Literally the day after we were engaged we were looking at venues. Ok, to be honest we had this venue planning trip planned weeks before we were officially engaged. We do not have a car, so finding ways to visit all the venues that fit our idea of “rustic elegance” was a little difficult. We had planned to visit my parents on the weekend of the 29th and they graciously had agreed before hand to drive us to some of the places we wanted to look.
We knew that planning a wedding for fall in New England was not an original idea, and that we would probably have to act soon to get any venues (or to get ones we really liked). We knew our budget ahead of time which really helped us to figure out what would and would not work for us and helped us to develop a more reasonable list of places to visit.
I started out by making a spreadsheet of all the venues we liked. We wanted a place where we could have the ceremony and reception together and it needed to be able to fit at least 150 people (in all honesty, probably needed to be able to fit more because we seemed to have some rather large guest lists- more on that at a later date!). We also needed it to be within our rather modest budget. There were a lot of other places we liked that didn’t even get added to the list because we could just tell that, beautiful as they were, they wouldn’t work for us for one reason or another.
My teeny tiny screen shot of my Google spreadsheet
I included the following fields (in case you don’t have the amazing eye site required to read the headings above): Venue Name, Website, Phone, Location, Site Fee, Other requirements (for example, some of the places we looked at were inns and required you to book a certain number or all of their rooms), Exclusive caterer (was there one or could you shop around), Catering Fees per person (a general idea), Alcohol (what the policy was on this), Other fees, Exclusive Event (if there would be other weddings or other events going on at the same time) and Items of Note. I compiled a list of over 20 places, and from this list we chose eight venues to visit.
So pretty, but did not make the cut as it was out of our price range
Another super pretty place that we just couldn’t afford. I actually made and appointment here before I admitted to myself that it just wasn’t possible for us.
Six of the venues we wanted to visit were local either to where we live or where my parents live, so we scheduled those for the last weekend in July. We had plans to see one place on Friday, three on Saturday and another two on Sunday with a trip to Buttonwood farms on Saturday night to see their amazing sunflower display and to taste their incredible ice cream. We also had a lobster dinner planned for Sunday to celebrate my birthday, though this turned into an engagement celebration instead.
While we had made plans to look at two more venues in the Berkshires on August 6th, we ended up finding a venue we liked on our first tour and booked it right away. I plan on doing a short series detailing each of the six places we looked at and our pros and cons of each place. I’ll tell you what we picked after the series concludes. See if you can guess what we went with!
In the mean time, here is our first picture as an engaged couple at my parent’s back yard/field.
Note to self: Maxi dresses with wind do not make for the most flattering pictures.
Focus on the “rustic” scenery instead of on the rather large bottom portion of myself in this picture.