Sunday, April 13, 2014

v e n u e {shopping}

After what felt like months of coordination, we were finally able to pack our bags and head to Austin last weekend to meet with a couple of potential wedding venues! Coming only a short four months(!) after our engagement, this opportunity was welcomed!

Because I'm absolutely an obsessive compulsive shopper (please, and thank you!) I researched venues for months. Like literally, Santa has nothing on me. I made lists, checked them more than twice, and found out exactly via Yelp! reviews who was naughty and who was nice.

OK... I really couldn't resist that last one. 

Somewhere in there, I even took a couple of non-consecutive days off of work in order to get some of the major planning out of the way. I take my 'Bride' title extremely seriously, ya'll. Anyway...

Our venue search began immediately, and I mean that quite literally. We had a very narrow window of time once our airplane landed to jump in the car and catch a last-minute appointment at one of our top two picks. Talk about stressful! Let me also not fail to mention that our flight was delayed an hour leaving San Diego... Thank goodness for Southwest Airlines, where the motto should be 'sit down, shut up, buckle up!'. The pilot did some fancy flight work and got us to our final destination only 20 minutes behind schedule. 

The first venue we looked at is a beautifully restored 1883 Victorian mansion seated in downtown Austin. Architecturally, it is gorgeous. The space has high ceilings and creaky old wooden floors and a gorgeous wrap around porch, perfect for a cocktail post-wedding ceremony. The interior is a little small, but elegant, warm, and inviting nonetheless. The exterior features a century old Oak tree, meticulously wrapped in twinkly lights with crystal chandeliers hanging from it's low hanging branches. Absolutely stunning! 

Our next appointment wasn't for another day, so we had a day to explore our old stomping grounds. Following an early morning [Central Standard Time] wake-up call and fueled by Starbucks, Spencer and I met his family (who were in town visiting) for brunch before heading out to McKinney Falls. Despite the unseasonably chilly weather, we had a great time and took some gorgeous pictures in the bluebonnets. The next morning, my parents picked us up from the hotel and took us out to a late breakfast so we could catch up a bit before our last appointment. 

Despite the rainy weather, we were excited to see our second venue! Completely different than the first, this one is a a 17-acre secluded ranch-turned-wedding-venue perfectly situated for gorgeous views of the hill country. Also a historic site, it was purchased by the current owners who have taken extreme care to keep the property native to the land. The ranch features the original fireplace, reconstructed using natural stone found on the site, as one of the primary wedding ceremony backdrops as well as reclaimed pine wood trusses from the nearby 2011 fires on the interior. A darling little preserved 1800's-era log cabin sits just outside, begging to be the center of outdoor attention. A bit more sprawling than the previous, this place has a little bit of everything all in one spot!

Once we had seen both locations, we knew almost instantly where we wanted to be married. Of course, I started stressing immediately. What if the date we wanted is already booked? Will it be too cold in the early spring for an outdoor wedding? What if all the nearby hotels are already booked up? We didn't waste any time starting the phone calls around town, checking on pricing and availability, all the while I played Devil's Advocate with myself weighing out the pros and cons of each location. 

After several hiccups and one very stressful 24 hours, we finally reached the conclusion we had been waiting for. We booked our wedding venue! However, because we have yet to sign a contract; I'm keeping all information strictly tight lipped until we sign on the dotted line. Superstitious, you know.

 But in the meantime... yay! We can't wait to start this next chapter in our lives!

because we had a 'venue shopping entourage' at our last location,
my mom snapped a couple of pictures of Spencer and I. 


Cece said...

So exciting!! That was one of the most stressful things for me to nail down because you finally have a location and a date and you want it to be just right.

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