Easier said than done. With T-minus seven months to go, we're pretty much at the whim of the location's availability. The "Guide to Planning Family Reunions" recommends booking a location 1 to 2 years in advance. Yipes!
Here's what we're looking for:
- We want to be able to spend quality time with our friends and family. We don’t want to follow the traditional pattern of a few wedding “events” where the bride and groom only have time for a “meet and greet”: rehearsal dinner, reception, brunch the following morning.
- Instead, we would like to be able to rent out an entire bed and breakfast or a group of cottages or a ranch or a lodge, so we can have something more like a family reunion.
- We want everyone to be able to enjoy nature: hiking trails, a camp-fire, etc. (a lake with canoeing and swimming would be ideal!) at a leisurely pace.
- We want to find the right balance between comfortable accommodations and not overly-pricy ones. In other words, we don’t want everyone to sleep in bunks, but we also don’t want people to have to spend $200+ for a room every night.
- We are really trying to stay within a $2,000 budget. I know that sounds nearly impossible for a wedding these days, but it’s important to us to that we don’t waste a lot of money (ours or anyone else’s) on one day. We’d rather have money go towards a honeymoon or a down-payment on our first house. If we can find some place that we can fill up with all of our guests (who will pay for their own rooms), then we would probably be able to use a lot of the facilities without having to pay a whole lot.
- I really want to dance outside. I’m not sure if that looks like a deck or renting a dance floor or what! I just know that I love dancing under the stars.
- We’ve talked a lot about location. We initially narrowed it down to , , or Houston. We’re thinking about crossing and off the list because we’re worried that the wedding might be unbalanced with one set of friends/family, if we hold it in either of our hometowns. That leaves and Houston, and is obviously the more desirable place to be in the summer!
- In terms of the guest list, we’re at a whopping 160 right now! But given the fact that it’s a “destination wedding” since everyone will be traveling from out of town, I’m sure the numbers will dwindle significantly. I also think we could trim some off the guest list if we found the perfect place that couldn’t accommodate that many.