{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 !

{Napa Wedding Venue} Bardessono

As I continue on my search to finding my wedding venue, I thought I would show some of the places I have been to. Whether you are a bride in the area, or looking to have a destination in Northern California, I hope this series of posts will help to give you a real glimpse into the venues of the area. (PS-this is not a sponsored post. I simply went to check it out for fun!) Bardessono, located in Napa Valley, offers a completely different wedding experience. The hotel is surrounded by gorgeous greenery including a full vegetable garden in back (which the chefs often walk out to as all food is made with fresh items from the garden). Bardessono is luxurious yet has a charm about it that makes it a very modest beauty.

I met with Hedy, the director of the wedding area, so I could get a tour of the space and find out all the amazing details. She has a very impressive resume as a wedding planner, and had such an excitement about what the Bardessono space had to offer, which made me completely trust her with any wedding plans!

This is the space from above- including the central lounge area and the phenomenal views this space has to offer!

This is one of the ceremony spaces. It is right next to the reception space amid rock formations and a lot of greenery with a small path which goes over a little stream of water. This is a completely unconventional spot, but I feel in love with the natural decor and shape of the space.

Above is the vegetable garden I mentioned earlier and a pathway leading us around the property. Love it!

These are the venue areas. There is an indoor/outdoor area for the reception. The room looks pretty blahzeh which is true, but Hedy's excitement for the space options and head full of ideas on what can be done with the room gave me confidence that the space would not look drab in the end.

I love the pool area! I have never met anyone who shared my dream of a plexi-glass dance floor over a swimming pool as part of the wedding reception, until I met with her! I was so excited that I was not the only one who had thought that! She was talking of plans to use the pool space as a reception area, which I thought was a perfect idea!

Overall, I loved the feeling and class of the space and would love to have a wedding here. as far as I remember, the prices are reasonable, and they are definitely willing to work with budgets. E-mail her if you are interested in the space-hedy.macferran@bardessono.com

Let me know what you think about the space, or if you have a place you have been dying to go see!

All photos by Cooper Falk

Meadowood Napa Wedding

These pink hydrangeas with green accents are gorgeous!

Adorable place cards and props such as umbrellas make a unique staple!

This croquet-playing couple of San Francisco tied the knot at beautiful spot in Napa, California. When a couple takes a love they both share, such as croquet, and incorporates it into their wedding the personalization effect itself makes the wedding that much more unique and more fun!

I quite love this photography style and brings up a point to think about for your wedding day. What type of photographs do want to remember your big day? One Love Photography is a major love of mine. The detailed shot and artistic eye of One Love is phenomenal.

Venue: Meadowood Napa Coordinated By: Jessica Follett at "A Beautiful Affair Events"