Wedding Wednesday – Venue Shopping

Ok so I’ve heard everyone has a “thing” they get stuck on when it comes to wedding planning. That something that drives them to want to sign up for anger management courses. I of course went into planning thinking I’ve seen everything, I’m like Oz behind the curtain, this is going to be a cake walk! Ha, haha, hahahahahahah …. the law of “ya right” slapped me in the face good for that one!

Out the gate and a few weeks deep my “thing” caused my excited balloon to exhibit a slow leak. I could literally hear it just going pfffffffffff. Thankfully it never burst and caused a blog post entitled “elopement Wednesday” ….. but it got close.

My issue was the venue, and all I wanted was everything, on an average wedding budget. I wanted someplace gorgeous, that had some outdoors-ness and some indoors-ness, had unique touches and made me feel a blissful ignorance that this venue was just for me. Overreaching? You betcha!

First I listed the venues I love that I’ve been to already…. like this one. I soon realized most of my favorite venues were on the west coast, down south or out of the country entirely. This didn’t sit well with the family or the fact that I’d created incredible relationships with some Orlando vendors and wanted to hire them for my shindig.

So back to the drawing board, I let my organization overdrive go into action and my inbox soon filled with responses of package information and venue walk through dates.

The first few emails were from places I really admired and when I went on viewings they were so nice and welcoming and I got champagne or little treats. The venues were breathtaking, the walk throughs perfection, but once the pretty was over I found myself sitting in a dark downstairs office looking at a 20 page price sheet. It felt something like this:

They had much larger price tags than I’d ever imagined. But then again, I’d never had to look before so I took it with deep breaths. Ok, there’s a *gulp* learning curve here.

So I started asking for package info before the walk throughs. Why waste anyone’s time?? And so my master spreadsheet was born (this was one of 4 pages btw):


Ok so I have numbers, sesame street would be so proud!

I narrowed it down to what I could afford. But lets face it, I’d seen too many amazing weddings. My vision had become finely tuned to a place that probably didn’t exist (at least not without a winning lottery ticket). Tack on opposing visions from family members and it was shaping up to be a masterpiece of mayhem. I wanted so badly to just step away, put a closed sign on my brain and come back later… but everything was booking! Some venues were booked till 2015 already, I needed to move whether I wanted to or not. So, I did what any well adjusted girl living in a fairy tale would do…. I cried.

And then I sucked it up. I mean really, crying over this? It was the epitome of a first world problem. Dang it, put on your big girl pants and hit the road. I went on a three day venue binge. The first day was filled with bad ballroom floors and what looked like carpeted walls. What was happening here, was I being punished for something? I swear Santa, I’ve been good! And there was my mom, the always optimist smiling and throwing options at me, “we’ll just drape the whole place, no one will see the walls.” And me having an inner temper tantrum like I was 5 all over again.

The second day was a lot better. I went on a hard hat walk through of a venue being built downtown. It was WONDERFUL and although there wasn’t an outdoor space for the wedding I thought it was the one, I’ll sign tomorrow!

Day three arrived and I jumped in the car thinking this was just a failsafe. I’d already chosen my joint, I’ll just go and for the first time take Mike with me so it’d be an adventure 🙂 The first place was ok, not the worst, not the best. The second place I’d actually photographed before but they’d recently renovated it so we stopped for a quick look. And as we did, me, Mike and the mom’s stood there smiling, hugging and cheering….

There was natural light pouring in the windows of a large space. Beautifully textured walls that were a mixture of slate gray, white and wood. A wood dance floor atop gray flooring that didn’t look like a it was designed by a child playing the circle in the square game. Crystal chandeliers and a bar I’d like to sit at for a few hours. 2 fireplaces, one inside and one outside on the HUGE porch area. Ya, I said an outside, squeel! 2013-09-19_0042 2013-09-19_0041 2013-09-19_0040 2013-09-19_0039

And then there was the bridal suite……..


David at Timacuan very wisely took us to the bridal suite for the pricing portion of the walk through. If I could give one piece of advice to venues it’d be to make the space your client’s sit down in to sign the dotted line pretty…. very pretty!

Sitting in a gorgeous room to talk numbers made things much more appealing! It of course helped that he was right on the money with our budget and seemed genuinely excited to talk about weddings and our vision. We signed as soon as we had a pen in our hands.

And with that we have a venue. And holy crap I’m getting married!

*Did you have a “thing” while wedding planning? What was it?*


4 thoughts on “Wedding Wednesday – Venue Shopping

  1. Wow! I’m in Timacuan once a week for work but never in the clubhouse; I had no idea it was so beautiful. We only looked at 2 places in person because what we wanted was so specific. One was affordable and one was so expensive I almost fell out of my chair, made the decision process easy!

  2. I got super obsessed with having a brooch bouquet. I didn’t really get excited about what the place would look like until about a month before the wedding and by the it was too late to do anything about it, but luckily for me what I wanted was what I got!

  3. Cat, i love following your wedding plans! Its seriously a great year ahead of you! Our “thing” was we wanted to get married outside and so we only looked at 2 venues! After the venue, the details are a breeze bc you have your vision! Have you gone dress shopping ?

  4. Pingback: Learning to Walk 092513 | Mennonite Preacher

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