Especially when you are marrying an SSF. I love him to death but boy is he demanding. We finally secured a venue, but before we could do that I had to get estimates from most of our major vendors (photographer, dj, catering) before SSF felt comfortable committing to a rental. The last 2-3 weeks of my life have been dedicated to researching and e-mailing various vendors from the Outer Banks. It was an exhausting but very worthwhile exercise. I learned a lot about what I actually could expect to pay compared to what all the bridal magazines and websites will tell you.
In the end we settled on a venue that was way out of our budget. Yeah, it's actually $2,000 more then our entire wedding budget. It was a really hard decision to make but one we believe is right. The home sits on a remote area of the Outer Banks and boasts 23 bedrooms, 21 and 1/2 baths, a pool, large decks, and a dedicated reception area (indoors).
Which leads to the big question... How the heck are we going to afford this place? Well with 23 bedrooms and a short guest list (60-75 people) we will be offering our guests a room in the house, for the week. We haven't finalized the rates but even $500 to secure a bedroom would be less than a 3 night stay in the closest hotel. Of the people closest to us the emotions are mixed. Those that have been to the Outer Banks before are so excited and those that have not are skeptical. Planning a destination wedding is a strange beast, not all the conventional rules apply (could you imagine asking people to chip in for your reception hall?) and it's hard to make decisions when all your experience is based off of traditional weddings.
I couldn't be more excited to be embarking on this journey though. I was a ball of stress up until the day we finally booked the venue. It's officially set: October 12, 2012 at the Wild Horse. If I can't fill the rooms, you're all invited.
total wedding spend to-date: $1662
*picture source: Twiddy