Venue Shopping

Starting the hunt for our wedding venue was a hugely daunting task. The only thing we knew for sure was that we wanted our wedding to be outside for both the ceremony and the reception. Well… I should’t say that was the ONLY thing… my list pretty much looked like this:

Outside (duh)
Not near a busy road
Lots of sunshine
Not super public
We wanted to be able to bring in our own caterer and booze
Close to somewhere that people can stay the night
And our budget is super small

We visited all kinds of places. The first venue we really toured was stunning and I was initially over the moon about it. It was an inn in the White Mountains (2 hours from where we live) and the views were breath taking. We wouldn’t have to rent a thing which was really appealing and the ceremony and reception site themselves were fabulous. I was sold.

Not to mention they had Pokemon scarecrows set up for fall. Do I look excited?

But we would have to use their food and alcohol which brought the bill up much higher than we could really afford. And the General Manager seemed just a little on the slimy side. But what sealed this venue’s fate was when the wedding coordinator told me that there would likely be at least one other wedding going on at the same time as ours. It sounds superficial but I’ll go ahead and say it… I wanted to be the only bride at my venue on my wedding day. I was super bummed, but at the end of the day we really would not have been able to afford it.

Our next big stop was at a community center a few towns over. My aunt took us over to walk the property and my creative wheels started turning. The ceremony and cocktail hour would be outside and the reception inside. It was right on the lake, lots of sail boats, a few beaches, and the indoor space was brand new with views of the water. And the price was really reasonable. The venue was pretty public, and Max was not in love with it by any means, so we moved on.

This is my and my FABULOUS aunt testing out a potential ceremony site. You’ll quickly learn she’s on of my favorite people.

After that was a lot of number crunching, nights spent on The Knot website, and frustration. It seemed like any venue that we loved was out of our price range. We really considered having the wedding in Max’s parents back yard; but it is super close to a busy road, and they just decided to sell the house in the next month or so, so I am super happy that didn’t go with that option!

Then Max’s mom had an idea. She asked if we had ever seen the little Bed and Breakfast out in Lyme. We hadn’t seen it. But the inn sits on the same road that Max and his family used to live on. It’s the road where we had our first kiss, spent countless summer nights by the fire pit, and it’s really where we fell in love. So we took a trip out to Breakfast on the Connecticut and FELL IN LOVE. The B&B sits on a little hill right up against the Connecticut River. The driveway is about a quarter of a mile long (and you have to drive past this adorable farm with all sorts of animals) so the property is super quiet. The price was doable, our guests could stay at the inn, everything could be outside, and we would be the only people renting rooms at the inn for the entire weekend. PERFECT.  The physical location is super sentimental, it’s intimate, we’re able to bring in our own caterer and booze, and we will have total run of the mill.

I’m getting all kinds of feels just looking at this photo of us at the inn. Look at Max’s smile… he’s so damn cute.

Communication with the inn has been frustrating through the planning process however. They have gone through 2 inn keepers since we booked our wedding with them, so it has been hard to know who we are supposed to contact regarding any details because the owners are retired and are often traveling. Through all of the communication issues, and uncertainty, we are so excited to have our wedding at Breakfast on the Connecticut. It will be simple and sweet, set in the country, and decorated with it’s own natural beauty. I will be posting lots of pictures soon!

The only advice that I can give about venue shopping is pick a place that gives you all the feels, but also reminds you that your wedding day is about marrying your best friend. For us, having a place that is special to celebrate our special day was really important. And we are so lucky to find somewhere that we are both hopelessly in love with.

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