Post # 1
Hi bees! First time poster here. FH and I have been together for over 5 years. For years I’ve been anxiously awaiting the next step… then finally two weeks ago on a romantic getaway he proposed in the most beautiful way!
Cue… wedding planning. Obviously the first thing I’m trying to nail down is the venue. Well I realized pretty quickly just how difficult this is going to be. FH and I aren’t religious so churches are automatically out. We live in Florida but I’m not a huge beach person and FH doesn’t like the beach (I know, haha) and we both don’t like the look or feel of country club/hotel weddings. Our dream wedding is outside under the trees followed by a reception in a barn. There’s no shortage of venues that fit our ideal description in Florida. The issue has been the date. In my opinion, Florida has a very short timeframe for wedding season, especially for outdoor weddings. Our weather is brutally hot in the summer which pretty much runs April – October. This leaves November – March as viable options. My dream is for a March 2020 wedding but with each new venue inquiry I’m finding out pretty much how impossible this is going to be. I’ve narrowed down my search to about a handful of our favorite venues. None of them have March available. One of them has February 15, which I don’t love because it’s Valentines Day weekend and I also really wanted a spring colorscheme. The others don’t have availability until mid-April which I feel like will be too hot for an outside wedding. It looks like my options are pretty much:
A) February 15 (Valentines)
B) April (too hot)
C) 2 year engagement (ugh)
I really don’t want a long engagement when I’ve already had to wait for what feels like forever to be engaged. What do you think bees? Am I being too picky? Should I just settle?
Post # 2
- Wedding: February 2018 - UK
I’d go with February. We got married on February 17th last year, and this year it was really nice because we had Valentine’s Day then our anniversary in rapid succession, so it was like a several-day long couple’s celebration.
Regarding the colour scheme, I’m of the opinion that you can use whatever colour you want regardless of the time of year. If you want spring colours, have them. You’d possibly have to compromise on seasonal flowers, but they’d still come in a variety of colours.
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2019 - UK
You will need to compromise somewhere. Have you looked at weekdays? I’m getting married on a Thursday, I was prepaired that many people might not come becuase of the weekday but so far only one has said they cant because of work. Most people are very excited and are going to make it a long weekend, so taking thursday and friday of work.
Post # 4
I’d compromise on venue before I’d ever wait another year to be married. Personally, I don’t like the majority of outdoor ceremonies and think they are overrated. You may get lucky, but in reality the weather is hardly ever ideal. You’re dressed for a nice occasion and hair and makeup get blown around, it’s raining, you are melting, or fighting off bugs. Or it’s chilly and you freeze.
As for hotels or clubs, you can say what you want, but there is something to be said for a place that has the experience and facilities to host an affair. A lot of times it’s more cost effective, too.
Post # 5
weddingmaven : Not talking down about hotels or country clubs, they’re just not my style. I love nature and being outdoors so an outside wedding isn’t really something I’m willing to compromise on. It’s really nice in Florida winter so all of the outdoor weddings I’ve been to here during that time have been lovely.
Post # 6
zias : I considered a Sunday wedding but was worried about people leaving early for work. We’re having a smaller gathering so if a lot people leave early it’ll be pretty sad. Do you have a larger guest list?
Post # 7
kittycatcat : That makes me feel better about the color scheme. But you don’t mind celebrating your anniversary and Valentines Day at the same time?
Post # 8
I don’t know why you wouldn’t just do feb 15th. Valentine’s Day seems like a complete non issue, particularly as you don’t want any of the other months.
Post # 9
- Wedding: February 2018 - UK
chellybean93 : I don’t mind it at all, I quite liked it! I suggested we do a joint celebration, but my husband insisted we have two separate days, so we had two meals out, two cards, two presents, with a couple of days gap in between. We went to a standard restaurant for Valentine’s Day, and then went back to our wedding venue for something more personal to us for the anniversary. It was actually really nice as it was approaching, because I knew I had a week coming up where we’d have multiple things to look forward to, if that makes sense.
Plus, it means we’re unlikely to ever have an argument about one of us forgetting the anniversary date! :-p
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2017 - A vineyard
Honestly I settled. I did not want a long engagement either. Originally I wanted to married in October. Always had. But I ended up being married in the summer instead.
How far are these venues? Could you extend out a bit? Everything close to my husband was super expensive. So we ended up going out 2 hours to the country and found a great affordable vineyard and got married by a small lake under a pavilion. The property had a barn too but I was afraid it would be even more stuffy so I picked the lake.
But like someone else said, there has got to be a compromise somewhere 🙁
Post # 11
- Wedding: October 2019 - UK
chellybean93 : We have just under 100 guests. But then our venue is also a hotel and most people are going to stay the night there so they dont have to drive home late after having had alcohole.
Post # 12
Where in Florida are you planning to get hitched? I got married this past October at Leu Gardens in the Orlando area. Beautiful outside areas for ceremony and it also has a ballroom for a reception. There’s also Kraft Azalea Gardens in Winter Park and there’s this cute little place near Jacksonville. There are a number of outdoor venues that you can have your ceremony. Unfortunately, I’m most familiar with Central Fla since that’s where I’m from. Places run by the cities tend to be more budget friendly but they also have restrictions and you’re right, most places are booked a year in advance so you may need to push it out another year if you’re thinking of March. Really, planning a wedding can be quite stressful if you’re doing it on your own so giving yourself a extra year may be a godsend. (Life is easier with a planner, even a day of)
Its all about how flexible you are.
Post # 13
I’ve lived in Florida before, so I totally understand about the weather (heat/humidity.)
That said.. you’re going to likely have to compromise on something. I don’t see a problem with a Feb 15th wedding date, you can use any color scheme you want, you don’t have to do a Valentine’s themed wedding.
I know you said you’re not into the look/feel/style of a wedding at a hotel or country club, but please also keep an open mind? A climate controlled space with ample flush plumbing and running water for the caterer/bar is a wonderful thing. Barn weddings can get expensive if you have to bring in generators, bathroom trailers, tenting (if needed as a backup for weather and to provide shade/shelter from any chance of rain), and whatever equipment the caterer needs to haul in to ensure food safety… it can get pretty expensive!
Another option would be to see if there are any local social/civic clubs or small museums that might have lovely outdoor spaces and an indoor space suitable for a reception. I’ve been to some really lovely weddings at venues like this!
Post # 14
You just have to compromise on something. Personally, I would pick the Feb date over delaying the wedding for a year because of a venue. And yes, as PP have said, you can have whatever color scheme you would like. My SIL picked Christmas red for a June wedding. So you can do whatever you want in Feb.
If you really want to get married in March, can you look at some venues that have an indoor/outdoor space? Like a really large patio you can do cocktail hour on and be able to walk in and out of?
If it makes you feel any better, I really wanted to get married in April this year, but our venue only had March available. So we took March! And I absolutely love my date! It looks like it will rain or the weather won’t be perfect, but I’m just so glad its here so much sooner!
Post # 15
Florida winters are perfect for weddings. Not too hot, not too cold… just right! I totally understand not wanting a generic hotel wedding. We just booked our wedding for February 2020 in S.FL. It will be an outdoor wedding in a beautiful tropical garden—though there is also an indoor option on the property in case it rains. Where in FL are you looking? Our venue still had a lot of availability in January and March. I looked at a number of other outdoor locations, and they also had availability. Happy to share.