Chris is from Wisconsin and his family and friends are mostly still in that area. My parents are about an hour north of NYC, but the rest of my family is spread out along the East Coast. Our common friends are all in New York, but there were a number of guests we wanted to invite who live far away from us.
So we considered:
- New York City (local, convenient to many, but expensive as hell)
- Wisconsin (much cheaper, but would require moving a large amount of guests)
- Pennsylvania (cheap, my extended family wouldn't have to travel so far)
- France (a three minute conversation just to see what it could be like)
- Vermont (pretty, especially in the summer... but tough to get to)
- Somewhere north of NYC near my parents' house or in Connecticut
Ultimately one of the main factors was that I knew we'd be doing a bunch of the wedding stuff ourselves (for financial reasons) and we felt as though planning a wedding from afar would be very stressful. We circled around NYC but avoided NYC proper. New York has tons of airports, which makes it convenient, but it's hella expensive to stay here.
In the end, we seriously considered three venues:
We picked Lasdon because it's about 5 minutes from where I grew up and because it was the least expensive. Also we got sick of discussing venues really fast and decided we did not want to spend weekend upon weekend visiting locations. (Boring!)
Getting married outside had its stresses (most notably, the weather), but it also had so many positives. We didn't have to worry about decorations. Who needs decorations when MOTHER NATURE is exploding with wonder around you? I also loved the idea of a big white tent, all lit up at night.
We decided to go with a BBQ theme because it conveyed "casual" and was an affordable option for us. We seriously considered bringing the wine and beer ourselves but in the end we would have only saved a couple hundred bucks and would have had a thousand billion extra things to worry about.
Wedding lesson #500: Sometimes, depending on the thing, it is better to pay someone else to do it, especially if it is going to be a major hassle for you. Save your strength for little hassles.
We set up the ceremony under a beautiful old tree and we were framed in a spot where two bushes curved towards each other. We got ready in the estate on the property, a gorgeous old white home, and we put the tent on a flat stretch of lawn. When it was dark, the only lights came from the tent and you could see stars forever and ever.
I love that we can revisit Lasdon whenever we want, as it's a public park. It will always remind me of that day, the stunning enormity of it all, and 99 of our favorite people gathered to witness our day.