Bridal Banter: Wedding Venues

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Wedding Planning. While we have complete control over the complexity of this role, the astounding number of options available to us generally subtracts the notion of ‘simple’ from the wedding equation.

Selecting a venue for my big day was one of those head-spinning decision. Firstly, choosing from an array of equally enticing options was not within the realm of my expertise. Secondly, the venue would ultimately set the stage for what would be the most significant event in my life to date. So where does one begin?

As I sat down and pondered how I would proceed with this mammoth task, I realised I should be embracing the project at hand. It was a once in a lifetime endeavour, one that should be handled with grace.

Once I assumed a more positive state of mind and had put my ‘stress’ reflexes to rest, I was able to enjoy the process of planning. Naturally, deciding on a venue is the first element that comes to mind in any wedding planning operation. However, there are certain prerequisites that I feel, should be adhered to first.

Define your ‘dream wedding’ in terms of size and style and work around that definition. Embrace the multitude of wedding resources at your disposal and use this as inspiration for perfecting your ‘dream wedding.’ Bear in mind that this may differ from what you had originally envisioned, and that’s okay. Priorities change. We change.

Initially, I had my mind set on a Boho-style backyard wedding on a farm. But, after much consideration, I wanted my wedding day to be timeless, rather than a potential example featured on ‘Worst Wedding Fads of the Decade.’

Once you and the groom have agreed on the size and style, identify your top priorities to facilitate the decision-making process. The best way to keep your priorities in order is to remember: Guest List, Venue, Detail. Your ‘dream venue’ should not, by any means, dictate your guest list. Compose a list of criteria that complements your wedding definition, specify whether these conditions are ‘fixed’ or ‘flexible’ and use this as a decision manual.

My primary concern was finding a venue that could accommodate my garden ceremony and indoor reception. I personally felt obliged to provide guests with a place to mingle while I indulged myself in a few professional wedding shots. This way, the guests would have a place to relax while the bridal party disappeared momentarily. Each to their own, but this was not a factor that I was willing to negotiate upon.

Given that the venue would serve as the backdrop to my wedding, I wanted a picturesque display of nature in all its glory, preferably by a lake or waterfront of some sort. It was simply a process of elimination to create a shortlist of waterfront venues that satisfied my fixed criteria.

I’ve always had an unstoppable need to rush everything and pursue projects with an unwarranted level of urgency. What I’ve learnt though, is a long engagement isn’t a bad thing. It’s not a race. Enjoy the journey. Rushing the process (for no valid reason) may cause you to regret certain decisions down the line, not to mention the risk of stress induced Bridezilla moments!

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