Emily Engaged

Going to the Chapel (Or Country Club, Hotel, Winery, or Ranch)

Guys. I haven’t written in a nearly a month and the reason is this—searching for a wedding venue sucks. I am not being melodramatic, it stinks so hard. Looking for a venue has been the biggest source of unhappiness, confusion and guilt during what is supposed to be a really happy time.The venue choice determines everything: the budget, the style, the guest list and the wedding date.

There is this strange pressure to have my wedding be the ultimate expression of who I am and who we are together. Why does that exist? Has it always been this way?As soon as we started looking for the right place, everything became difficult. The wedding seemed like it had to be everything to everyone; it wasn’t just about the two of us but about parking and bathrooms that were accessible to grandmas (no stairs) and space enough for two entire extended families. In the end, we were only able to find about three places that fit the bill and to be honest, I wasn’t crazy about any of them.

I thought I was supposed to have a moment of clarity, a feeling that I’d walked into the place I would be married. The only feeling I had was a bloated one, from emotionally eating too many gummy bears. After  weeks of uncertainty and crying and arguing over budget and everything else (Jim and I got into the worst fight we’ve ever had over this), I broke down during a phone call with my dad. I didn’t like any of the choices and due to our tight planning schedule, I had to make a decision. Then my dad, just like he’s done a hundred other times, calmed me down. He told me about his wedding and how he doesn’t really remember the room, the food, or the open bar package. He explained that what he remembers best is seeing how happy and proud his parents and my mom’s parents were. He remembers seeing his family and friends laughing and having fun, and all because this exciting thing was happening to him.

In the same way that a band-aid and a cookie made me feel better as a kid, I felt magically healed after talking to my dad that night. We’ve made our choice now (it’s the first place we looked at, naturally) and even though I don’t have lovey-dovey feelings for the venue, I kind of realized that I’m not really supposed to.  I think I had to mourn the loss of this dream wedding I had planned, and once I had, I was able to actually start to plan a real one.

Image courtesy of Wedding Party Venues

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