May 28, 2015

Seven More Things You Don't Realize Until You're Engaged

Since getting engaged, I've learned that there is a lot I need to learn. And that was before I even starting planning.

Now, I won't offend any of the more competent brides-to-be by saying that I've really started planning. I mean, Derrick and I have narrowed down our venue choices... But by narrowed down, I mean we've decided on two, maybe three, possible states where we might get married.

So that should tell you where we're at right now.

But in my defense, I have been doing a bit more than pinning water cooler liquor dispensers on my Pinterest board; I have gone to visit four potential venues and have emailed about 94 more.

And even though this isn't much in the grand scheme of bride-ing, it's been enough to realize that there are way, way more than nine things you don't realize until you're engaged. I mean, nine's just the warm-up. Personally, I'm beginning to think that all engagement rings should come with an instruction manual.

But until that happens, here are seven more things you don't realize until you're engaged, venue addition.

1. The barn-ier the venue, the more expensive the venue.
Counterintuitive, I know. You'd think that if you could have milked a cow there several years ago, the venue would be cheaper, right? Well, wrong. And I blame Pinterest.

2. In wedding world, venues have fees for everything.
Sure, there's the upfront venue fee. But then there's also the corkage fee, the ceremony fee, the linen fee, and even the cake cutting fee. Thank God the DC Metro hasn't caught wind of this strategy yet because there will be hell to pay when I'm charged an escalator fee.

3. But finding those fees is half the fun.
I've been told that wedding venues won't just put their prices on their website because they change every year, but I'm convinced it's because they want you to fall in love with the place before you realize it's $10,000 plus cake cutting compensation.

4. Always underestimate your guest count.
Some lady who works for a Florida barn venue actually told me to do this; always tell venues your low end guest count because you can always add people but never delete them. Which is weird, because ever since Facebook, deleting people is one of my favorite things to do.

5. TheKnot and WeddingWire are a good start, but Google is where the real goods are. and have the major venues, but I've found my favorites so far by Googling "Cheap wedding venues in Maryland." Turns out, online message boards are where all the budget brides hang out.

6. Get married on Sunday.
It's almost always cheaper. It might sound like it sucks, but that's only if you're not doing it right: book the Sunday before a Monday holiday and you'll have the best Columbus Day Eve of your life.

7. Remember that it's just a wedding.
Sure, it's a big deal but it's easier to avoid stress when you realize that, if all goes according to plan, this is just the first day of the rest of your life.