Apologies for the lack of updates, it has been a whirlwind of a few weeks and work has been crazy busy. The wedding planning is underway and the first step is finding a location. We are looking in the Hudson Valley of New York State because it is where we’ve spent a lot of our time (West Point is up there) and it’s gorgeous. James and I want to have our ceremony and reception in the same place so as we look we are not only considering the ballroom and food options but the ceremony spot. Here are some things that I’ve learned along the way, and what may turn out to be deal breakers for us.

  1. Find out all of the costs-tax, service charges, etc. It all adds up. Fortunately I vetted the places first but I make sure to ask each person that we meet with what the total cost per person will be, with the extra charges.
  2. The details of the venue. One venue was pretty plain, not too many decorations, which would allow for me to plan more/have more of my own decorations. Another had draped fabric, making the space very elegant, maybe too elegant?
  3. The ceremony spot: The first place we saw (which was admittedly low on our list already) had what appeared on their website to have a great garden for ceremonies. Well, when we got there it was a cornered off part of a parking lot. Blocked by tall bushes, but still, to get there from the bridal suite I walk across the parking lot. I wasn’t too impressed. Also, it was very skinny, so while it would fit all of our guests, one side would have 4 seats, the other 6. It was a bit awkward.
  4. Places to take photos: the location above, we’d have our photos in the parking lot…yeah, no thanks. Other places were on the waterfront with more options, and bridal suites with balconies with the same views of the Hudson, needless to say I’d rather remember my wedding day with the gorgeous backdrop.
  5. The menu. Ok so if you don’t know already, I love food. And so does James. So food is going to be important. The menus are extensive and offer huge cocktail hour options, which seem a little much, but one did offer to really customize the menu depending on what’s in season. And their chefs are from the Culinary Institute of America. I have yet to try the food, but I was impressed with that portion of the meeting. Another place misspelled Pekin duck as Pegin, it’s not a deal breaker but makes me think a bit less of them, I won’t lie.

So that is some of what we are looking for and what we’re learning along the way. I will most likely make a pro/con list here in the near future if it comes down to 2 places. I’m hoping to have a real a-ha moment at one of our next few location visits (there are at least 2 left, maybe 3). I’ll keep you posted. And fyi: I’m not giving out location names because I want James and I to make this decisions for us, not with help. Also, in this instance, I’m protecting the innocent, after all these are my thoughts for my wedding, these locations could work for someone else, and who knows we could pick 1 of these 3 in the end.