Committed to Us: The Big Decisions – The Venue

After getting engaged, we immediately started planning out what we wanted our day to look like.  What colors we wanted, what we wanted the guys to be wearing, and the girls for that matter.  Where did we want this big event to take place?

Prior to our getting engaged, Dave and I had started to look at different venue options (at Dave’s urging…not mine, mind you).  Because we were both raised in different religious upbringings, mine was Baptist (Southern Baptist at that) and his was Catholic, we decided that we’d both prefer to get married outdoors rather than in a church that was either only familiar to one of us, or familiar to neither of us.

That led us to look for outdoor venues.  At this point, we still hadn’t decided if we would want the reception to be held inside or outside, so we were looking at both.  Eventually we narrowed it down to wanting an outdoor ceremony, with an indoor reception.

New England has so many amazing options for outdoor locations.  We could go with a Vineyard in Rhode Island, or a beach venue in Massachusetts.  Did we want to get married in a mansion in Newport or hotel in Providence?  In the end, after much Google searching of “wedding venues in Southern MA and Northern RI” we were lead to the website for Independence Harbor.

After ruling out the Vineyard because you had to rent Port-a-John’s for your guests (side note:  they actually have some pretty fancy port-a-potties out there, but we just didn’t like the idea of it), and the mansions in Newport due to the shear cost of the venue, we had decided a garden like ceremony would be amazing.  We were immediately drawn in by the beautiful flowers on IH’s website, and the reasonable prices on their reception menu.

See - Fancy! / Source

Because of this pre-engagement searching, once we were engaged we were able to almost immediately set up appointments for venue meetings, and get that ball rolling.  We wanted a shorter engagement, and with a majority of my family coming in from out of state, we needed to nail down a date, ASAP.  I of course had romanticized the notion of obtaining 9/10/11 for our wedding date, but when we finally nailed down the venue, the date was already taken.

We met with IH and fell in love with the venue just as much in person as we had through the internet.  With their renovated Carriage House space that they use for receptions, and the BEAUTIFUL Garden Ceremony location right outside, we knew this was the place for us.  We didn’t even need/want to see anywhere else.  So we booked, right then and there for September 2, 2011.

Full disclosure time:  I now wish we had looked around.  We ended up having a TON of issues with the attitude of the owner of this place, which we later found out is pretty normal.  I think that we probably still would have ended up with IH as our location, because on the day of, everyone was wonderful and lovely.  It would just make me feel a little better know, if I knew that we had made the decision after checking out other options, and not just with the first visit.

Anyone else make a decision while planning that they later wished they had taken a little more time with?

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