Thursday, September 3, 2015

Huston, we have a venue!

I got engaged in April while between gigs and on a lovely vacation in Mexico. But instead of starting to frantically plan the wedding, I instead immediately began a very intense and time-consuming project that didn't slow down until sometime in July. By that time, we were fairly sick of people asking where and when the wedding was, so we decided it was probably best to, at the very least, pick a date and a venue. Easy peasey, right? Because I've been planning my wedding since I was a little girl and already have every last detail already worked out?


Suffice it to say, I'm not that type of girl. If you had asked me even four years ago if I'd ever get married, I'd have laughed in your face. "Commit to one person? I can't even commit to a hair color!" I'd quip as I brazenly tossed back a vodka cran. But then things changed, as they are often wont to do. I met a boy and he liked me and I liked him and the next thing I knew there was an old miner's cut diamond on my left hand.

But back to the venue. Or actually, first and foremost, the city. He's from Cincinnati, I'm from Chicago, we live in NYC - so clearly, we should have the wedding in New York, because that's where we as a couple reside, and planning a wedding remotely would be a pain. So we made a list of all the possible venues in New York and immediately crossed off 80% of them because they would have resulted in a wedding that would cost more than the GDP of a few small African countries. Of the remaining venues, we then crossed off any of the raw, DIY spaces. I quite literally move furniture for a living, and the last thing I want to do on my wedding day is worry about how to pack up the folding chairs to send back to Rentals-R-Us. So that left us with a handful of hotels and restaurants in Brooklyn and Queens - and of those options, we actually did find a gorgeous restaurant in Long Island City that would have been the perfect venue for our perfect day - except that the nearest hotel to that restaurant had projected rates of $300/night in 2016. Which would have meant that a large number of our out-of-town guests would have attended the wedding under a considerable amount of financial stress, which isn't exactly the vibe we're going for.

At this point, in between the words "elope?" and "Mexico?" I made my way to Chicago for an intense four-day venue searching extravaganza. J couldn't get off of work, so my parents graciously accompanied me to eight different site visits. Some were too expensive, some were too remote, and some were just plainly not what I was envisioning - but after much, much discussing and deliberation and pros-and-cons-ing we finally and officially settled on a most beautiful, sun-lit, floor-to-ceiling-windowed 14th floor of a Hilton in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The location is convenient. Room rates are affordable. I won't feel like I'm getting married in a cave. Or a hallway. The wedding will still cost the price of a small car, but a really crappy car. We feel we are in good hands with the venue coordinator. I am excited to walk down the aisle in this venue. 

I'd love to say that there are no more decisions to be made and nothing more I need to do until the day of the wedding, but hah! This is just the tip of the iceberg. Planning a wedding is already the most insane experience I've ever had, and I once had to squeegee butt-prints off of a shower wall at a gay club in Kentucky. I THINK I'm going to DIY a few aspects of the wedding, but since my eye started twitching as I typed that, I may have to rethink any and all visions of hand-stamped reclaimed wood. But the Pinterest muse does sing loudly through these streets, and I'll be damned if I don't listen to her at least once in a while.

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