After the ring and the proposal, we were completely lost. This is the first marriage for both of us, and neither of us have ever helped plan a wedding for someone else. So yeah … No clue what we should do next.
After some extensive research (i.e. Googling), I found that one of the first major wedding decisions should be the venue.
For me personally, the wedding venue is probably the single most important aspect. It sets the tone for the entire event. Will it be elegant and classy? Rustic and woodsy? Fairytale like and whimsical? Relaxed and casual? The list goes on and on.
It’s also important because everything else revolves around this choice. For example, your official wedding date cannot be chosen until you’ve decided on a venue. If your preferred date isn’t available at your venue of choice, you either have to choose a new date or choose a new venue. There’s also preferred caterers, beverage packages, locations for pictures … Again, the list goes on and on.
When I would start to think about all of these factors, I felt like this:
Image courtesy of Weddingbee.
I knew Eric and I would have to make a decision pretty quickly if we wanted the date we originally chose (November 9, 2013). I also knew that by selecting a venue, the other details could fall into place much more easily.
So how did we come to our decision?
We visited five locations. We honestly could have visited many more, as there are a surprisingly large number of amazing venues in Omaha. Five seemed like enough to get a good idea of what we liked and didn’t like, as well as pricing and options available for customizing our wedding.
Here are the things I learned while shopping for a venue:
1.) Weddings are expensive. I mean, I knew this already … But holy shit.
2.) Along with the basic expense of a wedding venue (which is simply the cost to rent the space for the event), there are a million other trivial things these places will charge for. Do you want your ceremony here as well? There’s a fee for that. Do you want to use someone other than one of our preferred caterers? There’s a fee for that. Do you want pads on your chairs? There’s a fee for that. (And no, sadly I’m not kidding about this one.)
3.) You really need to like the person you’ll be working with. If they don’t make you feel important or comfortable during your initial meeting, chances are they probably won’t make you feel that way during any subsequent meetings (or, worse, on your wedding day).
4.) High cost does not always equal best option. Value does. If we’re shelling out insane amounts of money for this thing, we want to make sure we’re getting the most for our money.
5.) You really do kind of “just know.” As I mentioned before, Eric and I visited five places. After three of these places, we discussed the pros and cons (and even started a spreadsheet detailing what we liked and didn’t like about each location). After one place (and this place shall remain nameless), we both looked at each other and were like, “Definitely not!” We then proceeded to bash the venue, pricing, the way we were treated, location, etc. during the drive home. After leaving the last venue we visited, though, something was different. We walked outside and he pulled me in for a hug and kiss. Then he said, “What do you think?” My response was, “I think this might be it.” Did we talk about it a little more? Yes, of course. But it was so much better than any of the other places we’d seen in so many ways.
We selected our venue back in December, and neither of us have ever regretted it for a second. Trusting our gut feelings was definitely the right thing to do.