Big Decisions: The Venue (Part 1)

Even though we’ve already booked most of our “big” stuff, I think it’s helpful to reflect on how we actually came to our decisions. So, our first BIG decision was the venue. Because, obviously we couldn’t have a date without the venue.
Before we started looking, we talked about what was most important to us. We decided that our absolute number one priority was having a beautiful ceremony location.

Can I brag about my guy just a little bit here? I love him so much. When I asked him what was more important to him about our wedding, he said (without any prompting) he wanted to ceremony to be amazing. He said he doesn’t care if the reception is in a run down community center, but he wants the ceremony to be incredible. (Isn’t that sweet? He’s more romantic than me. It’s awesome.)

Clearly, I wasn’t opposed to having a spectacular ceremony, so the ceremony site became the focus of our search. Luckily for us, we had very similar visions of where we would like to get married. Neither of us wanted a church wedding (I have always sworn that I will not have green church carpet in my wedding photos!). And we love the idea of an outdoor wedding with a spectacular view. We both started dreaming about a fantastic wedding on a cliff overlooking the mountains or the ocean.


Image by Alex Schoenfelt

Destination wedding in Bali, anyone? Image from Kayangan Estate

Wedding in the Canadian Rockies. (Image by Heather Ellis Photography)

So beautiful, right? The only problem is”¦it turns out we just don’t really have any cliffs near either of our hometowns. Mr. Whale is from the Gulf Coast. I’m from central Kentucky. We decided we needed more focus. Unless we were going to fly out to California or Canada, cliffs were probably out.

There was a brief moment where we considered a beach wedding on the Gulf Coast.

I knew I would not put up with the humidity for a beach wedding on the Gulf Coast. So we put our heads together and realized, “Hey! The East Coast has mountains! The Blue Ridge Mountains!” And that’s when the magic really started happening. We realized that any wedding would essentially be a destination wedding for us. (We live in Maryland for school. And that’s too far for anyone in our families to travel.) And so we decided to go with a pseudo-destination wedding. (Everyone can drive there. But everyone will need a hotel room.)

Once we settled on the Blue Ridge Mountains, I could really get to work on doing my research.

How did you start your venue research? Did you have a vision in mind? Or did you just starting visiting place?


Mrs. Blue Whale

College Park, MD
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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  1. mstoadstool Bee
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:55 am

    I have no idea about the Blue Mountains, but it sounds good, I’m thinking about all the possibilities.

  2. msdragon Bee
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 11:39 am

    Our wedding was a destination wedding for us no matter where we had it, too! It was kind of fun because it opened up more opportunities.

    Had Mr. D agreed to elope like I wanted to we definitely would have gotten married in the BC Rockies. 🙂

  3. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 11:41 am

    I love the Blue Ridge mountains, I can’t wait to see your location!

  4. bluewhale Bee
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 11:45 am

    @Mrs. Dragon: I am so in love with pictures of weddings in the Canadian Rockies. It looks sooooo amazing. We want to go there so badly.

  5. msfox Bee
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:30 pm

    We briefly considered weddings around our hometowns (Long Island for me, upstate NY for Foxy) – but both are stupidly expensive. DC proper was also out due to money. We decided to stick to MD – where we have made our home for the past 4 years – since it’s special to us, and still not too far for most of our friends and family. We ended up choosing a place in northeast MD on a complete whim – it was affordable, adorable, near the water.. just perfect!

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