An ode to a cookie cutter wedding: why a "wedding factory" works for me #Features#accommodations#special snowflake#vermont#wedding industry#wedding planning#wedding venues March 12 2014 | Guest post by Krixee G. Wedding cookie cutters available from Amazon. 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)? Thanks to Beth Herzhaft for uploading this not-so-subtle wedding sign to our Flickr pool! Yes, my fiancé is exceptionally eager to carry his share of the wedding planning load, but between all of the factors (don't forget about making sure there's a hotel nearby for out-of-town guests!), it was spiralling out of control quickly. There was no way I'd be able to have my hands on all of those pots without having an absolutely miserable wedding planning experience. Period. I carry enough stress home from my job, and I believe firmly in self-care, so this new part-time job of coordinating a small circus was NOT in the cards. Enter a popular ski resort/wedding destination. Oh, your venue fee includes tables, chairs, linens, napkins, dishware, flatware, bar set up, shuttles, parking, and coordination services? You have an onsite spa/salon? What, you have a bazillion rooms that people can rent with a discount, and I DON'T EVEN HAVE TO RESERVE A BLOCK? Your prices are more reasonable than somewhere (albeit more "mom and pop") closer, with fewer amenities, and with less available nearby to keep my adorable three year-old niece busy in her down-time! (Did someone mention water park?) Yes. A thousand times, yes! In my mind, part of being an Offbeat Bride involves not really caring if we have super-unique table linens or the most original, down-tempo venue. We got the feel of Vermont. We still have our barn (and maybe a pond!), we have some modern comforts, our uncles have the chance for some pre-ceremony golf, and I have a HUGE amount of stress off my shoulders. And of course we have the mountain views! I can't lie; part of me has struggled with the fact that I am not completely being a build-it-yourself "budget bride" like I had anticipated I would be. I'm letting myself splurge on a little luxury — the luxury of not having to fret about every little detail and allowing people who know what they're doing take the reins. Even though there will be plenty of opportunities for personal creativity in the ceremony, garb, décor, and atmosphere… I still feel a little bit like a sell-out. I feel like I'm havinga cookie cutter wedding. Related Post The joy of NO: What offbeat-types can teach you about saying "no," even to yourself Being on the wild end of the offbeat spectrum does confer certain disadvantages and benefits. You've gotten really good at deflecting or ignoring criticism, maintaining... Read more But, no! That's not the moral of the story. The moral of the story is that sometimes accepting the traditional is a key part of being non-traditional. You're not holding to what your personal crew of "everyone" would expect, but you're doing what's right for you to make for a day that you and everyone you've chosen to be around you can enjoy. And you'll have enough hair left on your head after the planning to do something pretty with it on the big day! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Krixee G. I'm a mild-mannered psychologist by day and leisure-enthusiast by night. I aspire to greatness but rarely get beyond my to-do lists and grand visions. I'm currently planning a small wedding turned big in the Green Mountain State with the only man I could ever truly be myself with! PREVIOUS Craft escort cards from paint chips NEXT Rachel & Jake's "Water for Elephants" state fair wedding Show/Hide comments [ 64 ] YES! Thank you for supporting a more traditional venue. You can still personalize many things at a "cookie cutter" type place. 28 agree Reply Agreed! It's amazing how much we still have to figure out details-wise, but it's all the fun stuff! 2 agree Reply Thank you for this post! As much as I really adore looking at all the gorgeous DIY, hand crafted and well-researched items and places people have for thier weddings here on OBB, my reality is that I want someone to do it all for me! I would totally get stuck in for a friend or familys wedding and I would stay up stitching or whatever till my eyes beld for certain people, but for me, I don't want to do it! I want to tick the boxes; yes to this, no to this, yes to this, and pay for it all in one whack, in one place and focus on the few personal items that *do* mean a lot to me. Suprisingly OBB has actually given me that attitude I think – I know what matters most to me, and what I don't need/want to worry about. The elements that make up the day that I don't care about so much (i.e., I don't care about flowers, just give me some nice ones that don't make my wallet weep) will all be taken care of and that works just lovely for me thanks. 27 agree Reply I couldn't agree more. Now that you mention it, OBB may have been an uncredited influence for me in that area, too! (and I most certainly loved every moment of putting together wedding bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres in the final hour before my friend's backyard tent wedding last year, but for me? no thanks!) 2 agree Reply Oh, I feel ya, girl. My quirky backyard bbq ideas fell apart in the face of tent and porta-potty rental questions. My quick ceremony in the Boston Public Garden? Oh, you can't have chairs for your elderly relatives? *poof* The more research I do, the better turnkey solutions sound. Just remember, they don't give out trophies for the most exhausted couple with the most original wedding. They really don't. I've looked into that too. 95 agree Reply HAAAAAAA: they don't give out trophies for the most exhausted couple with the most original wedding Amen. 51 agree Reply yes yes yes, a million times, yes! For our ceremony, we are getting the "church package" – comes with flowers, officiant, pre-planned and timed ceremony, etc. I know it can be a little controversial in these circles, not writing our own vows and all, but honestly, the idea of spending HOURS researching and hemming and hawwing over wording or whether something is too long or too short or not meaningful enough would be enough to drive me to not want to even deal with the ceremony at all. I figure, if it's worked for thousands of couples before us, it'll work great for us too. I'm not so "special" that the generic vows can't be meaningful and get their job accomplished. Along the same lines, as OP said, my choice to do super-generic centerpieces (wine glass filled with coffee beans and tealight, DONE!) and skipping the flowers altogether lets me focus on stuff that really matters to FH, I, and our families (FOOOOODDDDD!!!!) But I think what is really echoed in this post, is that bottom line, the notion of "offbeat", as applied to these types of situations, is "choose your battles". There is no "perfect" or "ideal" wedding on a societal scale – only what is "perfect" or "ideal" for you in your situation 🙂 I think the difference implied by "offbeat" is the strength to stand tall and say: yes, I made this decision, and I am sticking to it. Whatever that decision may be. 19 agree Reply Truly! And really, as long as it is celebrating the union of you and the person you love, that's all that matters! 1 agrees Reply I wanted something very like this – all inclusive, low stress. My partner and my father (i.e. Captain Checkbook) wanted the individualized experience, however, and I got outvoted. I would also note that my option would have been SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than what we've ended up with – build-it-yourself does not always equal budget bride. 10 agree Reply That is a very good point – I think my friend's recent bare-bones (but lovely!) DIY wedding cost her about as much as mine will! I hope the individualized experience still felt like *you* in the end! 3 agree Reply Yes, our all-inclusive venue was the best decision we ever made. It took so much pressure off of us, and there were still plenty of options to customize where we wanted to. Plus it was actually cheaper than some of the other places where you'd have to bring in all your own vendors. I don't know how cost-effective it would have been compared to DIY options, but we knew we didn't have the patience for that so it at least saved us our sanity 🙂 And it had just the right, cute, European garden vibe that was perfect for us. 4 agree Reply I'm so glad to hear that! I love it that others have had a similar experience with it being the right choice. I'm running into areas where I'm noticing it to be more cost effective, too! And if you end up having the perfect vibe in the end, that's all you can ask for!! 2 agree Reply I was sooo reluctant to have our wedding at a golf club but we enjoyed quite a hassle free experience. We had essentials like the handicap bathrooms, sound system, running water, on site chef, fully stocked bar, coat racks parking lot, pre wedding storage and all at no extra cost. They let us do EVERYTHING we asked for including the fire spinners. And all the fussy details I didn't care about, like table colors… Catering director just put it together for me and said "how about this?" Big wedding venues are awesome. 2 agree Reply It's amazing how personal it can still seem without having a hand in everything! Many of the things you don't think about are taken care of (like handicap bathrooms!), but they matter in the end. I'm glad it worked out, and it's reassuring that I'm not the only one who went into it with some reservations! 2 agree Reply We looked at a bunch of venues that would have been more DIY. The cost of the space was always somewhat reasonable, but then the exclusive caterers would be too expensive, and we'd need to rent ALL the tables, and there was nothing included and look at all these extra fees for just letting us bring stuff, etc. etc. etc. That plus Boston being an expensive city for caterers and rentals in general meant that it was just going to be too stressful. In the end, we found a wedding factory type place that didn't include everything, but included LOTS, and because we were an off-season Sunday and we were upfront as heck about our budget, we got a huge discount. Could we have done our wedding for less at a different place? Yes, but it would have been unbelievably stressful and we'd have had to keep our guest list smaller than we wanted. 4 agree Reply It's amazing how much of that "little" stuff adds up. These wedding factory type places definitely seem to know what they're doing to keep drawing us in like they do! 2 agree Reply Having worked at a big banquet hall, I've seen plenty of weddings that all "looked the same." But, to me, they never felt the same. Little things that they would do, from food choices to music or funny toasts, to big things, like the love from families and friends, made each one stand out in my mind. While I won't say that all the couples were cool and calm (high strung people are just that), most seemed to enjoy the fact that they didn't need to worry about the details. 17 agree Reply I love that way of looking at it. And it's true…if you think about the energy in any room when a certain group of people is there vs. a different group of people, it totally changes the experience. When you multiply the scale to wedding-sized…WOW. Each and every event would be very unique. 1 agrees Reply My venue came with a coordinator (whom I joked knew more about my wedding than I did) and tables, chairs, linens, dishes, bar….almost everything, really. It was by far the most expensive part, but we didn't have to rent anything. We had venue, caterer, our clothing, and minimal decorations that were our own. The rest came from the venue. And it was wonderfully us. I consider it offbeat, and our coordinator loved all our whacky ideas. Packages don't necessarily mean you don't have options =] 4 agree Reply I definitely agree. The idea of trying to figure out all of the rentals was giving me a headache before I even got out of the gate. And you're right – packages/coordinators certainly don't necessarily mean it can't be personal and original! Reply I am an offbeat bride turned full time Event Manager for a multi venue establishment in my area and I can tell you I haven't seen two weddings that look a like yet. Each couple is so individual and their choices reflect that 6 agree Reply That's reassuring to hear, and I love looking at it that way. Reply 100% with you on this – it's exactly what we're doing! We have to have a destination wedding for visa/ease reasons, and we basically just found a hotel resort we liked and everything is going through them. They're even organising my bouquet etc! Obviously, we're giving them input, but it's so stress-free, it's awesome. And we still get to have all the off-beat stuff we want, but without having all the planning hassles of DIY from a distance. 3 agree Reply Sounds perfect! And what a great party for you to show up to in the end! Reply A million times, yes! In my head we'd get married in a quirky venue, maybe with a live band and a food-truck from one of our fave local vendors. The reality in the UK is there *aren't* that many places where you can legally get married, and the quirky ones in our area, as lovely as they were, just weren't practical and would have meant a lot of travelling between sites for our already out of town guests. In the end we opted for a local hotel. The food is still good and they include a lot of stuff in the package that is a nice add-on. I still don't give a crap about candelabras, "mood" lighting or chair covers BUT I am so much calmer knowing our family will be comfortable. 5 agree Reply Sometimes I almost feel calmed when I have limited options (which seems kinda like a cop-out, but there's a lot less pressure that way). I'm sorry your original plans weren't quite feasible though! In the end, peace of mind is a beautiful thing. 3 agree Reply I'm feeling very calm about the whole thing. The weirdest part was, the offbeat venue I fell for initially completely disregarded FH when we went to view it and kept talking about "the bride's special day" and what "the bride wants". Even if it hadn't been completely impractical, with tons of hidden costs and being tied in with their caterer, this was enough to put me off completely. 5 agree Reply Wow, I don't blame you! I only ran into one situation where my FH wasn't really acknowledged, and it was when we were looking into getting hair done (he was interested in learning about the set-up since he has grooms' ladies). I get it isn't traditional to have the groom as part of that convo, but come on! They barely even looked at him, even when he spoke to them. 3 agree Reply We're doing this too. We love the venue and I can't really imagine having to coordinate with EVERYONE. I don't want to stress over it, I want to enjoy my day. We have handicap accessible bathrooms and hotel rooms on site. We're having our ceremony there too. Really, the only thing I want to stress over is the weather. Which in March, in New England could be sunny and 60 or snowing. 1 agrees Reply It's such a relief not to have to have those very important aspects on your to do list! (And yes!!! New England is such a gamble weather-wise! I feel like I need to prepare for all possible options!) Reply My hope is that mother nature is getting this crap out of her system now and next March we get a nice day for the wedding. 🙂 1 agrees Reply I think this may be the first time I've ever said this in my life, but from your lips (or fingers in this case) to God's ears!! 😀 Reply Reading this post was helpful. I didn't even fully realize that I'd rather have someone plan most of this for me and not have to stress over everything. 1 agrees Reply I'm glad to hear that! I didn't realize it, either, until I was well in the middle of it. I'm glad I listened to my gut! Reply This is awesome. We're doing our reception at a venue that has an exclusive catering company that takes care of events. This is perfect for us, as it covers rental of the space, food, alcohol, wait staff, bar staff, etc etc. if only we'd found a similar option for the ceremony, but I wanted a park wedding! Reply Sounds like a nice mix! And really, the reception is where I think most of the craziness of planning goes (or so I say now…our ceremony is only in the beginning stages), so it's nice that that was the one you were able to get more event-management for. Reply As someone who is going to county park DIY method, let me tell you that I completely understand and support your decision! I kind of wish our wedding was going to be more "show up and enjoy," which an all-inclusive venue would allow more so than ours. We are doing things on a pretty tight budget, otherwise I definitely would have given more consideration to, you know, not having to run a circus on our wedding day. 😉 1 agrees Reply Truthfully, I fully expected to do things the way you're doing them, as my fiancé and I are *not* flush with wedding savings. We had family who stepped in to help, which made this decision possible. I'd bet you have more fun stories of adventures in creativity that I'll have when all is said and done, and I love that it'll be truly yours. I have been to so many park/backyard weddings that have been absolutely incredible! Reply This is exactly why I chose to have our wedding at an all inclusive resort outside of Chicago. While I loved the idea of having it at a super cool warehouse type venue in the city, that would entail a lot more moving pieces, finding nearby hotels, and dealing with parking amongst other things. 60% of the wedding was taken care of by the resort. Having been an event planner, I know how these things work and I wanted to reduce the number of moving parts to coordinate the day of as well as not having to worry about family or someone else trying to coordinate things. 2 agree Reply Hear, hear! It's so nice to have those options, and I feel like you can still bring elements of your original vision into the final product, so your day is still very much what you wanted it to be. I'm glad it worked out for you! Reply Yes! Thank you so much for pointing all of this out! I'm planning an out-of-town wedding, for a both in and out of town guests, and there is no way I could coordinate and DIY to my hearts content when I'm hours away. Without a "cookie cutter" type venue, I'd never be able to handle all of the planning required for a wedding. Sometimes you just have to go with what works for you, if it's an all inclusive site where you can personalize little details or a family's big yard where you can do it all, it's just important to do what's best for you. Reply Amen! It's so helpful to be able to step back and delegate, and there comes a point where you're doing yourself more of a disservice to yourself and your guests by *not* doing so. All the best for your out of town event!! Reply This is SO FANTASTIC and just what I needed to read today. I, too, am going a "traditional" route: old social club, all inclusive, a BALLROOM…yikes! But I realized after looking at other venues that the creative stuff is just not my calling and I'm already feeling a million pounds lighter knowing they'll take care of all of the details on-site. Thanks for reminding me that "offbeat" is in the spirit, not the venue 🙂 1 agrees Reply I'm so glad! I now have this image of you in a gorgeous classy gown drifting weightlessly in the air above your swank and fun wedding crowd…I love it! "Thanks for reminding me that "offbeat" is in the spirit, not the venue :)" Well put!! Reply I am in the same boat! Except I am planning a wedding in California while living in Texas and don't have the money to just fly out every month to arrange another aspect of my impending nuptials. On top of that I have no wedding party to speak of and no one to help out. A year ago I was wistfully planning a lovely Texas offbeat wedding complete with BBQ Food Truck catering, picnic tables, and a fiddle band. Now everything has turned upside down and I had to move my wedding to California (long story). I had to go with the simplest option; we found a lodge that handles catering, set up, tear down, all the little details, ceremony site, and has lodging for our families who are traveling from all over the country. I hate that I am not having the wedding I wanted, (anyone know a fiddler near San Fran, b/c they are everywhere in Texas but nowhere in Cali) but in the end it's still my wedding. I have no idea how to make it more personal, but I am trying. I understand the internal conflict. 2 agree Reply Wow, that sounds chaotic and probably more of something to wrestle with than what I was going through. I wish you all the best in coordinating a wedding that feels true to you despite the abrupt scene change. And good luck finding a fiddler! There are plenty of them out here in Vermont, too, but that doesn't help you much! Reply We are lucky that we can excuse our Banquet Hall wedding with the fact that one of our #1 priorities (you get like 10 right?) was to have Russian food. As there are all of ZERO willing to go offsite of their restaurant Russian caterers in Ontario we had to go to them. Am I saddened right now by the fact that we won't be outdoor at ALL? Like NOT AT ALL?! And when you walk out the absolutely first thing you see is parking lots and office buildings yes. Will I really mind on the day when I'm not too hot or too cold and we can have stellar memories of us all playing board games sans wind stealing all the paper money YES! People our all inclusive (except bar because we were allowed to CHOOSE to provide our own bar!) is giving us a free Russian band!! Will they sing sad war and soviet union songs to weird upbeat tunes? Hells yes! Will I care when I'm dancing a storm because they're no wrong way to dance to that music? Hells no! 3 agree Reply That's so cool! I can understand the bit of sadness around the lack of the outdoor element, but MAN! As far as traditional wedding venues go, you found a pretty offbeat and incredible deal! ??????????! (I apologize if that's wrong…I totally relied on the internet for that one!) 1 agrees Reply Man, we did the same thing. We hired a planner for a destination wedding because I just wanted to show up, have fun, and leave. My planner discouraged us from doing things "no one would remember." It was nice to just show up and have it done. It was also more economical for us. She managed all of the ceremony, flowers, dj, photographer, and we had our reception at a restaurant, which made it simple. No BS decorations, just a fucking party with open bar. Everyone loved it. 1 agrees Reply Hells. Yeah. There's so much of the little frivolous stuff that people get caught up in (I'm trying to avoid that myself, right now), but having someone to guide you through the process to avoid that must be a life-saver. And it's all about the kick-ass party in the end!!! Reply "The moral of the story is that sometimes accepting the traditional is a key part of being non-traditional. You're not holding to what your personal crew of "everyone" would expect, but you're doing what's right for you to make for a day that you and everyone you've chosen to be around you can enjoy." Yes, yes, YES! A million times this! Our wedding is ending up much more "traditional" for many of the same reasons. Not because we're necessarily traditional people, but because doing things the traditional way also, incidentally, ends up being true to who we are without having to fret over stupid silly stuff. 1 agrees Reply There's a LOT to be said for not reinventing the wheel, sometimes! Glad you're finding your groove!! Reply We looked into all-inclusive venues, thinking they would be a great way to cut down on stress levels. But what we found was in our area, the vendors provided by the venues were not only completely the opposite of what we had envisaged (we seem to live in the valley of the 80s time warp!) but they were in fact a lot more expensive than the smaller, start up companies who worked in a way MUCH closer to what we wanted. If they work for you, I say go for it! If it means there's one less thing off your hands, allowing you to enjoy this experience as much as possible, giving you couple time in the lead up to your marriage, then nobody should find fault with that. Likewise, if you both dream, like we have, of creating our day from scratch, you shouldn't be judged for taking that time and effort. At the end of it all, all that really matters is you are marrying the right person for you, in a location that you are happy with 🙂 1 agrees Reply I'm glad you're able to make your wedding into what you'd like it to be! I think if we ended up finding what you found, we might be taking a similar route. It's interesting how where you are can have a very big impact on how things progress. Cheers for making your wedding into something that's authentic to you and your partner! Reply Thank you thank you! I am also getting married in the Green Mountain State and although my SO and I want to personalize everything, make it very "us," I am leaning toward the "sell out" route. After reading your article, I can't call it selling out. We also have family coming from far away (in fact, we are the only ones who live in Vermont, so EVERYONE needs to book a hotel), and it is so helpful to have rooms close to the ceremony/reception site for the convenience of our guests. Would you mind telling me where you're getting married? Or the general location? Thank you thank you again for a wonderful article! Reply Yay VT!! It's a weird (and wonderful!) thing putting together a wedding in VT, and I wish you the best in coordinating it! I'd rather not say who they are, as they may not take kindly to being called a "wedding factory" and they've been more than wonderful in helping me out, but I will say that they're VERY close to the Canadian border and they rhyme with "c'est chic" I think many ski resorts do weddings, so it's worth looking into whatever one's closest to you, and they usually have hotels rather nearby for all of the ski season tourists. I still kinda wrestle with the feeling of "selling out," but I keep thinking back to how enamored I was when we went on the tour of our venue, I remind myself of how much fun we're planning on having, and then I tell myself to just shut up and enjoy the awesomeness of the ride! 🙂 I hope you and your SO manage to find somewhere that's the perfect fit!! Reply I am in the same boat. When I started this wedding planning venture, I hopped online to look up DIY/cheaper weddings and nearly everything I found either happened because parents/the couple/a friend owned a large piece of property with lots of room to throw a party OR it was much more rustic than I am comfortable with/would work for my guests OR it was the perfect venue/details BUT only 20 guests. It's been a real eye-opener. My initial plan was "every single wedding-related thing for under $5k total" but then I found out how much things cost so that has long since gone out the window! 2 agree Reply AMEN. That was EXACTLY what we were finding, too. It quickly became clear that there would need to be a bit of a compromise somewhere (or, perhaps, many places). I made the mistake of buying "Plan the Perfect Wedding on a Small Budget," and that convinced me I was doing something wrong by not being able to make the 5k thing work (that was also our initial budget). Without the ideal circumstances, it's just not feasible. I do enjoy the opportunity to find a way around the standard "wedding market" in little aspects, though (i.e. – dollar store vases for our flower-free centerpieces). Flexibility, adaptation, and acceptance – 3 key tenets to sanity in wedding planning! Sending best of luck! 5 agree Reply I had my wedding at the McMenamins Grand Lodge which has wedding packages and it was awesome! You pick your spot (there are lots of indoor/outdoor choices) arrange a time, pick a catering option, and they tell you to go visit the company they deal with for wedding rentals (tent/chairs/linens/etc) and they help you choose everything else. The rooms are right there on the grounds which is something we really wanted, and their wedding coordinator was sooooo helpful. Seriously we thought some decorations got thrown away and the woman went dumpster diving to look for them. We still got to plan our own music option, decorations, cake, and favors, but we had a team of super experienced people who deal with weddings every weekend so they were like a well oiled machine. There is definitely something to be said for venues with packages. 2 agree Reply Hear, hear! I really appreciate being able to let people who know what they're doing do their thing and help make things smoother and easier for me (one who doesn't know what I'm doing!) 🙂 1 agrees Reply YES! Irish wedding receptions (and civil marriages) are for the most part held in hotels where pretty much everything is included in your €45-a-head-for-100-guests package, and the different packages in the brochure list exactly what you're getting (anything from chair covers, rooms, anniversary dinner, centrepieces, fairy lights, corkage, menu tasting….). It would be nice to have a community centre venue that we did ourselves, but it would end up the same price for a ton more stress. And we beat the price down to €42 a head — the package includes a piper, and I HATE bagpipes!!! There are aspects of it that I'm not so keen on, being far more offbeat than FH (eg. being asked by the venue manager/ co-ordinator what colour my bridesmaids were wearing: "…Well, *my* dress is this red here." *points to hair*), but it works out better this way. There's slightly less for me to worry about — or for other people to make me worry about. Reply Taking advantage of ANY opportunities to decrease the stress of planning seems mandatory! That sounds like a really neat option, even if you do have to expand a few minds in the process. 🙂 Reply I'm so glad I found this! I just booked my wedding venue for a Nov wedding in NC. I started out touring all these venues to build this impeccable Industrial Chic Wedding wonderfulness, only to find out that renting the tables and tableware to create the look I wanted was going to cost an arm and a leg. We've decided to go w/a more inclusive venue that still mostly fits the look w/o so many different vendors. I was disappointed b/c I felt my wedding vision disappearing in front of my face, but there are still ways to incorporate "us" into the details. The idea of keeping up w/so many details (or paying a coordinator to do it) was making me ill. I'm really pleased we're going this route and I feel less stressed! Reply That means a lot to hear! It was quite a process for us to come to grips with it, but in the end, we were really REALLY glad we did, and you're right – there are SO many says to still make it yours! Congratulations, and enjoy your big day!! Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! 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