Wedding planning is coming along, and I am starting to get really freaking excited.
Brian and I have found the perfect venue (bird’s eye view in this post) that matches the vibe and feel of what I described – and it’s also full of whimsy (to be explained).
The venue is a working ranch and small winery with acres of vinyards, lavendar fields, and almond trees. (This means we’ll get drunk, but still smell nice, and we’ll have a good source of protein nearby in case the zombie apocalypse breaks out during the festivities. We really do plan for everything.) The ceremony will take place on a grassy hilltop that has panoramic views of the surrounding golden brown hills (so we’ll see the zombies coming way before they’re within biting distance). The reception will take place in a converted barn that has three levels of seating and is decorated with kitschy, cute antiques. There is bocce ball (possible weapons), a pond (possible place of safety), and joy (zombies despise this).
This place is different, and by different, I mean whimsical. On the garden walk from the parking lot to the barn, there are little scenes set up with knick-knacks and stuff. One scene displays Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the witch’s rusted-over old bike. There’s a display with a stove, dishes, and a rusty metal bloke named Julio dressed in an apron and chef’s hat.
The bathrooms across from the barn look like they were decorated by the people who work in those restaurants where you have to wear flair on your vest in order to fit in. Hats, gloves, feathers, and an old-timey chair reupholstered in lime green kept me company while I emptied my bladder. I look forward to emptying my bladder in that same room with my best friends holding up yards of white fabric beside me! Squee!
Once we found a venue, Brian and I got ourselves a wedding planner, and omigod, if you can fit this into your budget, I highly, highly recommend it. In fact, a good wedding planner will pay for him/herself in both time and money. I hate doing research, but I come from a thrifty family where we hate paying more for things than we should – so this is where a good, skilled wedding planner comes into play.
Our wedding planner Stephanie gives us lists of vendors to look through, and she can recommend them in groups of different price ranges. She’s worked with these vendors before, so she knows the quality of their services, and she’s quite honest about what we’ll get for our money. She’s open to working with vendors that Brian and I have found who aren’t on her lists. She schedules meetings with vendors we like and attends these meetings with us. She also helps us through the contracts to make sure we know what we’re getting into – huzzah!
Basically, she’s a godsend. Brian and I don’t know what the hell we’re doing, and we’re also super shy around new people, and we’re really good at being awkward. If we met vendors by ourselves, we’d probably end up hiding under the table and only coming up to shout things like I LIKE FLOWERS! and PLEASE MAKE ME PRETTY! before ducking back down. Stephanie is cool because she asks all the questions we forget to ask like, “Do you accept M&Ms as payment for your services? My clients have agreed to pick out all the brown ones if you’d like.”
Stephanie is like a cross between our therapist and our Jedi Master of weddings. She is strong with the force. But she’s prettier than Yoda. And less hairy.
So far, Brian and I have chosen a photographer and a DJ. We have a meeting with a florist this week and I go shopping for a dress this weekend!!!
My ovary is doing flips just thinking about it.