Deciding on the venue + date has to be the toughest part of the wedding (at least until we work on finalizing our invite list – but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it)… looking at pictures and reviews – and of course prices, was a stressful part of this planning process. For as many as possible, I tried to get emails with quotes, confirmation of availablity, catering options and also a feel for how the people were to work with. It helped that I knew going in I wanted a very Southern wedding in the Carolinas with a barn for the reception that had air conditioning and was more than a tent… (did I mention I was raised on a farm?!)
One guy, had a gorgeous barn in Chapel Hill, a 12-hour rental, and very reasonable prices but his communication was equivalent to that of an angry gorilla and thus, I wanted no part of paying him any money – or having to deal with his nonsense throughout the process. I asked to answer some questions + provide a quote through email… to which he responded no, that I must call. So I asked if he could please just address the capacity, availability and catering questions through email (so I would know if it was worth my time to call) – and I did explain to him that I work full time and then immediately go to graduate school afterwards and this was the response:
NO E-MAILS. DO YOU WORK ALL NIGHT TOO?
We moved on from that one REAL FAST. Next up was The Angus Barn in Raleigh, which quickly got marked off the list for their $20,000 food minimum. Um, what? I’m sorry… I don’t want to spend that much on my entire wedding, much less the food (it did include alcohol as well) but still… that’s a lot of money. It was beautiful and I’m sure our wedding would have been perfect there, but it was purely a budgeting/financial issue with that one.
I knew Fearrington Village had a beautiful barn area as we had visited it before, but I had my suspiscions that it would be out of our price range… and I was right. It was about $9,000 to have the ceremony and reception there… that’s before food, alcohol, wedding dress, etc. Again, I’m sure it would have been a beautiful wedding, but I’d rather put that $9,000 towards a new house than on a one-night special event.
Then there was The Dairy Barn … enter angels singing “Hallelujah!” We were smitten from the moment we arrived. Gorgeous green fields with horses romping, a sweet, old farm house as you pull up, and last but not least, the Dairy Barn itself. It was fabulous. Plus, we got this feeling of being very comfortable working with the folks from there that we hadn’t had from talking to anyone else. AND with using the Dairy Barn for our reception, we get access to all 2300 acres that Leroy Springs has to offer and can have our ceremony anywhere we want!
There is also a fabulous upstairs space in the Dairy Barn that we can use somehow (haven’t figured this out yet) but it can also be our “Plan B” in case it rains and ruins the outdoor ceremony we are planning.
So there it is… our venue! Meeting tomorrow to sign the contract and pay the deposit… our very first deposit on our wedding (eeek!). I am one very happy bride-to-be knowing that this tough decision has been made and will be finalized in the morning. Venue, check…..