In our relationship, I would say that while Turtle is the packer of the household (I think I’ve packed three boxes, and we’re moving in four days), I am the wedding planner. Surprise, surprise – like you couldn’t tell by the fact that I’m the one with the wedding blog, and she’s not. Shocker.
Anyway, when we finally agreed to get married, the venue search began. I felt like we couldn’t do any planning until we knew where we were getting married – the where would tell us the when, it would tell us the feel and whether we had to travel and whether it would be inside or outside, and therefore what we would wear… basically, at the time, I felt that everything was based on our venue.
Funny enough, often I find myself feeling like we can’t possibly do another bit of planning until we figure some thing out – right now it’s invitations. But back to the venue:
I started a frantic search for venues. I Googled, I emailed, I got really involved with my spreadsheets.
I fell briefly in love with a couple of places. The two major ones were The Red Barn and Old Dana Farmstead. I found the Red Barn after seeing a wedding held there on SoYoureEnGayged – it looked amazing, and very us.
We emailed them, there were dates available in the general time frame we wanted, and the price seemed reasonable… until we looked at the food and how much it would cost to add that in. Keep in mind, this was at the beginning of the planning process – our sense of what things “should” cost has changed since then (stupid weddings). So the Red Barn seemed out of our budget.
Turtle had found Old Dana Farm by searching for farms nearby, and after looking through their website and falling a little bit in love with the trees and animals, we emailed them to see if they could host a small wedding. Lo and behold, Farmer Paul and his husband (! major points!) were willing to work with us! We started talking about caterers, tent rentals, changing facilities… all these things I definitely was not really excited about thinking about. But Farmer Paul and Old Dana Farm sounded great…
Please refer to that pretty spreadsheet up there. You’ll see almost 20 different locations that I spent hours searching for and weeding through online. And then Turtle emails me this one link: the Lodge. You’ll also notice the price listed next to it. Whoa.
So we arranged to go see it, because it looks nice in the pictures (right?) and was definitely in our price range. And it was gorgeous. The pond has hardly any houses on it. You drive down little dirt road in the woods to get there, and then there’s a big grassy space out front, which is where we’d be married if the weather was good, and a beautiful barn-like room inside, where we’d get married (or at least dance!) if the weather was not good.
There’s one question we have to ask that I think most heterosexual couples do not, and that is, “Have you worked with couples like us before?” – meaning same-sex couples, of course. The guy we met with was this older man with a thick Boston accent, who did not seem exactly like an “ally”. He was reasonably friendly, but hadn’t really smiled the whole time we were there. And then he looked at us and said, “Well, yes! For awhile there, I thought we’d cornered the market!”
Sigh of relief. We said yes on the spot!
This morning, we went back to the Lodge for breakfast with our moms and my siblings. The Lodge holds breakfasts that are open to the public every so often, and it was a nice opportunity to see the location again. I was a little nervous that we wouldn’t love it, or that people would be unfriendly, but it was a wonderful morning, everyone was very welcoming, and it was a good chance to consider the space and how we might decorate.
Our family members were excited to see the place, and we all felt quite at home there, even if the geese didn’t want us hugging their babies (which, ahem, did not stop me from trying). We love the space, and can’t wait to spend more time there with our family and friends and less time with strangers, as friendly as they were 🙂 I’m still entertained by the fact that I spent hours researching, and we ended up going with somewhere Turtle found after ten minutes of searching. This is not always the story of our relationship or our planning.
Have you been surprised by the way you found things in your planning? I’m grateful for the quick discovery, but why can’t I do that?!