Once upon a time, I witnessed two brides-to-be talking intensely at great lengths about their wedding planning and I wondered how there could be SO MUCH to talk about and I know I’m not going to be like that when it’s my turn right… but I completely get it, and I am that person now. There is SO MUCH, even at this beginning point we just passed of picking a venue which I hope is the hardest part my goodness. By some miracle we’ve finally come to a decision that we both feel good about and I’m going to talk about it with you guys while trying to not make you fall asleep. There’s sort of a moral at the end of the story if nothing else!
We decided on what our biggest logistical priority was for our wedding, and it was that we don’t want to go into debt for it. This itself is what makes it so hard because traditional weddings, especially in places like LA, are not cheap. We contemplated going non-traditional routes but learned that it’s going to be expensive no matter what because the things we wanted that we thought were simple and cheap aren’t actually simple and cheap.
We imagined having an intimate, private backyard wedding, dinner and dancing under string lights, plenty of drinks, partying late, and lots of fun. Our ideal plan was to rent a house with a backyard, but we either couldn’t get a response to our inquiries to have a small wedding or we’d get a no. Apparently people don’t want strangers having weddings at their homes, makes sense. We looked at other homes that advertised for event purposes but still couldn’t find one we liked that was game for our plan or wasn’t a million dollars.
So the next plan: let’s find a venue with both indoor and outdoor spaces that feels like a backyard wedding but is experienced and staffed for putting on weddings so that we don’t have to do as much work.
We found two venues that we considered “the ones”, perfect and made of our dreams but you know, it couldn’t be that easy. Option 1 was way out of our budget, and option 2 was not available for our timeline and in hindsight was out of our budget too.
We tried looking at restaurants, which we quickly learned were not going to be more affordable and at most times were turning out to be the more expensive options considering food/drink minimums and wanting private space and dancing.
At this point I started gunning hard for elopement, but O was never down for that plan, and deep down I wasn’t really either. I think elopement is a beautiful option but ultimately for us, it didn’t feel right.
So, updated plan: let’s find a venue that’s cool and offers the best value. We came down to three options.
-cute and most our style
-reasonable rental price
-intimate setting for our smaller guest count
-extremely limited catering/bar options that basically counteracted the affordable venue fee
-awkward two level layout
-doesn’t need decorating and is fully furnished
-located in one of our favorite neighborhoods
-lets us choose whatever vendors we want + BYOB
-though beautiful, not at all what we imagined our wedding would look like
-a bunch of little rules and requirements that add on costs
-would need to have our wedding on a Sunday, not so bad, but a Saturday would be great
-one stop shop, they do most everything for you
-cute reception area
-good size for our guest count
-though convenient that they do everything, we felt they were up-selling those other vendor services
-we both didn’t like the style of the ceremony area
Which venue would you pick??
Spoiler, we picked venue 2. What it came down to was how awesome the neighborhood will be for an after party and for our families/out-of-town friends to hang out around + how we felt when we first walked in to tour the place, and that was “OO, this is FUN.” It felt like a destination and also felt right for the kind of party we want to throw, though at first it pained my design-prioritizing heart that the space isn’t really our style. On the flip side, this is turning out to be a relief, that I’m giving up control on major “aesthetics” and can focus more on the feeling of that day. We frequently referred to this venue as “the least stressful venue” since we really don’t have to do much to the space and I think my crazy overthinking self will appreciate that the most. Contrary to popular belief, completely DIY’ing my wedding sounds like a nightmare to me!
Looking back at how much we’ve put in to get to this point of setting a date, it all feels a little silly considering I started off thinking that I’m going to be different and simpler about it when it turns out I want a lot of the same things most brides want. I’ve sensed a trend of guilting and shaming put onto people who do “too much” for their weddings, but as that timeless saying goes, you do you. Back when I shared about our engagement and asked for wedding advice from you guys, you encouraged me to go however big or small we want regardless of anyone else as long as we remember what’s important and what it’s all about, which felt obvious but now I really see the weight of it. We ended up at a decision different from what we expected, but it still feels us, and I’m finally finally feeling very excited about this whole wedding thing. It’s going down 10.01.2017
Is anyone in the same stage of life or about to be or just generally interested in this stuff? I don’t plan on sharing about wedding things too much before the date anyway but it would be cool to know if anyone relates to any of this! One thing I want to mention is that one of the best things we’ve done so far was hire a coordinator. Emilia actually turned us on to venue 2 and I truly think we still wouldn’t have made a decision by now if it weren’t for her generous guidance about everything. She’s simply good people and I’m very into supporting and sharing about that. I know talking wedding stuff does not apply to many of you ha, but if you want to chat that and share, let me know!