As mentioned in our previous installation of wedding planning catch-up, we had decided on an outdoor venue for our wedding ceremony & reception, but after booking the location & paying our deposit, it was decidedly not the best place for our festivities.
In a panic, knowing that Memorial Day weekend is a prime time for weddings, I scanned Google looking for SOMETHING that would be affordable, different, and beautiful for our wedding. Alas! I found it, 2 days before flying into Kentucky for my sister’s baby shower. Norlyn Manor. I booked an appointment.
It was so romantic! French doors opened into a lawn area in the back which is PERFECT for an outdoor ceremony, complete with gazebo and manicured grasses. There was a Juliet balcony which could be used to introduce us as man & wife for the first time and toss the bouquet. The bar was of solid dark, antique wood with a large mirror behind it. A soft mural was painted in one corner of the room which would have been perfect for the cake & coffee tables. Instantly, I fell in love.
I liked that instead of being “nickle & dimed” to death, you were charged a fixed amount of money per guest. This fee included: seated dinner (they have been voted Best of the Knot for dining in the area for several years running), unlimited beer & wine, tables, the room rental, wait staff, etc. Beyond paying for our rental, I would only be responsible for decorating the room, providing entertainment, photographer, flowers, etc. Since I am planning this thing long distance I was very fond of the idea of only dealing with a few vendors verses several.
I wanted it, and signed the contract, praying finances would make it possible to pay for this wedding. I knew that had our circumstances been what they were this time last year, the cost would be of no consequence … but things are different this year. People are struggling, everyone is watching their money more closely; they’re watching it trickle in ever so slowly, too slow to catch up with the outflow.
Once we moved into our house in July, I started thinking about the first big payment that was due in September. I knew I couldn’t afford it on my own. I fretted. I frowned. I pouted to myself. And finally, I sucked it up and called the owner of the hall. I told her that we would not be able to have our wedding with her after all. This had been a tough year, and even though I absolutely love her place, it wasn’t responsible for us to do so. She understood, wished us well, and said I’d get my deposit back if she was able to rent out our date.
I must say, I felt much better after having the conversation, like a building had been lifted off my shoulders. I told the City Boy it was time to re-vamp our entire wedding plans. We didn’t need anything fancy … that isn’t “us” anyway. I want to have a wedding outdoors with our friends & families. Afterward, I want a party. A casual, fun party where both sides can meet and mingle without any air of pretension or snobbery. But most importantly, NOTHING that will put us in debt!
Two days later, I saw the light!!