I’m a person of places: When asking for directions, I’m easily navigated by landmarks; I can be placed on just about any street in a familiar city and eventually find my placement based off of the surrounding buildings; and all my memories involve a place. So finding the perfect venue for our ceremony and reception became my focus following our engagement (besides celebrating, of course—believe me, we celebrated, and I have the champagne corks to prove it).
Everyone I talked to had another place to add to my list of venues to check out—friends, neighbors, strangers, and even my dentist weighed in on the list. And this list grew and grew… and I didn’t know where to stop or what to do with it. So when I began to narrow down the selection I basically focused on these things: love, location and logistics, and loot.
Love: Eric and I wanted to allow our guests to see our interests and loves in every aspect of our wedding, starting with the venue. So now you need to know a little about us: I graduated with my Bachelors in Architecture and work for a firm in Norristown where I am an architectural designer (hence my building obsession). My amazing fiance Eric has a degree in history and works for REI as a bicycle/snowboard/ski technician and sales rep (in everything from action sports, footwear, camping and climbing), and is a lover of all things pertaining to snowboarding. We are outdoorsy people; it makes us happy, it keeps us occupied, and it allows us to appreciate the simplicity of life. Naturally, we wanted all these loves to be a huge aspect of our wedding.
Location & Logistics: We wanted to make it easy for everyone to attend, so traveling distance was greatly factored in to our selection. The process of figuring out logistics made our heads spin: what route everyone would take; whether our grandparents could easily access every part of the venue; if we could decorate the venue; whether or not we’d share a venue with another wedding; if I could fit in the bathroom with my dress on; if everyone could fit on the dance floor, and the list goes on. We thought of a new question every time we walked into a new venue, so I did two things: I wrote them all down in my ‘Let’s get Hitched’ notebook (I seriously have one and it’s the best thing ever), and had a list of general questions to ask at every venue visit. Our logistics list eventually outgrew our locations list, and then we became overwhelmed with lists (and the letter ‘L’), but it kept us in check and allowed us to eliminate venues that didn’t meet our requirements.
Loot: We all dream about fairytale weddings, but often that fairytale isn’t one very important thing: money! Luckily, my oldest sister was married four years ago, so I referenced her pricing for just about everything. This was the easiest way for us to eliminate venues off our list.
After looking at close to a dozen venues to host our wedding, we made the decision to get married at The Old Mill in Rose Valley. After a suggestion from my boss and numerous visits to “cookie cutter” venues, I set up an appointment to view the Old Mill. The long, windy drive off the main road to the venue left Eric and I speechless. After our tour we both admitted that we absolutely loved the facility and the catering staff. Plus The Old Mill satisfied all of our Ls:
Love: We’re getting married outside (weather permitting) on a grass meadow along a beautiful stream (nature and the outdoors—check). The reception will be held inside The Old Mill, which is a former snuff mill (history—check), so there are exposed stone walls and a high pitched ceiling with exposed woodwork (architecture—check). There are two adjacent outdoor areas where cocktail hour and desserts will be held (more outdoors—check, check).
Location & Logistics: Rose Valley is ten minutes away from everything, and ten minutes close to anything. So we are removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, but we can get everyone to hotels or on a major highway within a few minutes. Plus, everything that was high ranking on our logistics list fit the requirements of The Old Mill.
Loot: It fits our budget (yippy!)! Thank goodness, because I loved this place too much for it not to, and gives us some breathing room for flexibility in spending.
I am so thankful that we were able to find a place that fit all our requirements and then some, because this gives me another beautiful place to add to my collection of memories. I have no doubt that it will be an amazing memory on June 29, 2013!
What are some of the favorite aspects of your venue (for your ceremony or reception)? Is there a specific requirement that your venue has to have?