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What I Learned From Choosing My Wedding Venue 4 Times

As we all know, everything in life feels a bit topsy-turvy due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. Many couples already have rearranged their wedding plans, and as orders keep extending, other husbands and wives to be duos will face the same challenge. Whether you’ve already had to change your wedding plans, or you’re about to walk down that shaky road, this one is for you.

When I was engaged at 19 and planning to marry my now-husband, Dillon, at 20, we knew we weren’t going to have an elaborate wedding. I was about to enter my sophomore year at Simmons College, Dillon was getting used to working at a start up, and we didn’t have the resources to plan an extravaganza. Fortunately for us, we wanted a simpler, family focused day anyway, so we weren’t bothered. I originally planned to get married at a field owned by family friends. My uncles hosted weddings their previously, and I remembered the easy-going feeling of a field wedding. So I had my uncle reach out to his contact. I quickly became absorbed in other wedding planning details–telling vendors where my wedding was and basing all of my plans on this one spot, until one day I learned that we actually couldn’t have our wedding in the field; the wedding date conflicted with the haying schedule. Oops.

My amazing college friends that dealt with most of my stress.

So then we were in a pickle. I settled on Borderland State Park, until I learned that our tent company wouldn’t let us leave their equipment at a state park without a 24 hour police detail (our rental was 4 days long). So we nixed that plan, and settled on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s home in Concord. It was picturesque and bookish, perfect for a future English teacher. But then Concord wouldn’t allow us to serve our own food since it went against their health code laws. So we nixed that plan. Finally, a different family friend was brought up, ones that had previously started hosting weddings on their own farm. We were hooked!

But all of this change wasn’t easy. I remember crying to my friends in the Simmons dining hall, stressed that I wouldn’t have a wedding at all. So here are my big takeaways:

  • The Most Important Part of Your Wedding Day is Who You Marry.

I get that we all care so much about planning out our dream versions of our big day–I did that too. But truly, the important thing was that my best friend was becoming my husband, my official partner for life. If you hold on to that during all of the craziness, it is much easier to get through it all.

  • It’s Possible to Plan Several Versions of a Wedding Day That You’ll Love.

One side of the farm house where we got married!

The other side where our wedding was actually held. Look at the view!

I loved my field wedding idea because of the simplicity. I loved my state park wedding idea because there was a castle…or what I called a castle. I loved my Nathaniel Hawthorne wedding idea because it incorporated big parts of my identity. And I loved my actual farm wedding because the couple that hosted us were so much more than hosts. They mentored us through that time and loved us unconditionally. They made us feel so welcome. They had sheep for our guests to pet. They put their whole hearts into decorating and making sure that we had a great start to our love story.

It’s okay to mourn what you thought was going to happen. It’s okay to love your old plans and your new plans for different reasons. But I promise that your new plans are just as special, even if they weren’t your first plans…because The Mose Important Part of Your Wedding Day is Who You Marry.

  • Your Family and Friends Won’t Think You’re Crazy.

More of my lovely Simmons friends–they’re the best!

Almost all of my bridesmaids. They provided so much support as well!

Part of me, especially since I was young, worried that everyone thought I couldn’t plan a wedding. But honestly, the people that cared about me the most weren’t busy judging me, they were busy helping me!

You aren’t foolish for not thinking of a global disaster altering your plans. You aren’t crazy for being upset about it. You aren’t alone in feeling like you’re all over the place. And you will get through it.

  • Your Wedding Vendors Want to Help. 

Some of my aunts and uncle that put in a TON of effort for our day.

I loved my florist (MacMannis Florist & Greenhouses), my tent and supplies vendor (Sunshine Tent Rentals), and our farm house owners. They were all full of compassion as Dillon and I walked through this planning journey. It’s okay to ask any vendor for suggestions as you go through this. As a photographer myself, I definitely want to help you during this time! So ask away!

You’ve got this wedding planning business, even if it feels overwhelming right now.