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The Great “google” Venue Search – Part 1

Much like finding our photographer, searching for and finding our venue took place mostly via the internet.

Up until this point (Feb 09) I hadn’t put much thought into where we would actually get married.  I know some people are set on getting married in a church…and although my home church would have been fine…my hometown is small-ish so the hotel/food/entertainment options for out-of-town guests are slim…unless you’re a huge fan of Applebees.  So we decided we needed to find something in either Omaha or Lincoln…the two big cities in Nebraska.  I personally liked Lincoln better…it has a small-town feel and is home to the University of Nebraska giving it the college-town atmosphere. Plus I lived there for 4 years so I have a better grasp on things to do and places to eat!  So we decided to look mostly around Lincoln.

Some general things we wanted in our venue:

– Both ceremony and reception in one location:  we figured this would be easier on our guests as well as our budget ( I hear churches can be quite pricey when you are not a member!!)

– Not a hotel ballroom:  I guess this kinda gets nixed with the “both in one place” idea…but more than that I just wanted something different

– A place with a lot of decoration freedom:  meaning I could pretty much do whatever (like have candles)

– Good food options that wouldn’t kill the budget (BYOB would be a HUGE plus!)

and so the google searching began…

After going from website to website…I wasn’t all that impressed.  I decided to look through my “inspiration” folder of images I had collected to see if I could get a better idea of what I wanted and go from there.

One of the first inspiration boards I ever saved:

{from here}

… I had also saved lots of pics like these:

{pics by Leigh Miller found via Green Wedding Shoes}

So apparently I like the rustic barn look…who knew!?!?  ..so obv. now my heart was set on finding the perfect barn venue.  That should be easy in Nebraska right??  Well not really…at least around Lincoln anyways…so I went back to just looking for anything that  looked nice and fit 2-3 of the “things” listed above that we wanted.  I found a lodge, a loft type place, and a couple golf courses and started crunching some numbers for 200 guests ( did I mention we have big families??).  After hyperventilating a bit from the cost totals…I made some calls and wrote some emails.  Booked…booked…and booked.

Are you serious?…um maybe she thought I said June 2009?!  Oh no…that one Saturday in early June 2010 I was hoping for…already booked!

Enter my first official wedding-planning-breakdown…first I couldn’t find the perfect barn…and now all my “well its OK” choices are booked!  After coming to terms with the fact we might have to change our date to get a venue we liked I emailed Khara our photographer to see what her policy was on switching dates and if she was available other weekends in June.  I mentioned to her the trouble I was having finding a venue for that specific Saturday…and you know what she responded with?!  A list…of venues that she has shot at and loved…along with links to pictures she has taken at them!  Um AWESOME!  I don’t remember that added perk being in the contract!!  Although I had heard of and checked out all the venues on the list…it was quite helpful to have her opinion…i mean this girl goes to weddings all summer!!

There was one venue on the list in particular that really stuck out to me..I had looked at it briefly online but really didn’t give it too much thought.  Mainly because everything would take place outside…the ceremony, the dinner, the dancing…all of it!  Being the meteorologist that I am…I know that June in Nebraska means thunderstorms…sometimes strong ones with hail, lightning and tornadoes.  Every Bride’s fantasy right!?  Wizard of Oz theme anyone??  Well the more I looked at it the more I realized that it was kinda exactly what I wanted in a venue!

So I made the call…

*stay tuned for part 2… the exciting unveiling of our country/rustic venue!