Once we came to terms with our budget and ran more numbers on my ridiculous budget spreadsheet, we had some more long discussions about what we wanted to do with our wedding.
I was surprised to hear that Mister P had fallen for the Outdoor Garden at Phipps. I always loved the idea of getting married outside, but weather in Pittsburgh is pretty unpredictable, and I didn’t want to stress about the weather, so I didn’t think getting married outside was a realistic option for me. Though it is beautiful.
And after the ceremony, the new Mr. and Mrs. can take a “love walk” through the garden…
The more I thought about the wedding, though, I realized it really doesn’t matter to me whether the wedding is inside or outside – I’m going to stress about the weather regardless, because that’s just the way I am. I might as well take my chances on a beautiful garden wedding, and potentially have to get married on a sidewalk under a tent as a plan B. Obviously that option is less than ideal, but at the end of the day, I’ll be married to the love of my life, and I’m trying to keep the whole thing in perspective as I stress about the details that don’t really matter. 😛
So I narrowed it down to 3 choices, and made appointments to visit Phipps Conservatory and the Mayernik Center. The North Park Boathouse didn’t have an email, so I would have to call to set up an appointment. I’m not ashamed to say that actually having to call someone is a serious deterrent for me. *shrug* Gen Y, lazy. So make that 2 choices.
Thankfully, I had the good sense to schedule both visits pretty close together so that, if we loved the first venue, we wouldn’t have long to wait before we could see the second, and then we could make a decision! It was definitely a good choice, because all of the details were fresh in our minds, and it made October “wedding month” for us! Somewhat coincidentally, it also marked the 2-year mark from our intended wedding date. I say “intended” because, well, things change. 🙂
First up was Phipps. We had an appointment to visit Phipps’ Garden Center first, which is a smaller, more casual area that only holds 100 people. I thought that would be okay for us, since Phipps was pricey anyway, and we would be limiting our guest list already. Once I saw the Garden Center, though, it was immediately ruled out. We visited on a Sunday when it was set up for an event, which just so happened to be the brunch of a wedding held at the Conservatory the night before. The set-up wasn’t a deterrent, but the overall look of the Garden Center was just NOT what I wanted. It was too casual for what we want our reception to be (ironic, since I think we’re having a casual wedding, but this was more “jeans” casual), and it was just too small. They say it holds 100, but it looked to me like over 60 would be pushing it, and there wouldn’t be room for a dance floor with that many people there.
The first wedding-related research I started was for our venue. I knew that finding and booking a venue would mold the rest of our decisions – the date, the guest list (kind of), the vendors, but most of all, the feeling of our wedding. I never really considered our wedding to have a “theme” other than “our wedding,” so finding the right venue with the right feeling was of the utmost importance.
When I started researching venues, I used all of the online tools I could find… in a few minutes. You see, I don’t have the most patience, despite my obsessive need desire to make sure that I do thorough research before making a decision. I googled wedding venues in the area, scoured recent weddings of friends on facebook, and looked at all of the local venues on the Knot, WeddingWire, and WeddingBee. Nothing really stood out to me. But there was one place in which I always dreamed of getting married…
This has been my dream since long before a wedding was on the horizon, since before I met Mister P (Master P?), and probably even before I thought about anything else wedding-related. I just knew it was a gorgeous place, and a wedding there would be to. die. for.
Needless to say, it’s a pretty pricey option, and one that I was pretty sure was out of the budget. So I put it on the back burner, chalked it up to being just a dream and moved on with my research.