Budget Part 3: Venues

Our venues were nice. We had just moved to the area and were not sure about where to hold a reception or the ceremony or anything. I knew where nothing was, the big places for events, the most popular spots. I had no clue about anything. So, I started researching. Jonathon and I discussed having it in our old hometown in TN. However, we decided we really wanted our families to experience something of our life here. So, I looked at the normal places… hotels, vineyards (there are some in NC and extreme Southeast TN), historic homes, etc. Nothing really stood out to me. I kept digging and one day I found a place about 20 miles from us that would have been a great reception venue. The price was right. It was going to be about $1200 for the venue, the catering (although we had no real choice over the menu), the DJ, the linens, and all that. Even though it was lovely it just wasn’t right for us.

While we were discussing the reception, we booked a ceremony venue. It’s a lovely little chapel built in 1889. It is beautiful, completely restored and wonderful. The glass is original. The pews are a gorgeous oak. There is a stage with a goldish ivory backdrop. The whole place is just lovely! The best part of it? It’s completely free. Yes free. We happen to work at the college the chapel is located on. But the location from the chapel to the reception venue would have been too far.

So, Jonathon and I discussed where we should have the reception. He recommended the Student Center located across from the chapel. It reminds me of a ski lodge. It’s all stone work, dimly lit, bar, big screen TVs, and lots of fun and a place for a dance floor. We booked it. For a long time we stayed with this plan. However, when we cut our guest list to 50 it was way too roomy. So, I thought about the small function dining room. The Presidential Dining Room is cozy, seats 55, and is gorgeous. Best of all if we use the school’s catering company it was free. I quickly agreed to this.

So, my budget is still $3200.
*image from my own personal collection. It's one of the tables set for another party. It needs some work, but I know I can make that room lovelier than it already is. The picture doesn't do it justice.

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