Hey There All! Thank you to all of you who read my first wedding blog post! I truly appreciate it, and hope you found the topics and tips helpful! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, it’s right HERE! Thank you to those who gave me feedback and asked questions, I always love engaging with my readers! I’ll be sharing some insight on thinking of wedding themes and help finding wedding venues in today’s post! As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or want any templates!
Thinking of your wedding theme is a great start point for a few reasons. One, it’s quite fun and exciting so you won’t even feel like you’re “working”, plus your girlfriends equally won’t mind helping you think in this department! The level of cuteness you’re going to see in Pinterest for theme ideas is unbelievable! Two, starting here will help you think of some big critical decisions like indoor, outdoor, mixed wedding? Big or small wedding? Time of year (you’ll want the top 3 best months for that area for weather)? Etc. You’ll start making decisions on “Big Picture” items. Some you may not make until you’ve visited the venue while others you’ll know right away. For example, I knew I wanted to get married outdoors and have a summer-fall wedding.
Some great theme ideas for starters are;
Rustic, modern, vineyard/winery, Parisian, beach themed, Bohemian, Victorian, whimsical, Gothic, simple, fall, spring, the list goes on and on.
These are great start points because you’ll see a lot of varieties and mix of how brides have done it in the past and you can add your own twist to it. I fell in love with the rustic wedding theme images I found on the web and even more in love with the look and décor. I also wanted to incorporate some mystical element to the wedding and with that I came up with an “Enchanted Forest” themed wedding. It was absolutely perfect theme for me! I went to UC Santa Cruz, for those of you who don’t know, it’s literally a forest-ass campus with redwood trees engulfing the entire place. Absolutely beautiful, though I didn’t appreciate it until after I left. So having a forest-themed wedding made me feel like I was back in my old college stomping grounds! Didn’t hurt that the venue was about 20 miles from there!
You’ve searched and searched the web far and wide for weeks researching the type of wedding you want and you’ve settled on your top 3. It’s time to start checking out wedding venues and you’re your vision board come to life. I’ve included some helpful websites below that will help you search venues based on your theme and location.
Hopefully you are a bride with a lot of time so you can check out A LOT of venues before making your final decision and also reduce the chance it’s already booked for your date. I chose my venue over a year prior to getting married and it was already almost nearly booked for all the weekends in that month!
Are you stuck? No idea where to start? Then Wedding Wire is perfect for you, it’s a venue and vendor base database with more than 200,000 listings. It’s a great start point for any brides out there thinking like “where the f*&% do I start?”
I used “Here Comes the Guide” to help me narrow down potential venues that would meet my look. This is also a great to look into what each venue includes for budgetary purposes such as food, DJ, planner, etc. Each venue has their own contractual agreements with different caterers, designers, etc. so if your budget is the key go/no-go in your wedding visit only the venues that are in your price point. One of the worst things you can do as a bride is go and see the perfect venue for your perfect venue when you already know that you cannot afford it.
For my Enchanted Forest themed wedding, I narrowed it down to 3 locations and of those three, I completely fell in love with Nestldown the moment we went and toured the venue. The entire location is a hidden gem among the redwoods in the Santa Cruz mountains, absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking. They had the cutest setup throughout the venue that created that “mystical” feeling. I’m not kidding the moment you walked down the hill from the parking lot it was as if you entered into a new enchanted place!
Welcome to Fantasy Way….
Where lion sculptures make you feel like you may have just walked into the wonderful World of Narnia.
Along with beautiful sculptures of creatures and dragons that brought me to my childhood wishes of being accepted to Hogwarts and join my people in the Wizarding World.
They even had human-size chess for all of the guests to play! Ok, now I’m really thinking Wizard’s Chess!
The freaking best part of the whole place was the mini-Snow White house! I’m sure you all will believe me when I say that after seeing this place the first time I was completely SOLD!! I did not listen to my own advice and will honestly say I went to only one venue. What can I say? A girl knows what she wants!
In addition to our beautiful wedding at Nestldown, my husband and I had a secret getaway in Bali in September 2016. It was an amazing moment because it was just the two of us expressing our true emotions and love for one another without all the craziness that is involved in planning a wedding.
I went with a third-party vendor since I did not plan on visiting Bali before the wedding I thought this would save me some of the headache. In addition, the price for the total wedding was ridiculously cheap for what we got! I have very little insight on how to best plan a destination wedding, but from my mini experience I found that contracting a professional that is physically there would be the best option. Also, this may be a greater concern depending on if you do or do not speak the language. I did NOT speak any bit of Balinese nor have been exposed to the language or culture hence why I thought a professional would be best in this situation.
For the full blog on our Balinese Wedding check back for a special Bonus Blog Post about this exciting trip!