Posted: Friday, Mar. 29, 2013
Ashleigh has been living in Charlotte since 2008 with her oversized yellow lab. She is a communications professional, grad student, runner, and lover of all things wedding! After attending 13 weddings in three years, it's now Ashleigh's turn to be at the altar. Join her as she blogs about her adventures in step-by-step wedding planning and tips for other brides-to-be!
Deciding on the venue was certainly the first tough decision we faced in our wedding planning experience. We began by looking at pictures and reviews and of course price. We knew from the beginning we wanted a rustic-chic feel to our wedding and we knew it needed to be in the Carolinas. I loved the idea of a barn for the reception, and since I was raised on a farm, this made sense as the perfect personal touch.
The Carolinas are not lacking in barn options. I discovered a GORGEOUS barn in Chapel Hill, a 12-hour rental, and very reasonable prices but his communication was equivalent to that of an angry gorilla and thus, I wanted no part of paying him any money or having to deal with his nonsense throughout the process.
Next up was a fairly popular (and stunning!) wedding barn in Raleigh, which quickly got marked off the list for their $20,000 food minimum. My jaw literally hit the floor during this phone call. It was beautiful and Im sure our wedding would have been exceptional had it been there, but it was purely a budgeting/financial issue with that one.
I knew Fearrington Village (Pittsboro, NC) had a beautiful barn area as we had visited it before, but I had my suspicions that it would be out of our price range and I was right. It was about 3 times more than we wanted to pay for our venue. Again, Im sure it would have been a beautiful wedding, but Id rather put that money towards a new house than on one-night.
Then there was The Dairy Barn in South Carolina enter angels singing Hallelujah! We were smitten from the moment we arrived. Gorgeous green fields with horses romping, a sweet, old farm house as you pull up, and last but not least, The Dairy Barn itself. It was fabulous. Plus, we got this feeling of being very comfortable working with the folks from there that we hadnt had from talking to anyone else. AND with using the Dairy Barn for our reception, we get access to all 2300 acres that Leroy Springs has to offer and can have our ceremony anywhere we want!
There is also a fabulous upstairs space in The Dairy Barn that we can use somehow (havent figured this out yet) but it can also be our Plan B in case it rains and ruins the outdoor ceremony we are planning.
Making this decision early in the game helped lay the foundation for the rest of our planning. With choosing our venue, came choosing our date (and also the caterer and tables/chairs/linens since they are contracted already). Checking this off the list helped me relax and move onto the next (and biggest!) decision: the food.
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