Wedding Bells: Venue Shopping

With most of my life being consumed by everything wedding related, I decided to make a series about it. The thing that’s been currently taking up all of my time and thoughts is the venue. There’s so many different ones in my area, as I’m sure is the same everywhere, and so many different decisions to be making.

First you have to see how much the venues cost and what the rental includes (which for the most part is just the tables and chairs or the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception). There are some venues – few and far between – that offer linens for all the tables and all the dinnerware that you’ll need. When I initially started looking at venues, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into so I literally just requested quotes for anyone and everyone that I thought I could remotely see my wedding at. From there, I looked more deeply into the properties, their rules and regulations, and things like that.

I didn’t ever want a destination wedding and didn’t want to be more than an hour away from my venue from my house. I have to be able to easily go to the venue if I have meetings or questions. I can’t not know what’s going on – I would freak out.

We’ve cut out all the venues that didn’t really appeal to us, were too far away, or for some reason or another we decided to move on from them and we’re finally down to our last two venues! My fiance and I took our moms to the venues and they each had a tour to see where Chad and I could really see saying “I do” to each other forever (eeeep! I’m really getting married – still surreal). Wouldn’t you know though, the two venues are COMPLETELY different from one another.

The first venue we’re considering is on a golf course, has a massive ballroom of 5000 square feet, linens and dinnerware included, golf for the day included for Chad, his groomsmen and fathers (he loves golf), lots of natural light for the reception hall (they have these see through garage doors lining the whole front half of the building that can be opened, beautiful bridal suite, tons of included decorations, day of coordinator for dirt cheap, there’s an arbor where you would get married and it’s in front of a pong/lake thing. Seems great right? Well the location is slightly further away (35-40 minutes – I know I know, not really that far), we HAVE to use their caterer because it’s also a restaurant and there’s no tastings available for a month. So we would have to wait and potentially lose our desired date because I will not book a venue before I know what the food tastes like. Their open bar is outrageously expensive, the ceremony lawn is literally next to the parking lot, and it’s a public golf course so people will be playing golf and buzzing around on their golf carts during my wedding.

The next venue is 20 minutes away from us, a smaller property, and in some aspects resembles a castle. The ceremony site is in the back of the property and away from the parking lot, there’s water behind us from a river that you can see from the ceremony, Lots of natural light throughout the building, the bridal suite is pretty with a TON of natural light (the other I think it prettier, but no natural light in the golf course one), more elegant light fixtures, cheap month of coordinator, more intimate feel because the building is smaller, the back wall is all french doors that can be opened, it really and truly does look top notch. Downfalls? For the open bar you can’t have straights, shots, or any mixed drink exceeding a certain percentage of alcohol, since it’s a more intimate space, my guests may be watching my bridal party and I taking photos during cocktail hour, and for walking down the aisle you would be walking through your reception hall to get out to the back area for the ceremony.

So I’m at a loss of how I really love two venues that are so different from one another. I can’t decide which would be the best fit for what I’m looking for and which cons I can deal with and what the deal-breakers are.

Any suggestions? Any tips from people who have already done a wedding on what I should be focusing on and what you did for your special day that I should consider? Any wedding related tips and tricks welcome! I need all the help I can get!!

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Wedding Bells

IM ENGAGED!!

I’m still in disbelief that it actually happened (finally) and that I’m getting married to my best friend! We are at the beach and it’s the first time that my family has let anyone’s boyfriend come on our vacation. (My family has this rule that you have to be engaged or married in order to come on family vacations). We’ve been dating for almost 5 1/2 years and haven’t ever asked or pushed to ask if he could come because of the rule, but this year I did. I mean, we’ve been together forever, I didn’t see any harm in asking – and to my surprise they said yes! We had only been here for 24 hours and normally my family goes out every night, but because of the drive and everything they wanted to stay in and rest. So, Chad asked if I wanted to go out just the two of us. Of course I said yes to some alone time with my boyfriend, who wouldn’t. Nothing was out of the ordinary. We got dressed, I did my hair and make up, and we went to dinner. Then after he asked if I wanted to go on a walk on the beach. We walked for a while and then he proposed. I ugly cried and my whole family was behind us clapping and taking pictures. It was an absolutely amazing night and I’ve been staring at my ring non stop because I can’t believe it. I literally had absolutely no idea it was going to happen at the beach with my family. 

BUT now I get to plan my wedding! I’m so excited and can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my fiancé. 
Any advice to a new planner for a wedding? What worked and what didn’t? I need all the help I can get! 

Life Post Grad

…is surprisingly not that much different from life pre-grad if I do say so myself. Regardless, I FINALLY graduated from college! *round of applause* Thinking about it realistically, it really only took me 3 years to graduate from my university including transferring schools. However, I’ve been taking college classes since I was 13 so I feel like I’ve been in school forever. Since I had to take a summer class, I won’t actually walk in a commencement ceremony until December because of the way my school has their commencements set up. That is, if I decide to walk or not. Normally, I’d think I was crazy to not walk in the graduation, I mean hell, I worked my ass off for this. With my having to wait 5 months to walk across the stage though, it leaves me wondering if I’ll do it. Has anyone else not walked in their graduation? Do you regret it? I need some insight!

Anyway, like I said before, life post grad really isn’t all that different. I work for the same company, but received a promotion, and live at the same place with the same people. I moved back home last December because of a terrible living situation with my then roommate and haven’t moved back out since. I halfway want to just wait to move out again until I’m married because in the past 3 years I’ve moved in and out of places 8 times. Yep, 8. SO needless to say, I’m over it and want to push off moving as long as possible. Even if that means living with the fam longer than I’d like.

I’m still dating Chad and unfortunately we aren’t engaged yet. I have a feeling it might be sometime soon, but you never know. I know that I’m young and that to some it might seem crazy to want to get engaged at 21, but I do live in the south where all my friends are married with kids. Plus, getting married young to the person you’re meant to be with just means a longer marriage and happy life together.

In other news, I really am gong to try to be more active on here! I always say that, but it never happens. Much like me on a diet hahaha.

Girls Are Mean

I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately, and I’ve noticed something that’s become abundantly clear… girls are mean- really mean. Including myself. When they’re threatened by another girl, they immediately begin nitpicking the other girl in question and commenting on their weight, looks, personality,  life choices, anything. FOR WHAT??

Why was I so insecure with myself and my circumstances at the time that I thought it was appropriate to belittle and demean another woman? I cannot believe that I succumbed  to what I did and said the things that I have to this one woman in particular over the years. Granted most of what I’m referring to was 5 years ago, but still. Words hurt and leave scars as much as physical wounds.

We should be lifting each other up, not tearing each other down. A lot of what I lashed out about was because of my own problems and insecurities, but it was still completely uncalled for and inappropriate.  I’ve learned a lot since the naive, mean girl that I once was but I will always have more to learn.

SO, to the girl that I’m talking about… I’m sorry for more things and in more ways than you even know. A lot of what I was mad at you for, it was actually anger at myself that was taken out on you.

We won’t ever be friends- and honestly I’m okay with that, but we don’t have to be enemies either. I wish you nothing but happiness in life and I hope you enjoy every part of life that’s on offer.

 

Build love, not hate.

A poem that set my soul free

Your words and hateful comments are tattooed onto the inside of my skin

Begging and pleading to bleed through

To show everyone just how ugly you think I am

My nose, too wide

My eyes, not the right shade of emerald

My lips, too full and too pale for anyone to love

My hips, too wide for your slim hands to grasp

Your love for me was artificial and temporary

But I loved it in the most sincere of ways

“You know Bailey, you only die if you cut vertically”

He says in the snidest of voices

Flashback

He tells me he loves me

Not to be inside my heart forever

But to be inside my thighs momentarily

Moment fades, the only word that slips into the air is “leave”

I just didn’t know he meant forever

Fast forward

He shakes me, bringing me out of my reverie

You’re supposed to be better

Why aren’t you better

Why isn’t the medicine working?

Why can’t I fix you, he

Is asking all these questions

But I don’t have the breath to answer, he

Took all the air out of my lungs and watched them collapse slowly as he

walked away five years ago, he

Told me I would never be happy

Fast forward…again

I see you and smile

I smile not because I’m happy

But because I can finally answer your questions

My lungs have slowly regained the air you sucked out of them

My heart able to beat to a new rhythm

Why can’t you fix me?

I wasn’t ever broken

I just wasn’t put together the way you wanted

Anniversaries

They’re kind of silly when you think of them semantically. Like “congratulations pal, we made it X amount of years! Now let’s do some random activity and have sex all night to celebrate”. Nonetheless, my anniversary with my boyfriend is coming up (5years) and I couldn’t be more excited or giddy about it. 

I feel like 5 years is sort of like a mini milestone and it deserves to be celebrated and praised. Does it make me sound like a spoiled brat if I say we better not just be going to dinner…? Every time we hang out we go to dinner/something of the sense and I want to do something special. No I’m not meaning skydiving, bungee jumping, riding a camel, or anything else ridiculously out of the box and so unlike my boyfriend, but something more than just dinner. 

For anyone that’s celebrated a 5 year anniversary, or any anniversary for that matter, what have you guys done? What have you gotten your significant other? I need help because after 5 years of present giving my ideas are becoming slim-to-none. 

Apologies and Confrontation: The Love-Hate Relationship

 

It’s been almost five years since I’ve seen your name pop up on my phone. Five long years of built up hurt and resentment of the way things ended. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in a relationship thus far in my life, but I can’t help but think how broken and messed up everything was… Some things that happen in the past are better there, but when I received a message from you on Facebook, it all came flooding back: the bruises, the tears, the constant hollow eyes, everything. After a year of never hearing from you, I kind of assumed an apology was never going to happen. I accepted that it happened, the way it ended, and by all accounts I moved on with my life. But WHY after almost 5 years do you think that sending a casual Facebook apology message is going to make it all better?

You know what though? I’m happy you did. I’m happy that you finally got off your high horse and admitted what you did and how messed up you made me. Back when you left me, I didn’t even recognize the person I had become, but now looking back on it, it was the best possible learning experience that I could have had. Sure it could have been without the beatings, blood, and constant insults, but because of this I am fully aware of how love is supposed to look and how what you did to me was wrong. While I’ll never forget what I went through, I fully believe that I’m a stronger person because of everything that happened between you and I. I finally got to say what I was thinking without the fear of being punished for having an opinion.

So I guess in it’s own twisted way, thank you for leaving me. Thank you for leaving me so broken that I was forced to put myself back together different than I was before because the pieces of me no longer fit together how they used to.