Post # 1
Hello wonderful Bees–
This is my first time posting and I’m hoping for some words of wisdom and perspective. I got engaged in mid-December and began looking in earnest for a venue a few weeks ago for an Oct/Nov wedding. I have found that all of the affordable venues I like are already booked, and the ones that are available are out of the price range we can comfortably afford. We have around $35k we *could* play with, but my fiance and I were really hoping to stick to about $20k (~200 people) so we can use the rest for the honeymoon and add to our savings. We really want a fun, Saturday night dance party.
So now we’re debating (me, my fiance and my parents)…
1. We could have it in our synagogue social hall in November (not attractive but a bargain at $500, though we might have to spend a bit making it look nice. Probably looking at around $12k for the reception with catering and alcohol)
2. We could have it downtown in a place I like (for around $18k plus tax, not including decorations)
3. We could push the wedding back to March 09 and have our pick of venues. The problem with this is that we never wanted a very long engagement (my, how things change once you actually start planning!) and my parents are guilt-tripping me about my grandmother’s frail health. She’s doing okay now, but who knows by next March? To add to the pressure, I’m the oldest grandchild and first of the cousins to get married, my grandfather passed away in September and my grandmother really wants to attend the wedding. I want her there, too, of course, but I feel like I’d gain a lot of sanity and calm if I waited until next March and could plan the wedding I want without feeling so frenzied. I’ve been super-stressed and having bad dreams about this all week.
So, what do y’all think? Am I being totally selfish by considering moving it against my parents’ wishes? Should we go with the cheapest option and get over ourselves and our vision of a beautiful ballroom?
Thanks for your insight!
Post # 3
Totally sounds my like my dilemma! I got engaged 1 month ago and had always envisioned a fall wedding… I got on it right away but all the Oct/Nov dates were booked up in the places I wanted. Plus I never wanted a long engagement, but since I want an outdoor wedding, I’ve now had to push the date to late March.
I know I know…. it always sucks to compromise on your ‘dream wedding’… it’s hurt me so many times this past month.
But you know what? do what most important to you. do it tactfully. and I promise it will be alright. I got into a big fight with my parents b/c I didn’t want to have it at a chinese restaurant, but mostly because I kept saying "but I want.. but I want!"…. just let them know quitely your wishes and dreams.. and they will understand…
I think it would be better to push the wedding just a mere 4 months later than to sacrifice on your vision! I think you have search a little more to find a place that is the middle of the line than the cheapest option and just too darn expensive!!
Post # 4
My vote is for the social hall in the synagogue. Although it would cost a little bit more to make it look nice, decorators and lighting designers do amazing work, and you could get nice rentals. Plus, since I assume you’re getting married in the synagogue, you wouldn’t have to worry about people getting lost on the way to the reception/transportation/etc.
But ultimately it’s your choice. To me, the most important thing is that I marry my FI and that my family is there. I’ll be engaged a year when I get married, and I’ve been impatient for months now (4.5 more to go!) so I could never do a long engagement.
Once you make a decision, your bad dreams and stress will probably go away. It’s just the stress of being in limbo before you make the decision. It sounds like you want to move the wedding to March 2009. Weigh all of the pros and cons of each option and see where your true feelings lie.
Post # 5
I’ve had a long engagement and I promise you, you dont’ want that! It’s totally not worth pushing the wedding back just for a venue. I also vote for the Hall reception. Think of it as a blank canvas for you to transform…it’s amazing what people can do with lighting and decorations. Imagine how wowed your guests will be when they see the same Hall they are use to seeing completely changed into a beautiful reception area. Plus you won’t have to worry about transportation to and from ceremony-site. It’ll be easier on your guests.
Post # 6
I agree with the ladies above – check out the hall and see what your options are regarding decor, lighting, etc. Maybe you could use the money you’d spend on another pre-decorated venue to make the halle exactly what you want. Your guests wouldn’t have to travel between the ceremony and reception, you could do whatever you want with catering (I’m assuming, barring religious restrictions), you could get the date you want…
…but I know it’s tough to compromise your vision. I’m one of the long engagement people for exactly that reason, and although it’s what will work best for us, I’d marry this fall in a heartbeat if I thought we could manage it! I am honestly worried about the possibility of my grandma not making it til my wedding, too. And that family pressure can be tough.
Post # 7
Same as above. My venue is book almost a year and a half in advance. So I’m getting married on Labor Day Monday. Now our theme is "Labor of Love" I’m getting a break from my vendors as well because it’s an off day. You might want to check Alternate Dates. Maybe Friday night? Dim lights, and lots of candles make anywhere look great.
Post # 8
The first 2-3 months of our engagement was definitely the most stressful. In the beginning of wedding planning, there are literally billions of choices to make: colors, attendants, location, date – and it is really overwhelming. But never fear, somehow these decisions get made, and now in my 5th month of being engaged – the planning has suddenly ceased being stressful and started being fun. So, while you feel overwhelmed now and want to push it to March, in a few months you will feel in control of this planning stuff and possibly be bummed that you added a few months to your engagement. I say go with the hall, play with lighting to spruce up the place, and then splurge on the things the guests WILL remember: music, food, and a happy bride 🙂 Congrats on your engagement!
Post # 9
keep in mind that if you do it in the synagogue, often times you have to use their caterer and it has to be kosher. but if you don’t mind, i think the hall would be the best solution (i did my bat mitzvah in my synagogue’s hall). if it’s anything like my synagogue’s was, it’s totally conducive to awesome lighting, piping and draping, etc. all in all, they’re probably going to be about the same price, but ultimately you’ll have much more say in the overall look at the synagogue.
Post # 10
Congrats on your engagement! I am in the same boat as you, got engaged in December, wanted a fall wedding… But I knew from the beginning that my fall wedding would be in 2009 for lots of reasons that I won’t go into (again) here.
One of the reasons is that I was very specific about what I wanted for my wedding. I’ve spent the last 27 years of my life thinking about how, when, where I wanted to get married and if I have to wait a little longer I thought it was worth it. So FI and I will be engaged for just about 22 months before we get married and though I get anxious sometimes because I want to be married to him NOW, I think it’s better for us to wait and have the day that we are now collectively dreaming of. But i won’t lie to you and say that its not hard to be patient. You have to just make the decision that’s best for you all around.
Post # 11
You could push back the wedding to get the venue and price you want, then get wedding insurance and make your grandmother an official part of the bridal party (like Matron of Honor or something). That way if she is too sick to make it to the wedding, the insurance will pay for you to postpone it again until she is well enough to attend (because she is a member of the bridal party).
Post # 12
I agree with snmcdowell. The wedding insurance might be good enough to appease your parents, and once you have a decision in hand, the stress will be (relatively) off. Long engagements are hard – I got engaged in June of 2006, and my wedding day is now a scant 5 months off. March isn’t that long to wait, though (but I guess I may be biased), and with the excitement of planning, it’ll fly fast.
Post # 13
I don’t think 15 months is such a long engagement. When I get married in April I will have been engaged 15 months. Time goes very fast and there a lot of things that need to be done. So my vote is to go with the March 2009 wedding and pick the place that you want. I had to make a compromise with the hall of my dreams, it was a $6,000 difference between getting married on a Friday and Satrurday. So I chose to have the Friday wedding instead of the saturday to get the hall that I wanted for the price I could afford. Ultimately it is your wedding and you have to be happy with all the of the decisions, not your parents.
Post # 14
the thing is, you will end up compromising on something somewhere.
we are having a reception with 175 people because we want our loved ones there (large extended families). we have $20,000. so the reception isn’t at my dream venue, we won’t have a room overflowing with flowers, and we’ll have a polaroid photobooth instead of the vintage one i’d been drooling over. our photographers are good but not super artsy and well-known. our choices are reasonable and affordable, but we’re making room for fun (and inexpensive) personal touches.
it will still be our wedding, it will be a great party, and all of our friends and family will be there. that was our priority, so we’re cutting back elsewhere. i just wanted to assure you that making compromises here and there is all part of the game, and in the end it’s no big deal. whether it’s in march or at the synagogue hall, you will have a beautiful love-filled day.
Post # 15
Thanks, everyone, for your great advice! Glad to know I’m not the only one. I’m leaning toward the temple social hall option, but I still have at least a week to mull things over. The thing is, I never much cared about the beauty of the location until I saw all these pretty ones and started drooling (to borrow from nikkinicole)…
Being surrounded by family and friends on this happy day is what’s most important and I think I’d lost some perspective due to spending a leeeetle too much time on wedding message boards/magazines where it seems like such a high-stakes affair.
I really appreciate y’all taking the time to share your thoughts.
Post # 16
We got engaged last February, and I wanted a November wedding. But for various reasons, including cost and availability, we are getting married this February. A year didn’t seem like a long time then, but it has been FOREVER.
Of course, my situation is exacerbated by the fact that my FI unexpectedly took a job across the country in August, and moved away, while I stayed here because we had already put down deposits, etc. for the wedding. There hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t wished we stuck with November! We’re going to have a beautiful wedding in a great location for a price we can afford, but I would trade that to have spent the last three months with my sweetie. In the end, it’s not the wedding that’s important, it’s the marriage.
And I agree with enmoore–the first three months or so of planning were the craziest, followed by three or four months of downtime before it ramped up again. Long engagement or short, you will really have only about six or seven months of concentrated activity; the question is whether you have a break (of boredom and impatience, or welcome relief?) in the middle.