- 2 years ago
I’m sorry this is going to be a little long, but I need some advice.
My fiance and I are on an extremely tight budget for our wedding. I knew that I needed to be very budget conscious from the beginning, and almost immediately began making spreadsheets comparing venues – I documented and compared everything from catering and bar options, to whether the venue charged extra for bathrooms and parking (I had at least 30 categories). I compared 50 to 60 venues in California (where my fiance and I live) and Virginia (where I grew up). We finally decided to have the wedding in Virginia, and narrowed our venues down to a top three pretty quickly based on overall price.
By process of elimination, we’ve decided to go with the least expensive option – a wedding & reception at a golf course clubhouse, where they provide everything in-house including food, alcohol, all rentals, etc. The only things we’ll need to provide are a “DJ” (we’re going to have my brother run an iPod), cake, a photographer, and any exterior decorations we want to bring in to personalize the space.
We haven’t booked the venue yet, but I’ve been talking with the event coordinator and we have an appointment to go meet him and sign the contract in October, when we will be in Virginia.
Now I’m researching photographers, and the more I look at other people’s wedding photos, the more doubtful I become about my venue. I thought I had it all figured out, but we really made the decision based purely based on the budget, and I’m doubting myself now. I see all of these beautiful weddings in historic venues, barns, locations by the beach, and I wonder if maybe I’m missing the diamond in the rough that will fit our budget AND allow for a special place with beautiful photos. I know that the memories and the experience is what matters, but I’m already sort-or regretting that I’m not going to have those stunning photos that other people have, because our reception will be in a dining room rather than x-y-z amazing place.
I’ve google image searched, and actually found photos from a wedding that took place at the same venue we’ve decided upon. They’re not bad, they’re good photos, but they don’t look “special.” I don’t mean that in a mean way, I just didn’t ever say “wow, I love that”.
Am I being crazy? Should I recognize that I’ve found a nice location that checks all of my “head” boxes (price, location, hassle-free), or should I keep looking for perfect venue that will check all of the “heart” boxes AND fit our budget (which may be impossible, beacuse increasing the budget isn’t an option)?
I know it can’t hurt to look, but I’m almost afraid that if I look and DON’T find something better in our price range, then I’ll be really disappointed rather than just confused.
The last big thing to consider is that the venue we’ve already decided on is very close to my parent’s house – 10 minutes away – so it would be really convenient to get ready at home, and we were planning to offer baby sitting services for family members with kids at my parent’s house during the reception (it’s adults only, to save money). If we were at a venue further away we would need to spend money on a hotel, get ready in a hotel, and we wouldn’t be able to offer babysitting for our families.
So, do I squash the desire for that “perfect” venue and focus on all the great things our current venue provides, or do I keep looking while I still have time?