

I knew a few things: I didn't want our wedding in the town we lived in, because I wanted a "destination" feel. Although we are holding it just an hour away, it's still in  place no one typically drives to in our circle of friends, so it's unusual. I also wanted a place within our budget, and also a place where I didn't have to worry about too much DIY or decorating, because I didn't want to stress about details. 

We are having our wedding at the Charley Creek Inn in Wabash, IN. There was a flat room rental fee that was small, a basic per-person catering price, plus the gratuity for the servers. That's it. No hidden fees, no cake-cutting fees, etc. But to have the open bar and delicious dinner and beautiful surroundings we wanted for our wedding, that meant cutting the guest list to accommodate our budget. And though we have to leave out some people we'd love to invite, we are at peace with it. 

I did a lot of research to find our venue. I looked at wineries, bed and breakfasts, and other non-typical wedding venues. I found our Inn by searching trip advisor, and opening the recommendations for every city in our state, until I found a handful that looked good. (Yes, this took forever, but it was worth it.) Then I drove all over, visiting sites in person until I found something that fit our needs. I even looked at our favorite restaurants, city parks, and even sites like frbo.com, where you can rent someone's beautiful home and hold your wedding there. Since I spent so much time trying to think like this to find the perfect wedding site, I still walk into places and think about the logistics of having a wedding there. It was a fun process, but I'm glad we have that step completed!

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