Hive, I have booked my wedding venue sight unseen.
Now, I know I’m not the first bride to do this and I know I’m not the last, but it is rather unconventional so let me explain. Just because my fiancé and I have not viewed the venue does not mean that no one has seen it. In fact, two very trusted people have seen said venue and have fallen in love with it. They are my Mom Sword and Sister Sword, also known as MOH Big Eyes, and I heard through the grapevine that one of them may have cried tears of joy. How is that for a confirmation? Besides that, who knows me better than my Mom and little sis? They get my taste for fancy, they know my need for drama, and they understand how I want things to look more expensive than they really are… in short, they know how to think like a princess. 🙂
This wasn’t an easy decision. I’d much rather have gone to check out a different venue, (or in our case, hotel) each weekend. I’d have preferred to take our time and maybe check out the same venue twice if we felt so inclined. But that scenario was not in the cards, being that my wedding and I are in an LDR (long-distance relationship). I made up my mind from the beginning that if we had the wedding outside of Chicago, we would have to take the cons WITH the pros. One con is we have put down a deposit on a hotel sight unseen. (AHHHHHH!)
The thing is, I knew we weren’t going to visit Minnesota for a while and after engaged in February and picking a March wedding date for the following year, I knew I wanted to get started! Heck, with the warm midwest March weather we had this year, maybe everyone in Minnesota is thinking, I’m gonna get married in March and snag those off-season prices for myself! Plus, the venue needed to be booked so we could start spreading the word and spreading the STD’s (hahaha that’s gross). All kidding aside, when you have a lot of people flying in from across the pond it’s only polite to give them tons of notice! They are paying for a hefty flight after all!
On the other hand, it’s quite frightening to commit to something you’ve never seen. But it helped that we had a few details determined ahead of time to guide us in the right direction:
1. We loved the idea of one-stop wedding hopping, especially considering our percentage of OOTG. We really wanted our guests to have the luxury of one space fits all! We wanted people to be able to flow easily from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception and finally to their comfy hotel beds. Speaking from experience, I’ve always enjoyed the option of switching my shoes, putting my purse away, or just using a private bathroom when I’ve stayed at the same hotel or lodge that the wedding reception was taking place in.
2. We wanted to save on transportation costs. The Chicagoans and the Scottish folk will be able to avoid car rentals because the hotel we booked has free shuttles to and from the airport as well as shuttles to the MOA (Mall of America) and other places. Plus, we will be able to save on a limo or party bus to transfer people from the ceremony to reception, putting our transportation budget at zero. Did I mention the FREE shuttles? Oh wait, I did. Can’t beat that!
3. I am without a church to call my home. I grew up attending church in an elementary school cafeteria. We were big on faith and people but didn’t have much money so we rented our space every Sunday from a local school. When my church joined with another church in the area that had a nice sized building I was getting older and soon went off to college. It’s a nice building but it’s just not big enough to house all of our friends, families, and my princess dreams.
So ultimately, it made sense that we would have a religious-based ceremony but to have it in some place other than a church. To be honest, I had always pictured myself walking down a beautiful aisle in a gorgeous church with stained glass windows, a commanding organ, and a familiar pulpit, but those kinds of churches don’t exist in my non-denominational liberal faith anyway, so when discussing venue options with my parents that first night we were engaged, both Mr. Sword and I decided on a hotel with little hesitation. And just because our wedding will be in a hotel does NOT mean it will look like a cookie-cutter hotel wedding. Our wedding will be wonderfully unique and memorable, just like us!
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)
Has anyone else picked their venue sight unseen? Who did you trust to check it out for you?