On Locations: Our Wish List

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
image via stock.xchng | photography by yrish

image via stock.xchng | photography by yirsh

Wedding blogs are filled to the brim with gorgeous locations just brimming with all sorts of sprawling oak trees, majestic staircases, rustic barns and glorious vistas.

It’s no wonder that when we start to actually look for places to host our own events, we might be a little disappointed.

Last February I started sending out requests for information, filling out web forms, and constructing a spreadsheet to house the results. I was casting a fairly wide net, looking both locally and up to 4 hours away just so I wouldn’t miss that potentially-perfect-for-us spot.

Turns out, the problem wasn’t finding potential locations, it was getting responses.

But more about that later.

When looking for a location for anything–wedding party or otherwise–it helps to know what sorts of things you’re looking for. Here is what our preliminary venue list looked like:

  • Room for both ceremony and reception; we didn’t want to have to transport people (or ourselves) more than a few steps between the different parts of the day.
  • Pretty location; the better spot you start with, the less you have to dress it up.
  • Outdoor ceremony, indoor reception area.
  • Not too rustic, not too formal; a bit Goldilocks, but the just right spot would be nice but still a little laid back.
  • BYO on the booze; since we have specific things in mind for wines and cocktails, some place that only worked from a set list wasn’t going to be our favorite.
  • DIY friendly; self explanatory, really: I’ll be doing a lot of projects myself, some not-so-traditional, and a space or manager that turns up their nose at the idea is not going to go far with us.
  • Water somewhere around us; while in Florida this almost always translates to beach (and we’re not beach people), I’d really like a lakeside ceremony or view or something with water around.
  • And, obviously, something that won’t break the budget; which, for us, means location & catering total can’t be over $3K.

Of course, now that we’ve looked at a few locations, we’ve learned a few more things about what we do and don’t want.

For instance, I learned that I really didn’t like the idea of splitting up the reception areas so that dancing is in one room while everyone is seated in another for dinner. I like the ability to have one long, wide table with everyone sitting together, Mr. Road Trip not so much (we’ll have to wait and see how that one shakes out). And T, to my surprise, prefers the feeling of spaciousness and openness in a venue.

And here I am the claustrophobic one!

More will be revealed.

What’s on your location wish list?

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