{Venue Search} Which is your Favorite??

Let's ALL cross our fingers that this is the last time I EVER mention trying to find a venue. Gawwwd, I am so done with this part. I am beyond ready to get onto the FUN stuff!!!! First off thanks SO much for sticking by me this whole time in my search for the venue, and hopefully at some point, my whole process of designing and planning my wedding. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it all.

OK, take your pick. Obvi they are all great places, but each has some definite pro's and con's, so I have to figure out which I may not be ok with.

Taber Ranch: gorgeous barn and ranch! This one is the cheapest option by far, but there are a few major cons. 1. May not allow fire pits, 2. It is in the middle of no where! There is only one Inn to stay at, and it may not fit everyone?? 3. It is 2 hours away! I don't know how much guests feel about such a FAR drive!

Costanoa: I actually don't have too many pro's or con's with this as Ian just found it last night. It's close and it's cute, but I have no info on pricing and all that.

Calistoga Ranch: LOVE this place so much. This is the extremely over-budget option that I love. But, I must say that this option is not my obsession as much as it sounds. It doesn't have a ranch or barn like I have decided that I wanted. BUT, I still love it. It's gorgeous, but it will cut the guest list and up the budget just a lot!

Thoughts??? Which is your favorite??? Any other Northern California options that you guys have??

PS: Just for kicks, let me show the option I would DIE for....if I wanted to pay the $10,000-$20,000 site fee....plus $250++ per person for food.

{Our Wedding} Finding The Venue

UPDATE: As much as I LOVED this venue for our wedding, everything took a sour turn and the venue ended up turning into a nightmare.....Read about the Radonich Ranch venue nightmare here. Holy Moly this has been quite the morning! I haven't been able to sit down and write a blog post as I have been busy talking to the coordinator of the venue I love :) I always have a good reason!

Yep, you read it right. Going to book, like in real life, like that point of the wedding planning I never thought I would get to. Yep, I'm there! And boy has it been a journey.

Source: 100 Layer Cake

When I first started all of this, I told myself (and all of you) to hold out for the perfect venue with the perfect price, not to settle for something less, and even if it takes forever, don't give up. Well, I just barely followed my own advice! I was looking for so long at so many places. I almost settled on some amazing and totally over budget venues many times. Each time I knew I wouldn't be happy feeling ripped off, but that there seemed to be no other solution. The idea of looking on herecomestheguide.com one more time made me want to die. I gave up many times, and came back to it many times. I have created some tips to venue searching in case it helps any of you that are going through hell finding the venue.

Google It: Whenever I find a venue that I like, I search google images to get more photos of the space, inspiration from other weddings held there, and an overall reality on the feel of the space. When I found Vignette Vintage Ranch I did that and found some really great weddings, so I had an idea of how it all went and what the feel of the space was going to be.

Talk It Over: Right before going to see the space, I prepped myself for it. A few of my BM's and I talked about different ideas I wanted to add to the wedding and how (or if) those would fit in. Turns out that all the various ideas I wanted for my wedding would fit perfectly with this space. I also realized that the runner-up venues, weren't the right style for the ideas I had. This made me mentally prepared to picture everything in the space when we went to see it.

Prioritize: No venue is going to have every single thing you ever want, especially if you are in a budget. You sort of have to prioritize whats important and what isn't. I actually didn't have to do that too much. Because of the price, I was able to keep my whole guest list and the one thing I really wanted, fire pits, I was able to negotiate and get them. Yay for that.

Get Inspired: If you have a vision of your wedding and a style you are going for, it makes it a lot easier to picture yourself and your wedding in that space. Get inspired with ideas for your wedding so you know what you want. Vineyard, Rustic, Barn, etc. This can definitely be rather hard, especially if you are taking items from so many different styles, but once you get the vision together, I swear it will make it so much easier.

Don't Give Up: I'll be the first to say it, easier said than done! I totally know! You want to settle and you want to go over budget just to get it over with. But in reality you probably won't be very happy in the end. Going over budget either means more stress and cutting out people or ideas you really wanted and neither of those are really fun. I literally waited for 8 months of constant searching and feeling like nothing would ever pop up. I felt like I had seen every venue again and again. If you just wait it out, you will find something.

You'll Be Surprised: When you find the venue, you will definitely be surprised about it all, and it will feel amazing! I talked to the coordinator of our venue and it turns out she does the centerpiece flowers, supplies mason jars, old boxes, milk jars, apothecary jars, antique old linens, etc. SCORE! That is going to save me a lot of money right there! On top of all that, the price is far. See, it somehow all worked out and everything fell into place, though I pretty much assumed it never would.

Overall, this place is perfect for me. It won't stretch my budget to an ungodly amount and I will still be able to have everyone there that I want to be there. (Except Bear sad face) I get to incorporate all the ideas I have into this space, and best of all, it will all turn out perfectly! I never really knew that this is what I was envisioning this whole time, but it totally is!

Anyone else have really good suggestions for those in venue turmoil??? It's such a hard process.

Hey, check out the journey I have taken to finding a venue from the original Aptos dilemma, to the back yard wedding pros and cons, including the actual backyard I would have it in! Also, there was the time I was going to pay a ridiculous amount in site fees. Down to the time where I just sent a plea for help on the blog! And finally, pictures of the actual wedding venue!

How am I planning on decorating this amazing venue?? Check out a few of my favorite things I plan to incorporate, S'more favors, my actual wedding favors pies,  and some really cool centerpieces that I love!