We are finally really, officially, planning our wedding and I think I am going to share the whole process here for you guys. But to give you some context of how we got here and the struggle it was to get HERE thats what this blog post is going to be about.
On December 11th, 2016 Andrew and I got Engaged.
By January we had already begun the wedding planning process. We picked the date August 11th, 2018. It was a combo of the month we started dating and the date we got engaged and then gave us a year and half to plan. Also, Andrew later pointed out that it was 8/11/18 which was the same forward and it was backwards and that was kind of cool. So, January – February we dedicated our time to looking at all the beautiful venues in the area.
Now let me breakdown some things for you (factors, requirements, etc)
- We were paying for the wedding on own, so we had a decently tight budget
- Not only do we live in California, but we live in the Bay Area where the Average wedding is about 40K
- We needed a venue within 2 hours of the Bay Area. We have older grandparents who could not travel far.
- We had a solid guest list of 130. and that was JUST FAMILY and super close friends that were basically family. That wasn’t regular friends, that wasn’t co-workers, family friends, plus ones. Nothing.
- And this one was a personal preference but I would have liked somewhere historical.
So, if you are not aware with wedding planning and for our area, I was asking for the holy grail. Mind you, because of our budget and limitations I wasn’t asking for my dream wedding. I was compromising on a lot to just have a decently nice wedding.
We visited a total of 6 Venues. Nestldown in Santa Cruz Mountains (gorgeous, but WAY out of our price range). Grand Island Mansion in Walnut Grove ( I loved it, was in our price range, but the drive to the venue was sketch. Can’t ask granny to be driving that at night), The Perry House in Monterey (it was okay, I just didn’t love it), The General’s Daughter in Sonoma (Which was nice, but just didn’t feel like THE place) , Rengstorff House in Mountain View (also pretty, SUPER affordable, but we decided against it since it is inside of a park, that would still be open to the public) and then Kohl Mansion in Burlingame.
Once we arrived at Kohl Mansion I was in love, Andrew loved it too and I knew we had found my dream location. It was something straight out of Downton Abbey. We ended up soft booking our date and I remember asking the planner how much the deposit was for the venue. She told me $500. and i remember saying out loud “WOW, that is it?! That is super low for a deposit!” and she said something to the effect of agreement. We left pretty sure we would book the venue but needing some time to really think about it.
Flash forward two weeks later. We decide by the next coming week we will officially book the venue. Andrew just wanted to get the finances in order first. That’s when I get an email from another wedding coordinator from Kohl Mansion letting us know that another couple had come and wanted to book right away for our date. Since, we had the date first it was up to us to pay the deposit at the end of the day to secure our date. Immediate panic set in, but I didn’t think it was too big a deal as we were planning on booking the venue within a few days anyhow. I talked to Andrew and he agrees we can book the venue, and I email the wedding coordinator to let her know we would like the venue and to confirm the deposit was $500. She responds back.. “No, $6,000” Immediately, I was both sad and angry. Angry cause that clearly is NOT what we were told and sad cause I knew we did not have $6,000 to just drop right then.
After that experience, I was heartbroken. Up until the then I felt like I was FINALLY going to get a wedding ( I was married before, we ended up eloping) and this made me feel like it was never going to happen. Finding a venue that fit all the criteria and wasn’t asininely expensive was hard work and all my energy had been diminished. During this time Andrew and I had been trying to get pregnant with Baby #2. We gave ourselves a time limit until June that way once the baby was born we still have time to do wedding stuff. However, after this I remember asking “Andrew what do you want more?, to focus on the wedding or keep trying for a baby instead?” He picked the baby.
To Be Continued…