Location, location, location

So, the most difficult part so far, and of course, the first step in wedding preparation is finding a place to have the darn thing. Our plan is to have our wedding in a natural setting, ideally a park, state, regional, national or other. We are fortunate to live in an area full of natural beauty. However, one thing that we’ve started to notice is that even in the most beautiful of places, people can find the ugliest spots to put reception areas in. = ( Fear not though, we are persistent, and we have finally started to compile a list of  candidate locations for our wedding. As we get closer to making the decision, I will post more specific information about the most likely candidates since that will probably weigh heavily on our decision. Later, I will also post previous places that we have looked at and some quick notes as to why we’ve ruled them out as possibilities.

The kinds of things we’re looking for are, a space large enough for a party of 100 people that will allow for both the ceremony and the reception. This means that they hopefully will allow both alcohol and music (we’re thinking of a live band, so acoustic, which is easier than amplified music in parks). We’re also thinking of an afternoon wedding since that will give people plenty of time to get ready and get to the location beforehand. Ideally too, the location would have both tent cabins and group campsites for post reception hang out.

Here are some possibilities, though not quite perfect:

1. Sunset Beach SB. Beautiful but still some space concerns (ramadas are put next to parking lots).
– lovely group camp areas
– south ramada better but close to parking lot
– could we move the south ramada dumpster?
– alcohol?
– how many visitors allowed in the group camp?
– possible plans: Ceremony at camp, reception at south ramada. Or standing ceremony on beach, reception at nearby south ramada.

2. Muir Beach overlook. Gorgeous! Definite possibility, no reception space though – need to figure that out.
max. size is 100, ceremony on lawn, no more than 4 cars at the parking lot, guests can be shuttled from another parking lot, no space for receptions, roughly 1000$, list of reception locations in the pdf doc (on Anna’s mac)

possible cute place for reception: Pelican Inn, Maximum: One Hundred Persons, Exclusive Use Includes Dining Room, Conservatory, Snug Room and Pub. Event Coordinator, Andrea Papadopulos at (415) 314-5050 or email events@pelicaninn.com for more information.  (7,000$ for the buffet menu!!)

3. Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Beautiful place, not as much ocean scenery from the park headquarters, but definitely scenic either way. Close to Saratoga and Boulder Creek, both cute little towns, Saratoga slightly larger. Has camping and tenet cabins for rent. Not sure how nice the cabins are…Nice campfire area. Should call them to ask about wedding information: 831-338-8860 – park # (9-5pm M-F), SEC: Craig Holden, 831-335-3455, MWF 9-5. Weddings can be held at the campfire center, one of the picnic areas and a meadow past the huckleberry campground.

4.Tilden. Nice that it’s local, easy for everyone to get to.

3 picnic areas:
– Laural
– Padre
– Mineral Springs
Brazil Building: open house on Tues. except for last Tues. of the month, from 1-8pm

4.Rocky Point Restaurant: http://www.rocky-point.com/policies.htm – looks like it’ll be $750 for the first hour and $350 for each subsequent hour, not sure about the size of these areas though, then 39$/person for the dinner menu, which does look tasty – this place is close to the Big sur area I think. A possible ceremony/reception place prior to camping elsewhere, near carmel and andrew molera park.


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Given the importance of communication, etc. and the need for information on what exactly we’re getting ourselves into, we’ve also compiled a list of types of books we’d like to get and possible candidates for those books.

FINANCIAL: For Richer Not Poorer (D. Wilburn), Couples and Money (V. Collins),  Smart Couples Finish Rich (D. Bach)

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Before the Ring (William Coleman), 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married (M. Leahy), 10 Great Dates Before You Say I Do (D. Arp)

GENERAL MARRIAGE: Prenups for Lovers (A. Dubin), 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married (L. Bloom; we wanted to photocopy this, it’s a big list basically)

FOR FUN: For Couples Only: Insights about how the other sex thinks (S and J Feldhahn)

WEDDING PLANNING BOOKS (just snagged Amazon’s most popular, minus the ones with convincing negative reviews): The Wedding Book (M Weiss and L Levine), The Knot Complete Guide to Weddings in the Real World (C. Roney), The Complete Wedding Planner and Organizer (E. Lluch), the Knot also has another “Ultimate Wedding” planner that is less budget oriented

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Our to do list

I haven’t written in a blog in a long time, but I thought that given the insanity of wedding preparations a blog would not only help family and friends that are interested stay involved in our planning process, but would possibly help others as other couples’ wedding websites have helped me. So here it goes. Here is our current wedding to do list, I’m sure it will be modified and I will explain when and why we change things along the way.

1. Find a location and reserve it (set date) – Sunday visits ongoing
– reserve a location for ceremony
– reserve a location for reception/celebration: maybe same as ceremony?

2. reserve group campsites for after-party, or figure out other reception possibilities

3. make invitation list – new document made for this
4. bridal party

5. send out save-the-dates (by email?)

6. invitations

7. hotel reservations? parents?
8. plane tickets?

9. wedding dress ordering (baby blue w/lavender?)

10. rings – order/design (discuss style/design, come up with rough plan, pick and visit Jeweller)

11. pre-nuptial agreement

13. order flowers (gardenias and love-in-a-mist (nigella), purple passion flowers, for the bouquets we could also have little knit flowers in them, or in my hair)

14. order caterer – pick food (unless included in location)

15. figure out decorations – order if necessary, super simple, paper lanterns with candles or the like, lots of plants and flowers! – A

16. cupcakes – order (cupcakes with purple flower decorations on top… = ) need to find a place that we like to make these for us, velvet cupcakes, although we should probably have a small selection)

17. find a band – reserve

18. pick a photographer

19. officiator/wedding representative – who?

20. resolve last name issue

21. court arrangements

23. minnesota reception (create a separate list)

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