July 7, 2010

Picking the Perfect Venue

Welcome to Wedding Wednesdays! The one day a week I talk about my BIG DAY! 
I am looking for all the advice I can get so please comment!!

The day after Stud Muffin proposed he did the sweetest thing in the world! 
He gave me these for my beach reading!!!
He apparently didn't know what he had done! I went into full wedding mode! (Lucky for me, Stud Muffin is kinda into the whole process as well.) I couldn't get enough!!
While I was totally clueless to the fact that I was going to get engaged, we had discussed what we would like to do for a wedding many times. I knew I wanted to be a beach bride and I knew that the Florida Keys were the place. Now, we just needed to find "the place". 
We had two thoughts about this. One, Key Largo:  this is where I spent all my spring breaks as a child and brought Stud Muffin to meet my Gege for the first time. Our 2nd option was Key West:  This was a stop on our first vacation together and the place where we were engaged. Both places had sentimental value and both places seemed like great fun!! 
Before I continue I would like to say that I have one real piece of criteria for my wedding:  Everyone must have fun!! Other than that... not too concerned about much. 
So... we thought we would get information on the place we were engaged as a possible wedding location. 

Sunset Key:  While pretty and extremely fun... WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!! $65,000 to rent the place out! (Please be advised that during these posts I will make numerous references to how everything costs too much. This is not to offend anyone who spent hundreds of thousands on their wedding, its just not me. Or remotely practical for me. + I was raised by someone who wants to cook burgers in the back yard... & no, I am not referring to Steve Martin in Father of the Bride.) $65, 000 could be a down payment on a house. It could feed so many people. Did I mention that they weren't even going to comp our room the night of the wedding? This was a NO NO NO. But at least we checked because I would have always wondered. 

This is where I really thought I would be married. We walked in and I saw this aisle!! 
This would be a GRAND entrance I thought and could actually see myself getting married! I was really really excited. We didn't call to make an appointment with the planner we just thought we would stop by and check it out. The planner wasn't in, so we grabbed a brochure and had a drink at the pool bar. While having my drink I pretty much planned out what everything would look like. 
The next week my mother went to Casa Marina with my Aunt and Gege to meet with the planner. He said I couldn't use the walk way! Why? Because they won't block it for the 20 seconds it takes me to walk down it. He said they did it before and people walked through the Brides Entrance!! WHAT??? Really?? Craziness I tell you! This news did not make me think that I would count it out. Then came the... You can have the date you want but we do have a pirate convention that weekend so you will not be the only event. Hmm... maybe not. What about another weekend? Well, sure! In 2012!!!! Ooooooooookay.... NEXT!

We moved up the Keys to Islamorada, FL and checked out what I thought would definitely be the winner. Morada Bay Cafe! I love this restaurant and it has the prettiest beach in the Keys in my opinion. 
We met with the planner and there was a rather large site fee of $10,000. This included... the beach. Oh, and a few chairs and the normal restaurant tables that have no table cloths. At first I thought it would work but then when we went back with Mom in tow... those plans were gone. This is when I learned that My Mother knows much more about planning my wedding than I do. I had no idea what questions to ask or how to say no to things. Like always, I need my Mommy.

With my favorite Key West location out and my favorite Key Largo (ish) location out, I was very discouraged. Stud Muffin was pushing for Key West because he thought that in the "down time" his friends would have more fun and those that were planning to stay for a week long vacation wouldn't have to drive from one Key to the other. My parents really wanted it in Key Largo as it was sentimental to them. I really wanted everyone to stop looking at me and saying that it was "my choice... BUT". What I wanted was for someone else to make the decision and be the one to disappoint someone. I want to have a fun wedding and not worry about if it is sentimental to one group or more convenient for another group's vacation. Did I mention that everything looked too pricey? I just wanted to cry. I had been engaged a whole week and was OVER IT! 
We checked out a place in Key Largo and as we entered Stud Muffin announces "I Hate IT!", we were still in the parking garage. Awesome! This is gonna be so freakin awesome! We checked out another place in Key Largo and he liked it a bit better. He still liked Key West the best (as did I) but said if this was more affordable it would be acceptable. 
I came home from our Keys vacation very excited about being engaged but with a bad taste in my mouth about the process that was beginning. All I could think was that I was never gonna get a date I wanted in a place that everyone wanted. I can't please everyone. 
Mom and Dad called and BINGO!!! They went and checked out a place that we kept overlooking assuming that it would be too expensive. Dad loved it, Mom loved it, my Gege loved it!! It was affordable and gorgeous! Stud Muffin and I have yet to see it but we trust my Mommy. They had a date on one of the weekends I wanted and it was the cheaper of the 2 weekends I had picked. Stud Muffin and I are super excited and I cannot wait to go take my own tour of Cheeca Lodge in July!! 

Moral to this story... Just let Mom do it!

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