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MAY-jah Elements: The Venue, Part Uno

October 22, 2010

Normally, I procrastinate like a pro. But for some reason, I’ve completely turned that around when it comes to wedding stuff. I have this obsessive need to finish things as soon as humanly possible. It’s probably anxiety—the thought of hitting the wedding day without everything done is terrifying to me—and also lots and lots of excitement. So, what this all means is that I’ve already done a lot. And we have lots of catching up to do!

The first priority for Mr. Panther and I was our venue. We really, really wanted to get married on Cape Cod. We both spent our childhood summers there, and my family still has a cottage in Wellfleet, where my aunt had her wedding a couple years ago. Unfortunately, when we looked into the logistics, it became very clear that it just wasn’t a good idea. The Cape is packed in the summer, and most of the hotels jack up their rates and insist on two- or three-night miminum stays. The traffic is nuts. The venues are pricey. It just wasn’t going to happen. I shed a few tears and we forced ourselves to move on.


Goodbye, Cape Cod wedding! *sob* (Personal photo.)

The next best thing? Ooh, the Connecticut shoreline! Really exciting stuff. OK, so it’s no Cape Cod Bay, but it would have to do. I immediately started researching venues. I had quite a few items on my wish list: outdoor ceremony site with a water view but no sand, chiavari chairs, opportunities to take pictures on a dock … After many, many phone calls and tons of Googling, I had it narrowed down to two favorites.

I really liked the Saybrook Point Inn. The ceremony site overlooked a marina, which I thought was really cool and very New England-y:


(Source)

The catering director was so nice, and I loved the area, too. But we needed to fit at least 180 people, and the catering director was very honest—it was doable, but it wouldn’t be very comfortable. Gotta appreciate that kind of candor in the wedding industry!

So, that left the Inn at Longshore. Mr. Panther’s dad and several family members and friends had been to events there and said it was beautiful, the prices weren’t too exorbitant, the ballroom had lots of space and chiavari chairs … It was perfect!


(Source)

When Mr. Panther and I first started planning, we chose July 9 as our date (no particular reason—just seemed like a good day). When I first started researching venues, that day was available everywhere. When my researching period started drawing to a close, I checked back in with Inn at Longshore—and it was gone! Somebody had snapped it up already! I had already booked a trip to Connecticut and made appointments with all the venues on our list (Mr. Panther couldn’t get out of work), but it was still several weeks away, and the Saturdays in July were disappearing quickly. So, after some hectic, rushed decision-making … we booked the venue. Without seeing it. And … without being engaged.

Oh, did I not mention that this was in January? Yeah, apparently shoreline venues book up fast. Really fast. Funny story: when I realized that we needed to get our show on the road quickly, I sent an email to my team at work. This is what it said:

Hey guys,
It turns out I need to book a wedding venue ASAP, so I’m going to have to fly to CT at the end of the month. I’ll be out of the office for a couple days. Just wanted to give a heads up.
Thanks!
Miss Panther

Again, I was NOT engaged at this time. Any guesses on what my coworkers thought? Yup, they were positive there was a little Baby Panther on the way. My bad. In my panic, it never even occurred to me that I might send that message. Heheh.

After I finally convinced my coworkers that I wasn’t knocked up, I started worrying a bit. What if we’d made a horrible mistake? What if we finally saw the venue in person and it just didn’t feel right? Would we give up our sizable deposit, or just suck it up and live with our choice?

This entry is getting long, so you’ll have to wait to find out. Next up: my trip to CT and first visit to our venue.

Did any of you find yourselves forced to make decisions without a ring on your finger? Were you embarrassed like me?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2010 3:18 pm

    I can’t wait to meet Brad Fisher Jr… at the wedding.

  2. October 22, 2010 3:21 pm

    I just stumbled upon your blog! I’m a July 2011 bride too.
    I have to admit that I looked at venues (online) before getting engaged, too. I couldn’t help it!!

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