Thanks to Beth Herzhaft for uploading this not-so-subtle wedding sign to our Flickr pool!
The first major hurdle of my wedding planning marathon was finding a venue (well, aside from the type-of-wedding hurdle, the budget hurdle, etc). My fiancé and I probably consider ourselves an offbeat couple without explicitly stating it. He's been mentally planning his full-throttle, geek-themed wedding since he was wee. And I took forever to be ready for the institution of marriage.
We live in the great destination wedding state of Vermont. As such, I think we both pictured a small, rustic wedding, capturing the beauty that is everywhere around us, with no formal trappings, but filled with authenticity, fun, and loved ones.
For some people, the small, at-home wedding that is built from the ground up makes sense. Unfortunately for us, that wasn't an option — we live in a second-story condo. Our families live either a plane ride, or at least a full day's drive, away. With as much stress as I felt about trying to coordinate a wedding where I live, I couldn't imagine the idea of coordinating a wedding multiple states away.
We looked into the more bare-bones venues. Vermont has some lovely state parks. It started off looking good, but those spaces add up, too, especially when you're looking at bringing in caterers, getting comfort-seeking aunts and uncles to enjoy themselves on picnic benches, shutting down the music at sunset, and hotel rooms that are at least a half-hour away. If you want to put a price on your time, and especially if you consider the cost of the stress, even those simple places become surprisingly expensive.
We have visited small inns, and we have toured barns with beautiful ponds and fields. We learned about tent rental. And table rental. Linen rental. And don't forget about food, and something to eat it off of. We're not even thinking about thinking about décor or flowers yet; all we want is the basics of a place to be that captures the spirit of our lives and hopefully keeps out the [chill of a brisk autumn day or blistering sun of an equally-as-likely, freakishly-warm autumn day] so our guests can be comfortable.
Did I mention that I hate event planning (type A and anxiety)?