Ranger and I had decided pretty quickly on that we wanted to get married next fall. His busy season will be slowing down (it’s with great pride that I can say that his slow season gets shorter and shorter every year) and I’ll have a summer to plan. Location however was more difficult. I knew going in the wedding mark up on event spaces and catering but Ranger got a severe case of the sticker-shock head shakes. People who haven’t had to plan a wedding or haven’t planned a wedding in 15+ years tried to ensure us that we could find less expensive locations, caterings, rentals, etc, etc. And in some cases it was possible.
Plan A: We looked at the Zilker Botanical Gardens for a casual intimate ceremony. It would cost us only $300 though there were the downsides. There can be little or no decorations and nothing can be staked into the ground. And no chairs (except for those who are unable to stand). But the botanical gardens don’t need decoration, they are amazingly upkept and gorgeous year round. My rain plan would have included hand held chuppahs and white umbrellas as wedding favors. The chance of rain in October is slim. We would get married in the late morning, through a brunch at the gardens and then send people off to explore Austin until dinner and a reception that night at a location downtown.
upsides: cost, intimacy, location downsides: rain plan and restrictions
Plan B: Green Pastures. Beautiful house/wonderful restaurant. Conveniently located just south of downtown. We like the all inclusiveness of it. I have already had one mini wedding-freakout. Having someone else deal with setting up, breaking down, the cake, the waitstaff, the cleanup sounds heavenly. They would let us bring the dogs for the ceremony. (though I shudder at the the thought of Wilbur near that many peacocks even on a leash: birds are Wilbur’s favorite thing to chase). The downsides are the expense and availability (though having it on a Friday night solved both those issues) and the obvious downside is that it isn’t “us.” A little too traditional of a location and our style would not fit the surroundings.
upsides: location, all-inclusivity downsides: cost, availability, the “us” factor
Plan C: The Plant at Kyle. This former cement factory turned eco-friendly architectural wonder was an INCREDIBLE find. Ranger and I are architectural and green building buffs. The style perfectly matched our tastes. We could reserve the house for the entire weekend, it sleeps 10 and it near a great bed and breakfast where the majority of the guests could stay. We also liked that our friends could camp out after the wedding if they chose and the party wouldn’t have to end! The cost of The Plant was rather high for our budget and it’s difficult to find. Directions would involve “Turn off the paved road…then turn off the gravel road.” It also wasn’t in Austin. We had really hoped that our out of town friends and family would be able to use this weekends as a time to get to know the Austin we love, that we could share our favorite places with them. Though Kyle is only 20 minutes from downtown, it would restrict people’s time to explore our wonderful city.
upsides: the “us”factor, availability, length of stay downsides: cost, location
Our choice? Plan C. Once I saw the Plant, I fell in love. Though I may never get a chance to live in a house like this, I’ll get to be married in one, WOW. And though the cost is steep considering we have to rent chairs and tables and linens and perhaps a tent (my fingers are permanently crossed for the next 11 months), I have no misgivings about our choice. (please remind me of this moment during all subsequent wedding-freakouts regarding location planning).
This leaves us some breathing room in regards to wedding planning. I can pretty much ignore it all until after the 1st of the year and focus on the house again. Or crafting…oh how I’ve been crafting my little heart out as of late!