{Help} Narrowing Down the Venues!

I am about to get amazingly personal with all of you, so I sure hope you’re ready for it! I have been so venue-challenged, and I feel like it is only getting worse. It has been almost 8 months and I swear, if I don’t find one soon, I’m giving up! So, I am going to lay it all out here for all of you with the hope that some feedback is just what I need to pick the right place!I started this wedding planning process with the idea that I could do the wedding for $10,000. Now, that may be a very popular number these days for those budget brides, but I never thought that $10,000 would mean giving up my Vera Wang, my fire pit and lounge areas, or all the other million things I wanted. And let me say this in my defense, I never would have had to. I’m smart, resourceful and very DIY handy. I know it could have been done. So, why am I not doing that? Well, because I woke up to the amount of work it would take and the amount of hours I work in a week (well over 100) and I just realized that I would burn myself to the bone. I don’t have the time like I used to.

So, fine. I got over that and I upped the budget. I let the parents and everyone help out and we came to yet another agreement, which sounded fair enough. The only problem is that I can’t get the REASON behind the $10,000 budget out of my head. That’s a lot of money. Really, it is! So, where do I draw the line? That’s the problem I keep struggling with.

Ok, now onto the venues, I have three solid options at this point. Read my pros and cons and let me know what you think!

  1. Ventana Inn

I absolutely love this place (remember when I talked about it before), but it is definitely the most expensive! I would get one terrace for both ceremony and reception. The terrace holds 80 people total. This means I am cutting my guest list by 50! (We both have big families). So let’s say I can cut the guest list, those 80 chosen ones are still going to cost $75 per plate for dinner. This is not a bad number, but adding the drinks on is a whole new story! For 2 hours of open bar, it costs $35. 2 hours! OMG, that’s insane. So unless I want to be tacky and make an announcement that everyone needs to literally stock up, I have to pay $10 per hour per person after those two hours. And what about during dinner, during speeches. My 2 hours includes people not being able to stand because of speeches! Lame.Roughly, I will probably end up spending $150 per head for everything including 30% of random dumb extra charges. So, all in all, this wedding scenario will cost me $14,200 for 80 guests. 20 of which are in the bridal party!

Not to mention all of that, the rooms at this place are about $500 per night! I just can’t make my guests do that. So, I would have to research a cute Inn near by.

This one is definitely the splurge and probably my favorite option, if I had the money for it and was comfortable spending that!

  1. Vignette Vintage Ranch

UPDATE: Radonich Ranch and Vignette Events turned into a nightmare of a situation and I ended up taking this option out entirely. Read more about the details: {Venue Nightmare} Radonich Ranch and Vignette Events.

This spot is great, but it’s not 100% my style. I am definitely more a fan of the refined, classy, chic look. It’s a little harder for me to think with rustic, vintage, distressed, and shabby looks. Every wedding I see makes me crave a ranch wedding though, which is why this place is in the running. Only Beer and Wine (but it is BYO meaning I will save literally thousands of dollars!) caterer is $86 per person. It is all inclusive with tables, chairs, linens, taxes, etc. etc. etc. That’s sooooo nice! But, I have a feeling this venue just isn’t the nicest vintage barn. But does that matter?? Chandeliers, lanterns, couches and fire pits should handle that just fine! This one would be about $13,000 for 100 guests including everything. Cheaper and more guests, but definitely not as nice.

Photos: Vignette Website

  1. My parent’s backyard

You may have heard me bring this up before. Well, its definitely still in my mind! My thought is that I would do WHATEVER I wanted and go a little psychotic on the details and the décor. Heck, I have months to do all the prep work. I would save so much money finding my own caterer and bringing in my own drinks. It would be half the cost roughly. So, I decided the one thing that could make me fall in love with this idea would be to plexi-glass the pool and make it the dance floor!  It would be the splurge of the event, but it would be INCREDIBLE! I would still be spending under $14,000 to do food and everything including the plexi-glass.

The con is definitely that it is not set up for a wedding, so it makes it far more difficult. I would want to find a place for the ceremony that wasn’t the house. I’ll have to research some places around the area. The other problem is that there are no epic photo spots. I want some great photos and the backyard just won’t provide that for me. This is definitely a huge consideration of mine!

Check this for ALL the pictures of my parents backyard!

So there you have it.

I would LOVE to hear thoughts and suggestions, ideas or even other venues you think I must see! I need some help ehre, and I am turning to the people that have been riding this wedding planning wave with me for the past 7 months! I know you guys know what I want, what a great wedding is, and what the best decision is-so go for it!

Thanks !