No, our venue search did not involve baseball fields, but the White Sox fan in me just had to throw in (pun very much intended) some baseball references!
Personal photo from the last game I went to—Go Sox!
After countless online searches, numerous email inquiries, and a few phone calls (I hate calling strangers, but it turns out wedding planning requires quite a bit of that), we were ready to visit some venues!
I had actually been to a couple of potential wedding sites as an overanxious girlfriend, but it was way more exciting to be going as an actual bride-to-be! While Mr. Dalmatian wasn’t quite as outwardly giddy as I was, I think he enjoyed it, too. And he didn’t give me too much crap about the fact that I failed to consider the venues’ locations when arranging visits and the order I had us seeing them in could not have been any less convenient—my bad!
As much as I would like to pretend I was more on top of things, I didn’t have a written or even mental checklist at the time, but these were our unspoken priorities:
- A barn (my #1)
- Budget friendly (Mr. Dalmatian’s #1)
- An outdoor ceremony space
- A good rain plan (in case Tennessee’s April showers decide to linger into May)
- A great reception space
So with these things vaguely floating around in our heads, off we went!
AT BAT: Spring Haven Mansion
Spring Haven Mansion is a historic plantation home built around 1825 where President Andrew Jackson spent time. The ceremony would be on the front lawn and the reception on the tented back patio. It was a beautiful venue and the people were incredibly nice, but for some reason I just couldn’t see myself getting married there. I realize it would be more helpful if I could articulate the reasoning behind my hesitation, but all I can say is you have to trust your gut.
I spy with my little eye: A BARN! Definitely tempting, but still not quite right.
AT BAT: Legacy Farms
Legacy Farms is a little outside Nashville in Lebanon, Tennessee. It is a historic manor with a courtyard, a lake, and a large barn event center. A nice thing about Legacy Farms: It was just renovated. A not-so-nice thing about Legacy Farms: It was JUST renovated. When we visited, much of the venue was still under construction. We tried to imagine grass where there was gravel and a finished interior where there was still exposed HVAC. Despite the fact that I credit myself with a strong (sometimes overactive) imagination, it was just too difficult! I knew I would be a nervous wreck committing to a venue without knowing what it would look like come next May.
AT BAT: Southall Eden
Based on my online search, I was sold. It was rustic and quaint. It was unique. It had a picture-perfect barn! Unfortunately, what seemed like a dream on paper turned out not to be a good fit in person.
This is why I am all about visiting places. When I was researching colleges I had a list of my top choices, but after touring campuses my list got completely jumbled (with Vanderbilt shooting to the top—our entire campus is seriously postcard worthy). The point of this tangent is that if you have the opportunity see potential venues in person, DO IT. I was surprised how much my opinions changed after our venue expeditions.
Now, back to Southall Eden. It was rustic and quaint, it was unique, and it would definitely make for some amazing photos. There were just a few details that didn’t work for us. The reception area was small and I was worried about having enough space. There was also a long uphill walk to the bathrooms and a set of stairs to the loft of the barn, and we just didn’t think this would work for some of our guests.
I’m out. Not to fret, I’ll be back soon to tell you about our venue home run!
How many venues did you consider before finding the one? Did what you liked on paper match what you liked in person?