How the venue search helped me grow as a person

Guestpost by Ocelot on Mar. 22nd

Remember when Ocelot struggled with being "bridal enough" when it came to her wedding gown? She's back with another eye-opening (and all too common) struggle — the venue search.

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Here's a shot of the ceremony space. There's a good chance the leaves will be orange like this on my day. Like it's on FIRE!

The venue search has been one of the biggest learning experiences about myself. It took me a while to get over my grand dreams of an elaborate fancy black-tie affair in a posh museum. I had a lot to learn about how inflated my expectations were, even though I previously considered myself immune to the hypnotic bridal magazine photos of "real" weddings that had been staged to the micron. I also learned I am very frugal and this shit just ain't cheap!

I feel like I've overcome a big obstruction — my own over-inflated need for perfection.

I shed a lot of tears in the process. Between a money drought, moving several times and bad luck like a freakin' curse, I was not set up for easy success in the first place. However, the largest hurdle was overcoming these inflated notions I had of what the "average" couple was capable of achieving from various wedding pushers, like magazines and TV shows. Much of what I expected to achieve was not affordable for us. Many venues I liked best were just too far outside our price limit. There were unexpected costs like chair rental and sneaky "wedding taxes" too. I couldn't believe 20,000 dollars was a small sum in the eyes of a wedding planner.

I was frustrated constantly and angry a lot. I am normally a high strung, high emotion person and this was totally draining me. I just thought that if I kept on searching and searching the most perfect, affordable, and available venue would surface and announce its presence like a beautiful wedding whale. That would never happen, and I knew it, I just couldn't stop myself. I didn't want to just pick something out of desperation, but time was running out, people were getting annoyed and, I needed to do something quickly before I went completely nutter-butters.

Finally, after lots of emotions, we concluded that a previously-shot-down modest and affordable venue would have to do. The Mister practically dragged me back there to consider it a second time. It's not fancy, it's small, it has a bunch of restrictions, and it's far from perfect. It's miles from what I thought I wanted, but as my expectations started to deflate, I started to come around. It has four sides, a roof, a floor and a little garden on the side. Add a few posies, a bunch of friends and maybe that would be good enough. Miraculously, they still had my preferred date available.

So, I wrote the biggest number I had ever done on a check — a deposit for the site and the caterer and a signed contract. It was the first thing I purchased for the wedding and there will be plenty more and higher numbers to come. It has become real. I'm getting married for reals.


I feel at peace. I've learned a lot. I feel I've grown a lot as a person. I feel like I've overcome a big obstruction — my own over-inflated need for perfection. There will be more stress and more strange new problems to overcome by the time this wedding day rolls around, for sure. For now, however, a large chunk of it is completed.

Anyone else wrestle with their perfection demons and came out with something not-so-perfect-but-still-good?

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About Ocelot

I'm a lil' bit of a lot of things! I'm a little bit geek, lil' bit goth, and a large helping of biologist! I like kitties, silly songs, and lemons. I collect glass objects and cake plates. When I'm not up to my neck in genetics, I attempt to bake and get some sunlight.