I once read on a blog somewhere that planning a wedding isn't like running a race. It isn't a straight line, instead it is a circle. Each choice that you make, each decision that gets written "in stone" effects each choice made down the line.
I think that my circle probably started with the idea of a budget. I went to one of those wedding calculator sites and typed in my zip code. I saw a number... it was some grand number and I said..."ooh, well, yep. Maybe we can get our families to help and I think we can do better than that anyway."
We looked at venues in all sorts of price ranges, either of our parents backyards were options at one point. An off season beach wedding was seriously discussed and several reception centers were visited.
We knew that we would need a place to do the ceremony as well as the reception. We also kinda eliminated the idea of driving from one place to another, all of our friends are drinkers and the less places to leave a car behind the better. We also didn't want to have to cook, clean up, set up, all that stuff. We are DIY people but not that DIY. I am willing to pay a little bit more to be waited on hand and foot. I am a mommy and that never happens...on my wedding day it is gonna happen!
One reception place was nice but not us. A second one was small and pricey. A third one was nice on the inside but icky on the outside. One reception center was eliminated immediately because I didn't want to copy my sister that had had her sweet 16 there just 2 years before. But then my mom made me visit it, and I fell in love.
The venue isn't new but it is hungry for business. With a little negotiation they threw in a chocolate fountain (tacky but I love), chair covers, 3 votives and a mirror for each table, and menus designed just for us. They aren't cheap but there food is lovely, the parking lot is HUGE and they don't mind cars staying there over night. They have a great outdoor waterfall garden for our ceremony and a pretty room with a fireplace (not a closet!) for our backup plan.
Best of all they are 10 minutes from our home and right off the parkway. You just can't get lost.
So that was our first choice, first written in stone. It set the date, the time, the season, it was the starting point choice that began my circle.
10 minutes ago