Originally, I didn't want to have a traditional wedding; it seemed like a lot of work and planning. My original plan was to go to Las Vegas to get married -- it could be like a vacation, then Danny and I could take off for our Honeymoon in Disneyland! Then, I went to Las Vegas and didn't exactly love it.
I then thought I should have a courthouse wedding and a reception at my parents' house. The more I thought about that, however, the more I realized it was kind of impossible. My parents house is set up a long driveway, with almost no parking. And if it rained, would everyone be able to fit in the house? Could we rent a tent? The tents we found were too big for the space we had! And parking? Where would 100 people park?
I realized then that I would have a rent a place for the reception. I really liked the idea of having it at one of the wineries near where I grew up. I've lived near King Estates Winery my entire life, but when I researched their prices (and many stipulations), I realized that while it was certainly a possibility, it was way too much money for me! My mom and I had visited Sweet Cheeks when I first got engaged and I really liked it. It's a very pretty winery closer to Eugene, set up on a hill with the vines running down the hillside.
A few months later, we visited Sweet Cheeks again during the summer. I fell in love with it and realized it was where I wanted to get married. The problem was... they didn't do weddings or receptions on Fridays. I was planning to get married at the courthouse (which would obviously have to be on a weekday), then have the reception. Even worse, the Saturday after I planned to get married, they had book for another event. Could I get married on a Friday, rest Saturday, then have a reception Sunday? It seemed really... drawn out. Danny's family would have to rent places for a lot more days than they really needed to and it was just a lot of time. Sweet Cheeks had become the place I wanted to have my reception -- I couldn't see it happening anywhere else.
Then, I realized: having the "traditional wedding" made so much more sense in this situation. A service, a dinner, a reception. It wasn't necessarily "settling" -- as I've said, my main goal for my wedding was keeping things simple. I just wanted something that was simple for everybody and while a courthouse wedding would certainly be simple, the logistics just were not working. It was making everything a lot more complicated for everyone, from friends and family to my photographer! Of course, switching to a full wedding meant a lot more things to plan, but I was fine with that. I actually found myself getting very excited about it, too! More and more, I realized how much I saw myself getting married to Danny at Sweet Cheeks... I couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else.
When it came to picking a venue, here were the main things I looked for:
- Reasonably priced. As an example, King's Estate charged over $6,000 for their most simple wedding venue area (they have two or three, if I remember right). Sweet Cheeks charges about half that!
- The option to have outside catering. This is really a personal preference because I'm such a picky eater and I'm kind of cheap! Many venues now only allow you to use their on-site catering or restaurant, which means they can charge whatever they want. Sweet Cheeks was high on my list because they allow any licensed caterer.
- Aesthetics. Obviously, you want to get married somewhere that you think is pretty!
- Proximity to home. For whatever reason, I got very attached to getting married and/or having the reception close to where I grew up. I love where I live and I am very sentimental about it. Sweet Cheeks is down the road from the house where my great-grandmother grew up!
It feels so weird to have done such a 180 from what I originally wanted for my wedding! My parents didn't have a traditional wedding (they got married in Reno) and so I never really grew up thinking weddings were that big of a deal. However, the more I plan my wedding, the more I realize how much fun it's going to be to have just a few hours to marry Danny and celebrate that fact with all the people we love!
More than anything, it was important for me to find a place that felt "right." As much as I loved some venues, they just didn't feel right, or they had too many rules (such as using their catering), or they were too expensive (or a combination of all three)! Sweet Cheeks just felt like the right place and altering my wedding plans were worth it to get married in that space.
Have a wonderful Tuesday! If you have anything you want me to write about in regards to wedding planning, let me know!