I’ve got this dream wedding location in my head, and I’m hoping it’s not imaginary.
You see, we have a really small budget. But we still really like to party. We’re not opposed to DIY. And we want to spend as much time with our friends and family as possible.
So, our A+, #1, ideal wedding venue would be some kind of camp, B&B, or conference center that we could take over for a whole weekend and have everyone stay in the same place! Someplace that included a beautiful outdoor ceremony site, a kitchen we could use to self-cater, someplace for people to eat, drink, and dance, and cabins or a lodge that everyone could stumble off to after partying all night.
I know, we dream big. But I can’t help hoping that if the amazing Sara and Matt of 2000 Dollar Budget Wedding (a HUGE inpsiration to me!) can do it, than so can we! So that’s the goal right now.
With that in mind, the first thing we had to do was decide which state to get married in!
Option #1: Ohio. 😦 See, Zach and I are both from Ohio and so our families naturally assumed we’d be getting married there. However, while we both agree that Ohio was a great place to grow up, we’ve since broken away and don’t intend to live there long-term again in the future. Honestly, it’s just kind of (REALLY) boring. However, most of Zach’s friends and extended family still live in Ohio. AND wedding stuff is significantly cheaper there.
Option #2: California! Although we’ve been working summer jobs in Ohio this year, the weeks are quickly ticking by and our planned move to San Diego, California is getting closer! We both love San Diego, the sun, the waves, the perfect temperature, the proximity to Mexico! This is where we can finally see ourselves “settling down” (which, for us, may only mean staying somewhere longer than a year, who knows) and where we’d like to get married. It will be so much easier to plan a wedding close to where we are living. Plus, I have a lot of friends and family scattered around the country. When I sketched out my side of the guest list for our wedding, I realized that more than half of my people will have to get on a plane, whether the wedding is in Ohio or not! Do I really want to make those poor people pay for a plane ticket and take time off to go to Ohio? Heck no! The downside to this, however, is that a lot of Zach’s extended family may not be able to afford to come to California. The brutal-but-true upside to that downside: it would definitely help keep our numbers in check since his family is HUGE.
Option #3: The Arizona back-up plan. Before we left on our long Latin American odyssey trip, Zach and I were living in northern Arizona. See, his parents bought a house out there that they are planning to move to when they retire. But, they haven’t retired yet! So we got to live there for a year and house-sit for them! During that year, we really grew to love the area. The house is within an hour of the Grand Canyon, Sedona’s red rocks, mountain climbing, swimming holes, and tons of other awesome stuff! Plus, the house is pretty big and we could definitely clear a section of the yard for the ceremony. The problem here would be that we’d still be long-distance planning, we’d have to rent all the tables and chairs, and people would have to stay in hotels that are at least 15 minutes away from the house. But it’s a good backup plan because we know it won’t book up and it’s still an awesome vacation spot.
View from the back porch of the Arizona house
What do you think, people? We’re clearly leaning towards having the wedding in California, and hoping to find a great venue there. If you were in our situation, what state would you choose?