Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Location, Location, Location: Picking a Venue

When I was younger, I thought I'd get married at The Dairy Barn in my hometown of Fort Mill, South Carolina. I was a junior bridesmaid in a gorgeous wedding there twelve years ago, and I've been in love with its magical southern charm ever since. 

However, The Dairy Barn has grown in popularity since then. In fact, before John and I got engaged, he already knew he'd be a groomsman in a wedding taking place there next summer! Now, John and I aren't "hipsters" in the slightest, but we weren't exactly crazy about having our wedding somewhere a few weeks after our friends. Plus, let's face it: John and I are southern, and we wanted to incorporate that into our big day, but I'm not at all a rustic girl. 

I was determined to find somewhere beautiful yet reasonable- a combination that is trickier than it may seem. Here were my thoughts about our potential venue: 

- I don't really care if it's indoors or outdoors.
- However, if it's indoors it cannot. have. hideous. carpet.
- Also, no hideous wallpaper or decorations. The plainer, the better. 
- It must not be ridiculously priced. 
- It must be beautiful. 

Now, I looked at a few places online, including: 
The Ballantyne Hotel

The Ballantyne is gorgeous, and it's in Charlotte, which is a big bonus. I loved that it was very clear on its website what was included (like chiavari chairs- swoon!) and pricing. I also loved that it was a hotel for convenience for our many out of town guests, but at the same time, I hated that it was a hotel for carpet. Yes, I realize this is probably stupid to most, but not to me. Ultimately, I realized a ballroom just wouldn't be our thing, so the Ballantyne was out. 
Pretty, but... Not us. 

The Cliffs at Glassy

I really loved The Cliffs website when I saw it for the first time. And the second time. And the third time. This place was gorgeous, especially this chapel: 
I mean, who wouldn't want to get married there?!

Obviously, lots of people want to get married there, since they do three ceremonies each Saturday and you don't get to pick which of the three time slot you get... This seemed a little nuts since you'd be paying lots to rent it, just for an hour or two, and on top of that, still have to rent a separate Cliffs clubhouse for the reception. It was definitely out of our budget, and in hindsight, the small chapel would not have held all of our guests.  
Vesuvius Vineyards

I don't remember how I found Vesuvius; my best guess is WeddingWire, but I'm not quite sure. Regardless of where I found it, when I read about it for the first time, I thought, "Why am I just now hearing about this place?!" It turns out, this venue has only been around for a few years, even though the gorgeous plantation style home is the oldest in the entire county. That may be why it just oozes southern charm!
I fell in love the instant I saw Vesuvius in pictures, and it was even more beautiful when John and I went and saw the estate in person. Although the actual vineyard on the property is small (and the grapes haven't produced wine yet), there is so much else it offers. Sprawling land, a gorgeous home to get ready in, and a lovely reception pavilion that gives the best of both indoor and outdoor worlds- the indoor comforts of restrooms and ceiling fans and the beauty of the outdoors, which means less decorating is necessary! 

John and I really clicked with the two owners of Vesuvius, and it didn't take us long to realize we wanted to work with them. I was ecstatic we'd found such an incredible place that fit all of our requirements (and then some!) at our very first venue we toured. While it's forty-five minutes away, I think it will be well worth our drive. What do y'all think?!
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  1. Aww! The venue is gorgeous! I love the outdoor weddings with beautiful homes. It is nice that you have the balance of indoor and outdoors as well as the fact that your guests don't have to travel between venues. I can't wait to see more about your wedding!

  2. Oh my goodness.To die for! I love that venue! Also, I'm using wine bottles/corks/winey things for my decor, I'd totally be ok with shipping them to you after October if you need anything!

  3. I am so glad yall found somewhere that fit your checklist! And I cant wwait to hear more about it! I jsut looked it up online and it was adorable!

    Love Always,

  4. I love this venue...classic Southern charm is right up my alley!