I cannot even begin to tell you why this month is so exciting to me – oh, wait – yes I can! LIST TIME.
…pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes, fall scented candles, birthdays, guests, Halloween movies, Trick-or-Treat, leaves changing colors, cooler weather, the end of one class and the beginning of another, and the list could go on.
OH WAIT, IT DOES! This month I get to take engagement pictures with Zachary and our wonderful photographer (whose name I will not say until I book her. Superstitious Rachael wants to make sure she can still shoot the wedding before shouting said photographer’s name from the rooftops). I also get to…SET THE DATE! Which means booking venue, photographer, and DJ (and caterer, if that is necessary), and FINALLY getting to send the cutest bridesmaid invitations ever. Which I’m still planning. But they are sure to be cute!
Ok, enough of the fake drama. I’m just really excited that it’s October finally. Favorite month, eva. Except for the part where this week alone I have two research papers due, and I have to have a presentation ready for class tomorrow…and we were informed of said project last night. WOO! Rachael on excess amounts of coffee is a scary, jittery machine. But a powerful machine, none the less. On to the wedding post!
So, after putting up last week’s post about venue number three, and as some of you may already know from my hey, Friday post…I did something every bride is warned about. I didn’t necessarily have second thoughts; I’ve really found some venues that I love in our venue search so far, and I know many of you can tell! However, I just wanted to make sure that I had scoured through all of my options. I wanted to be sure I hadn’t missed anything. Just when I thought my search was over…I found venue number four. It is a doozy, I’ll tell you that much! Get ready for the tale to end all tales.
(Not really, I’m just excited that I got to add one more FANTASTIC option to our already fantastic list of options.)
Venue number four is set smack dab in the middle of our hometown! Well, Zach’s hometown, my Kentucky hometown. Anywho, it is literally in the last place I would think of looking, but it is also a venue that I had already seen…a number of times. When I came across the venue on a wedding website, I smacked my forehead wondering how in the world this venue had slipped past my mind! Bridal brain, it’s real. So, the very second I told Zach the hunt was back on, and he agreed to meeting at another venue, I emailed the staff and asked if we could see the venue. The quickest response ever shot back into my inbox, complete with pictures of the venue for events, the catering choices (so many choices), and the price of rental plus all included items. She also said she was free that day to give us a tour, as she would be setting up for a corporate event. Quicker than I said yes to my future husband (just kidding…kind of), I replied that we would meet her at noon. I should probably mention that this email exchange occurred over two days. I sent the email on Thursday, and got the response on Friday…at 10:30am. So, one kind hearted, painless phone call to a sleeping fiancé later, we were going to visit venue number four.
This venue, like I said, is literally in the middle of downtown. Right next to college apartments (really nice apartments, thankfully), a college campus, the commerce buildings downtown, and quite literally everything I had been avoiding when thinking of venues. As soon as we pulled up to the venue, I began to get a bit nervous. As much as there is a great deal of distance between the venue and the apartments (there’s a huge field and horse track that separate us from civilization, much more than you can see in pictures), I could still hear traffic, and I was just overall nervous about being so close to so many random people. However, the second we entered the venue (a historic barn, none the less), all my fears faded. Besides the fact that it became utterly silent, not in an eerie way, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the inside of the venue. It. Was. Gorgeous. I have to begin by saying this is not your typical barn; rather, it looks barn-like, only with polished concrete floors, open three-story center, and beautiful white interior. It has so much simplistic character that we really wouldn’t need much besides our centerpieces for décor. Plus, the venue coordinator had pulled us in during set-up for a corporate event, as I said. This was a blessing beyond belief! I got to see the whole thing set up for over 200 people (yay), with over half the barn to spare for DJ and what-have-you (YAY), and complete with access and use of the entire second rotunda (YAY!!). It fit the bill in so many ways, and I still cannot believe it. As my grandma said when I called her later that day, “Rachael, if you don’t choose this venue, I think you may be blind”. Thanks, grandma.
We only spent a short amount of time there because I had to get back to my office, and they were still trying to finish setting up the venue. We wandered around on our own for a bit, visiting the outdoor ceremony area, and seeing where on the site we could hear traffic, and where we couldn’t. Which was pretty simple. In the parking lot? You can hear everything. In and behind the barn (AKA the only places our guests will be)? Silent. Like you walked into a bubble that is sound proofed to the rest of society. It was amazing! Let’s go over what else won us over – like what all the venue includes!
They are priced similarly to venue number one, not in the price range way, but in the way they set up their pricing. They have a set venue rental fee that allows 6 hours for the event, but all day access for set up. Here’s the breakdown of what’s included in venue number four:
- venue space
- tables and chairs
- set up and tear down
- catering (price per head)
- all needed china, glassware, silverware, etc.
- cake table
- gift table
- some décor available (if needed)
- day-of coordinator
- free guest parking directly adjacent to the site
As you can see, the only thing this venue does not include that venue one offered is discounted guest rooms and a bridal suite (because this is not a resort, duh). But, that also means one thing…
SAVING THOSE BENJAMINS!
(Here’s the scale one last time: $ [much lower than the budget] to $$$$ [dream on, girl])
This venue right here landed a spot on the rating scale at…$$$!!! It is basically right at our budget for the wedding. It is spot on. The only things that are left on that particular budget are DJ, cake, and photographer/photo booth! It fits right in at the perfect price, and is so customizable that, as the coordinator was telling us, if we give the caterer our budget, they will show us which meal options will help us stick with said budget. IT IS AMAZING!
As much as I would love to say our decision is made, I think it stands to say that three of our potential venues are golden tickets in my book. One of those venues is, and has been, marked off of our list. Can anyone guess which venue that is? Anyone? Buehler?
Venue number one has been off our list since we got the numbers. It is just way too much money for a venue that we weren’t all that in love with. The all-inclusiveness is what we were so in to, but it’s not worth it for a venue so overpriced and a venue that just isn’t “us”. I know a million other people may love that particular venue, and there is nothing bad about it! It was gorgeous, and had kind staffers, but it’s just not for us. So, venues two through four still stand. And now, we play the waiting game until the end of this month! At least it’ll be a fun-filled month to enjoy until then!
Now, let me update my little monthly wedding goals. Last month was a hit and miss assignment, and this month will be a little tough… but I’m determined to stick with it!
September Wedding Goals
[one] Get engagement ring insured [I suck, and my grandma scolded me. THIS HAPPENS IMMEDIATELY!]
[two] Figure out a beauty regimen
[three] Get new gym membership with Zach
[four] Finish making venue appointments
[five] Visit venues: take notes, take pictures, and ask every single question in my mind
October Wedding Goals
[one] Get engagement ring insured
[two] Engagement pictures
[three] Begin registering for gifts
[four] Make the guest list FINAL
[five] Finalize the budget
[six] Choose top three dates
[seven] Contact venue and photographer to see if top date is available
[eight] Book the date!
Linking Up for Wedding Wednesday!