The logical way to start would be simply picking a date and place, but when you begin planning your wedding less than seven months (yes, we have a short engagement!) before you get married, you unfortunately have to tentatively decide on a date—and then try to find a venue that works.
For example, the venue I truly thought would be ours:
It's beautiful, yes, but it's also in a park with a ton of meaning to Mr. Lemur and I. We first stumbled across this park while geocaching after a Christmas shopping trip. We returned less than three months later for our one-year "dating anniversary." We came back again several times before ending up here the day we got engaged—proposal story spoiler alert!
Almost fortunately, we didn't actually get engaged in this park. Otherwise the email telling me the park was booked for all five—yes five, including two Fridays and a Sunday—dates I was interested in would have been more devastating (drama alert) than it already was. I didn't love the venue so much that I was willing to completely reschedule our wedding plans. Not available for our first or second choice? Ok, I can work with that. Not available for our fourth and fifth choices? Let's take a look at the other options.
These two were both booked for our top choice. Not only that, there is a Family Festival in Greer the weekend I want to get married—I'd rather not battle for limited parking spots and event space on the day of my wedding! Although they would make for some cool pictures.
So it was back to the drawing board.
After starting the search over—from scratch, really—there was a very short list of venues that fit what we were looking for at all. Five or six emails later, there were just two that fit what we were looking for, had availability on (at least one of) our dates, and were within our price range.
Image via Table Rock State Park / Photo by South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
When we finally had two viable options, it was time to make a decision. First up was a tour of Pleasant Ridge!