I would like to begin by begging for forgiveness in shirking my responsibilities of a timely bridal blog post. I know what you’re thinking…”how can you already be slacking on your blog?! You only have THREE posts!!!” I could say that I got swamped at work, or that wedding planning has consumed my entire being…but that would be a lie. And I won’t lie to you. I will however, vow to give you a new post every week until my wedding day. Even if the weeks leading up to the big “I dos” are posts that consist mainly of me in various stages of stress; ranging from giddy jumping around in my wedding shoes, to binge eating Talenti from the carton, to sobbing in a corner surrounded by boxes of wedding decorations. I promise. Forgive me?
Ok, good. With that being said, here is the blog that I have had sitting on my computer for a month…waiting…
The first vendor that we secured for our wedding was our venue. And to be honest, I think it’s the most frustrating while also being one of the most important. Within days of our engagement I began inquiring all over the Roswell/Alpharetta area about pricing and availability. As I have been compared to an over excited terrier in the wedding planning aspect, it was fitting that I would arrive home, armed with copious pages (18) of research. My future husband is a saint.
Sidenote: I grew up in Roswell. Long before there was Mac Mcgee‘s with it’s signature red porch, I was having a pre-prom meal at Pastis . Before there was Osteria Mattone, I gushed at Fratelli’s with friends about a 6th grade, Osteria’s Ryan Pernice, and his performance in the Pirates of Penzance . The Roswell Mill was a place where my best friend Kelley and I would go exploring on lazy Sundays between Weird Club meetings. And every Saturday, Founder’s Hall was dripping in tulle and served as the castle where Princesses married their Prince Charmings. Relocating back to Roswell, though not entirely by choice, was the best move I ever made. The landscape has changed a little and the restaurants along Canton Street are trendier, but I still maintain that some of the most beautiful weddings still take place in historic Roswell. So, naturally, that’s where I began.
I knew that I wanted to get married in Roswell, surrounded by the memories and places of my childhood. I knew I wanted to get ready in my parents’ bathroom with the family dog; Maverick watching us from his perch on my mom’s bed. But most importantly, I wanted to get married somewhere that was within walking distance of Canton Street so that Paul and I could continue celebrating late into the wee hours with our guests. Having the general location in mind helped a lot in narrowing down our venue possibilities. I began scouring the websites of Founder’s Hall, Naylor Hall, and the Roswell Mill. Comparing prices and calculating how many champagne soaked steps it would take for my guests to walk to Canton Street.
Then, my future sister in-law derailed me.
Nicole was the first person that I began divulging my wedding plans to. She is my Pinterest Police, which means monitoring that my boards don’t get too overwhelming (another post for another day). And despite having only known each other for a year, I feel like she really gets me. So, of course she would send me a link to the perfect venue.
The moment that I clicked the link, I fell in love with this Atlanta-based space. It was a little rustic, but had an industrial feel about it. And that staircase! Quickly, my vision started shifting to a swanky, downtown affair…until I saw the price. My heart fell out of my butt when I saw the rental fees. With the average rental rate being a whopping $3,000-4,500, my dream venue was turning into just that; a dream. If I were a little younger and a little dumber, I would have booked it and began slicing everything else to the bare bones. Flowers? What flowers? Cake? Little Debbies for everyone!! Back to square one.
Feeling a little dejected, I found myself curled up in bed, absent mindedly perusing venues on Wedding Wire. I scrolled from one to another, each space a little less impressive than the next. The venue I clicked on last caused me to turn off the episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County I was watching (don’t judge me). TURN OFF! There it was, a venue in Roswell that I’d never seen before! Nestled between Diesel Pizzeria and an antique store, off of Alpharetta Street, is a white, nondescript event space. A space that I have driven past a million times. The Roswell Historic Cottage. Right in the heart of downtown Roswell. At half of the cost of Summerour, I could have my rustic meets industrial space, with a double staircase, within walking distance of Canton Street! It took me about 2 hours to set a meeting with Mahi and only 5 minutes at the venue to decide that this was the place I would marry Paul.
I mean…how could I not?
The venue includes all tables and chairs, as well as valet parking.
So, let’s see how we’re doing in the Bridal Budget Breakdown:
With $6,240 set aside for the venue space, rentals, and food.
-$1,800 rental of facility, -$150 Cleanup, -$200 Police officer =$2,150
That leaves us with $4,090 for food and miscellaneous rentals (tableclothes and glasses).
What I have learned about booking your venue is that there is no need to binge blow your budget on the first space that catches your eye. The right venue will capture your heart AND fit within your means.
At the end of the day, I could marry Paul in our home office, surrounded by my Harry Potter collection and various pieces of Georgia Southern football memorabilia. At the heart of it, it’s so easy to get lost in the planning and lose sight of what this day is really about. I’ve watched many brides, myself included, fall into this trap. It’s important to have someone there to remind you that this is just one day (I know, easier said than done) and it will be over before you know it. It took me years to let those words sink in. So remember that whether it’s in a bar, a courthouse, or a fancy country club– it will all melt into the background when you see the person you love, waiting to promise their forever to you, nothing else matters.
***As karma for not posting in a month, I tried saving this and coming back to it (after spending my entire lunch break editing) only to lose it entirely. Twice. Lesson learned blogger gods, lesson learned.