Wedding Planning: Choosing a Destination/Venue

The wedding planning is officially underway! A couple months following our engagement and we have a date (September 2013), a photographer (Linczak Photography) and now a venue!

The date and photographer were fairly easy– the date was basically determined by the availability of the top three items of importance to us– venue, photographer and band. We knew we wanted an autumn wedding, but 2012 was out of the question. Even in January, everything was already booked out well in advance.

I personally don’t mind waiting until 2013 because I think the process will be much more relaxed. We can get some of the big things out of the way but then take our time on the details. I love planning everything ahead, so starting this fall I’ll get to work on some of the details so we both have time to review and give input, making the event a perfect evening of family, friends and fun that best reflects us. Also, we really want to pay for everything ourselves, and this gives us more time to save and pay everything off as we go along. I know that gives both of us peace of mind.

We both did a lot of online research regarding venues, and we were really looking for a few key attributes:

  • Ceremony and reception at the same place
  • Outside ceremony location with a reasonable indoor back-up location in case of inclement weather
  • Overnight accommodations on site
  • Reasonable distance from family and airports
  • Able to accommodate 200 guests

Basically all of our family and friends are coming from out of town, and a good amount are coming from out of state. Brian especially thinks it’s important everyone can stay on site so the party can continue even after we leave the ballroom and so everyone can have brunch together the next morning. A good friend of his did that a couple years ago and it was really nice. No one had to worry about driving, and if you wanted to call it an evening early, you could just make your way up to your room. There is also less cost for us because we don’t have to worry about transportation to and from the site, between ceremony and reception locations, etc. Everything will just be in one place.

And that place is the Bertram Inn and Conference Center in Aurora, Ohio. What I really like about it?

  • 13 minutes from our house
  • Beautiful ceremony spot and back-up ceremony location
  • Reception in the Hayes Ballroom (my mother’s maiden name–grandpa is excited!)
  • Bar out in the foyer and tables/chair in the foyer and outside on the patio so guests can roam about
  • Excellent food and option to move the party to the bar/restaurant
  • Plenty of rooms for rent
  • Free shuttle anywhere in the surrounding area for the rehearsal dinner and the photos between ceremony and reception

I am really looking forward to popping over this fall to see what others are doing with their weddings to steal some ideas of what works and doesn’t in the ballroom. In the meantime, I started pinning all of my ideas so I don’t forget anything.

Despite lots of online research and lots of site visits all over Northern and Northeast Ohio, the final decision really wasn’t that difficult. There just really weren’t as many places that met all our requirements as I initially thought.

Now that several things have been booked, I’m starting to feel like this wedding is actually going to happen! Looking forward to booking the band next!

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