wedding

Selecting a Wedding Venue

Full disclosure here because I am all about being honest... I did a blog post about selecting a wedding venue for my work, Longwood Venues, so I may or may not be using some of the same information.  I promise I'll change it up a bit and add more personal information from my experience.  That being said, we could not have had a better experience with our venue, The Carriage House.  It blew us out of the water and I have pretty high standards since I work for a company that owns five luxury event venues.

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Now that I let you know where I am coming from, I will tell you as much as I can so that you can select your wedding venue with ease.  For starters, decide on the aesthetic of your day.  When you begin your search, you need to make sure you and your fiance are on the same page for what you are looking for.  Make sure your personalities shine through.  Walking into one of the venues I toured screamed Philadelphia to me.  While it was beautiful and I loved the chapel on site, I knew it would not fit the aesthetic I was aiming for.  In addition, T has no connection to Philadelphia other than me.  Why would he want to get married at a wedding venue with nods to a city that means nothing to him?  After leaving that venue, I learned that even though you can make each space your own, it is not easy to plan a style-specific wedding at every venue.

The quality of food is another huge factor when selecting a wedding venue.  As stated on the Longwood blog, "It is important to ask questions about where the food comes from and what items are made in-house.  Find out if the food is prepared on-site or in a commissary.  If the venueโ€™s food is prepared in a commissary, be aware of the use of hot boxes (aka food warmers, meaning food probably sits in these boxes for a period of time before being served to guests).  You should also find out if the food is frozen.  Frozen products are usually lower in quality."  I wanted to use that exact quote because it rings true for so many reasons.  You want to make sure the food is delicious and fresh.  It is a huge part of your day and something your guests will talk about for a long time after the wedding is over.  People are still telling T and me how delicious everything was at our wedding and that The Carriage House had amazing food.  We feel extremely lucky that that was our friends and family's response.  Imagine if it was horrible? Yikes.

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Another thing to know before starting your search is a rough estimate for the guest count.  You don't want to waste your time looking at venues that can only fit 100 people if you plan on inviting 230 people.  We assumed that we would invite around 150 when we started selecting a wedding venue.  While we ended up inviting 198 people, we knew ahead of time that our venue could accommodate that because it was something we kept in mind when our search began.  Many venues also have varying spaces that can accommodate different guest counts so make sure you look into that when selecting a wedding venue. 

I also think it is key to have a connection with the employees and salespeople you meet at the venue.  If you don't have a connection, don't let that deter you though.  Find someone at the venue that you feel comfortable with.  You will be speaking to them often throughout the process so you want to make sure you get along.  The saleswoman at The Carriage House made the process extremely fun for me.  She told me that all my dreams were possible (cheese fry bar included).  After we booked, our saleswoman left the venue however, they made it a point to make sure I still felt comfortable and confident in them.  The staff was amazing.  You must listen to your gut.  Take note of how long they take to respond to you and if they listen to your needs.  You want the relationship to be open and transparent.

The last thing I will say is to have fun and relax. Keep in mind that you are about to marry your soul mate so the day will be perfect no matter what.  Check out the Longwood Venues blog for a more in-depth explanation for selecting a wedding venue.  You can also always check out our venues.  We have five throughout New England and I guarantee one will be your dream wedding venue.

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*All photography in this post is from our wedding photographer, Elizabeth Friske Photography.  I cannot recommend her enough.  Trust me on this. You can check out her blog post about our wedding here.*

#itsbacheloretteszn

Don't worry if you can't keep up, I can't either.  My family and friends have SERIOUSLY outdone themselves over the last year.  For those that follow me, you know I am getting married in about a month but we have been engaged for about a year and eight months.  

We have a super fun situation in which we both have huge families that we are extremely close with and friends in both states we grew up in (plus a dozen other states).  We live in Rhode Island, where Teddy grew up so that makes half the battle a bit easier.  The best way to sum up what I am trying to say is, we have been partying for the last year and a half.  Right after the engagement, we headed to Sea Isle City for an informal celebration with my close friends and family.  Then, around Thanksgiving, we had a second engagement party in New Jersey because the whole family was in town at my mom's house.  We then proceeded to continue the party in Rhode Island when T's mom threw us an engagement party in Newport.  Are you still following?

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Fast forward to the past few months and I have now had two bridal showers (one in both states) and two/three? bachelorette parties.  It sounds totally crazy but it makes perfect sense to everyone involved, promise, haha.  The weekend of my Jersey shower, me and my besties hit the town in Philadelphia for a night of fun.  I then went to Miami a few weeks after with a smaller group.  Most recently, after my shower at T's mom's house, my girlfriends in Rhode Island surprised us with a night of fun and reckless behavior.  I am guessing you all understand the hashtag now, hahaha.

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I had gotten a few questions about everything and although it shouldn't matter, I thought I would explain it for those curious.  Teddy still has his bachelor party coming up but his friends joined us this past weekend with mine.  If the last year and a half is any bit of a preview for the wedding, we are all in for the best. weekend. ever!

SAVE THE DATES

Our Save the Dates finally started hitting mailboxes and I love the reactions we have been getting!  We decided to go with something a bit less traditional for the Save the Dates since we know the invites and the wedding itself will be a bit more formal.  We obviously want our guests to know that they will be having a good time!  I wanted to share with you all what they look like so without further adieu, I give you, our fun Save the Dates!

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Fun right?  We think so!

If you want updates as we plan our wedding, let me know!  I would love to share this exciting time with all of you.