WEDDING PLANNING: VENUE + PLANNER
Finally, we have a date! We are getting married next October. I cannot wait. The “realness” has set in. When you’re looking for venues, and trying to compare apples to apples based on what each venue offers, it’s really hard!
BOoKing A VENUE
Without a venue, you don’t really have a date. Lots of people kept asking, “When’s the wedding?”...”Have you set a date?”...”When are you getting married?”....every form of the question fell on my ears. But, you absolutely CANNOT set a date until you’ve spoken to a venue about their availability and placed your deposit. One of my biggest fears was that I would choose a date, get my heart set on it, then find out it was already booked! Talk about avoidable heartbreak.
At the beginning of October we toured three venues in person on our trip to Florida.
All these venues were great in their own ways, but for one reason or another, we just decided to go in a different direction. And, by different direction, we chose a venue we haven’t actually seen. Now, before you tell me we’re crazy. We “sort of” saw it. You see, the venue we chose is undergoing a total renovation. Maybe our wedding theme should be “Fixer Upper”. Hahah! But, we did a drive by of the location during our trip. There wasn’t much to see. ;)
WHY WE CHOSE THE CLAY THEATRE?
The Clay Theatre in Green Cove Springs is an old theatre that is being transformed into a wedding venue. It is going to be completely magical. A lot of what is on the wedding venue market is rustic, barn, etc. But, that just isn’t “us”. So, the fact we were able to find this place not too far away from where we met made perfect sense. Deep down inside I’m an old woman, and there’s some part of my soul that is always drawn to things of the past.
We are keeping up with the progress they are making on the build through their Instagram account, and via the owner Andrea Vallencourt. I’ll post some of the architect renders down below. It’s amazing to see how quickly things are progressing, and they are set to be finished by April - accepting events in May 2019. Andrea is great at getting back to me with any of my crazy bride questions, and has even reached out to get her brides opinions on design changes! It makes us totally feel like part of the process.
GETting A PRO
Another big step we took was hiring a wedding planner. Hiring a wedding planner when we are planning a wedding from states away was the only way to guarantee my sanity. Francesca Cooper of The Eventful Gals will be helping us plan our big day. She’s already helped us so much by starting with a budget analysis.
Tip: You need to know where the money should go before you start spending it!
WHY WE CHOSE THE EVENTFUL GALS?
To be completely transparent, Francesca did not come to me by way of recommendation (although you can read plenty of great reviews HERE). We met in true millennial fashion - on Instagram. Not too long after Kyle + I got engaged, I followed a few hashtags on Instagram like #jacksonvillewedding and #jacksonvillebride. Her account popped up, and I loved the style she was able to achieve for her brides. I have to say, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have even found the venue! She pointed me to The Clay Theatre, and I couldn’t be more grateful! After our first call, I had complete confidence that she would help our big day become something all will remember.
WRITing IT DOWN
I also decided to get an Erin Condren wedding planner. While I do have Francesca at my side, I am a project manager by day. I live and die by my day planner. It helps keep me organized, and I love writing stuff down. Not only that, but I plan to use this as a keepsake of memories with little notes and photos. I think it will be really fun to look back on over the years.
Those are the updates I have for now. I’ve started trying to think of colors/theme/inspiration, but I really want to chat with Francesca about our vision. Hope you all are enjoying these updates!