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Venue Selection and a Photographer

The second thing I knew I needed to have was Mike Landis Photographer.

Mike Landis Photographer

A family friend who just so happens to be ranked by several wedding lists? It was almost like I needed him to have an availability and I would work my whole wedding around it. I had emailed him checking for April of 2012. He was pretty much wide open, except for one weekend and very excited to shoot my wedding. Funny Story (not often actually funny, just a quirky thing I say, in Miss Sailboat world, ‘funny’ can mean crazy, weird, interesting, ironic, funny, annoying, sad, pathetic, etc): Two summers ago he approached my dad and I in church and asked my dad if he could shoot my wedding. my dad just about had a heart attack and said it was way too soon to be thinking about that. Mike semi-apologized and conversation moved on until his wife walked by and asked Mike if he’d asked my dad about shooting the wedding. This time I think dad really did almost have a heart attack. He was definitely not ready at that time to have to start preparing for me to be married!

So I went into venue search mode keeping that one date in mind. I figured I just had to be able to find something that worked. Speaking of venues, where did I leave off? Oh yes, the classic cliffhanger at the end of a blog post. Oops! ūüėČ

We last left off ¬†having seen two venues and contemplating an at home wedding reception. Let’s review.

Holly Hedge: pros: rustic, from like the 1700s or so, so very early stonework, great outdoor ceremony area,  pretty pond, very helpful staff, great food options. cons: on the pricey side, weedy garden, poor bad weather plan, not very handicap accessible, age of buildings led to mustiness.

interior of cocktail area/bad weather plan

Manor House at Prophesy Creek Park: pros: attentive staff,¬†luxuriously¬†appointed bridal suites, gorgeous ponds, gazebo, white glove service, great reviews on caterer, not as expensive, handicap accessible, faith connection with head-honcho. cons: grounds weren’t finished, public bathrooms were very sterile (not¬†luxurious¬†at all) tent wasn’t finished.

Entrance to the Manor House

The Backyard Option: pros: personal cons: so much work!

What did we choose? Why the Manor House of course. Literally, hearing all Mr. Robert Fair had to say, my mom and I had teared up. It was so precious to hear someone in the industry seem very passionate about giving his clients their best, and who was adamant that his prices were the way they were because he didn’t think wearing white (being a bride) meant you could be billed out the wazoo. As we were driving home we discussed dates, we were basically convinced that this would be the place and had tentatively decided on May 12th, 2012. (I was pushed away from April due to chance of rain) We called the Manor House to let them know and were penciled in for that day. They faxed me a contract. As I sat there filling it out some niggling little thought in the back of my neck was telling me that was the graduation weekend of our Alma Mater. O cool…wait a second!!! Mr. Sailboat’s younger brother N graduates this year! We can’ t take this date!! I called back¬†embarrassed¬†and slightly annoyed only to have Mr. Fair also¬†embarrassed; they had just¬†received¬†a deposit for May 12th, and he had told me I had the date. Both of us were very apologetic until we realized this was clearly a matter of providence! May 19th was now our date.

Less than an hour later that warm bliss that was having a wedding date wore off and the subtle desperation of my dream photographer being booked already began to grow in the pit of my stomach. The very next thing I did was email the date off to Mike and pray he was available.

Did anyone else have to venue hunt without their mister? Was there a specific vendor your heart was set on that you knew you would plan your wedding around?

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