After B and I got engaged, we started the light wedding conversations all normal, newly engaged couples have. We seemed pretty much on the same page with all of the big things (including the highly cringe worthy budget conversation).
But, of course, we ran in to issues when we got to the “where.” I’m from a rural area about an hour and a half south of Chicago. My family is all located in that area. Traveling to and from the city is not difficult at all, but with gas prices being what they are and city traffic being, also, what they are… I felt pressure to have it in my hometown.
Having it in that area would save us thousands upon thousands of dollars. On the other hand, our selection of “unique” location spots would be limited to places with ugly carpets or views of parking lots. It would also force B’s significantly larger family to travel to an area where there were less hotel options.
Some hotel carpet patterns are enough to get me sea sick.
I didn’t want to pick sides. But I knew that one of our families would have to travel. In the end, we chose mine.
This decision wasn’t made without a ton of discussion between all, essentially, 6 sides. Having it in Chicago worked simply because we live here. Families not considered, we want to have a wedding that reflects our love, and the majority of that love was cultivated here. We also think it is a bigger draw to have people travel in to the city where there are a ton of hotel options, activities, and easy transportation methods.
Our second set of questions revolved around “when.” The original plan was to have an extremely extended engagement for January 2014. Then we considered those we were asking to travel- my family. I grew up in a very rural area where snow plows are pretty much a myth. If snow did fall that morning, we could call:
But how realistic is that?
So, we flipped. Spring 2013 would be too early to raise the amount of money we planned on budgeting. Fall would be both of our busy seasons for work. Summer’s too hot. We found one happy medium: September. With average highs in the mid 70s and lows in the mid 50s, I couldn’t think of a more perfect time in Chicago to throw a wedding.
Now that we knew the when and the where, we relaxed a bit. That was until I put in my first feeler email to a vendor asking about September 2013. The email started off with this paragraph:
Hi! My fiance and I are looking in to potential vendors for our 120-140 person wedding in September of 2013. I know that it’s very early in the game for us to be looking, but we’d like to get a feel of what our options are. Could you please send me more information about your space, including pricing?
In return, I got this back:
First of all, congrats on the engagement! What an exciting time! Secondly, you are not looking too early. September, by far, is one of our most popular months. Currently, we are booked up until August of 2013 for all Saturdays. We do have a couple of Saturdays open in September, as well as some Sundays.
I pretty much did a spit take when I read that.
The Knot had told me that I could relax for another 6 months. I didn’t have to scramble to do anything I HAD TIME! This vendor, however, threw me a major curveball. Not only did I have to start researching now… I also was already starting to compete for one of the most popular months in wedding-land.
So, here we are, 20 months out from our wedding. That’s 626 days, to be exact. And we’re planning like it’s less than two months from now.
Brides of Chicago, you have been warned.
In other news, I was the DJ at this Sunday’s Dance Dance Party Party. It was BANANAS. 32 girls were there. 3-2. For the room that small and the crowds they normally draw, 32 is like inviting the entire Chinese population to move to Vermont. Either way, it was SO MUCH FUN. I’ve never sweat that much before. And it was, perhaps, because my music selection was stellar, as always. I did a Best of 2011 Dance Mix. Each song was either released as a single or on an album that came out in 2011 with one exception- a tribute to Amy Winehouse.