Ven-me, Ven-you

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.

(source)

(source)

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…

Old Dana Farmstead - Photo by Farmer Paul

Photo by Farmer Paul

Until we found the Fort Pond Lodge, owned by the Knights and Ladies of Kaleva. Swoon.

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.

Grassy marriage space - personal photo

(source)

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.

view of the venue from the grassy space and dock

Turtle and her mom lakeside! Geese and goslings in the background!

me and my MOH, Sister Bird!

(personal photos)

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?!

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2 Comments

Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

2 responses to “Ven-me, Ven-you

  1. It never fails to crack me up that we visited about 15 venues and contacted about a million more, and I ranted about how all the places just kept giving us the same venues over and over, and then we found our venue in the back of an issue of Brides magazine, which I looked through one night before bed in the vain hope there would be something new, some magical venue we had not yet considered. And there was! Like you, we really felt comfortable in the space that we wound up choosing and I can’t help but feel like that’s really important!

  2. wowzers! your venue is gorgeous. we looked at something kinda similar in LA (oh except minus the lodge/electricity/running water/bathrooms) and the city wanted $4500 for 8 measly hours! Ouch! So I’m happy and jealous that you get to get married somewhere so awesome! AND…out of curiosity would you have went with another venue had the owner NOT dealt with gay couples before? This is something I’ve been thinking about lately b/c there seems to be a real emphasis around the blogosphere on vetted gay-friendly vendors and yet a part of me thinks that maybe some really awesome allies just haven’t had the chance (pleasure) of working with a gay couple yet. So everyones gotta start somewhere, ya know? Love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

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