Monday, October 19, 2009

Going to the... chapel? Part II: Summer is kind of far away

Part I: Selecting a season

You already know that our engagement took place in September 2008 (instead of the intended summer 2009) and that we are planning a spring wedding in March 2010 (instead of next summer). So what happened to change our plans?

Engagement fever. That's the only way I can describe it. After two and a half years of happily dating, I simply could not wait anymore to call my wonderful and amazing boyfriend my wonderful and amazing fiancé, and then my wonderful and amazing husband. So we went together to pick out the ring as soon as he had the money saved, and set the wedding date for what I was pretty sure would turn out to be the first day of Spring Break. We would have tried for this past summer, but my mom and my step-sister had both already set wedding dates for that time that I didn't want to interfere with. March it was. (And rather than leave you in suspense, I did guess right about Spring Break—we have a week to honeymoon without forcing me to miss any classes!)

Once we'd set our date, we started looking at the venues we'd researched online previously. Our top contender was Duke's Malibu.

Banquet Room at Duke's Malibu

Duke's had several factors working in its favor. First, it was a restaurant with food I'd already tried and loved, and I wouldn't have to rent tables or chairs or china or anything like that. Second, the prices weren't totally unreasonable. Third... the View. I love that view.

Still, there were some issues cutting against Duke's, as well. The hosted bar was charged only based on consumption, and I really wanted to know—before the end of my wedding—how much everything was going to cost. The banquet room would require intensive floral intervention (there were random posts everywhere that needed to be decorated), which would add to the decor costs. There was no space for a cocktail hour that could accomodate even a quarter of the guests between the ceremony and the reception. And the carpet... it was not the neutral beige pictured above. It was hunter green, patterned with purple, I think? And because it clearly hadn't been vacuumed since their last event when I visited, I couldn't stop paying attention to it. It kind of turned me off.

We didn't put down a deposit right away, although we were tempted to, because we knew we still had fourteen months until the wedding and wanted to avoid rushing in to any decisions (especially decisions with ugly carpet). While we waited, some new questions arose: now that we weren't having a summer wedding, why did we need a beach wedding in March anyway? If we couldn't guarantee beach weather, couldn't we look into a different kind of venue? (To be continued...!)

Did you start looking into options once you got engaged that you wouldn't have considered before? Did you stick with your initial plans, or did the new ones win out?

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