Finding the Perfect Wedding Location Is Not an Easy Task
When I first started researching, I never thought we were going to find a place to get married (glass half empty, right?). I knew once we had the date and the location, everything else would slowly but surely fall into place. Throughout our search, we found that there were many places that just weren't "us." We spent many a weekend on the road, meeting with wedding venues in the Hudson Valley, upstate New York and the Poconos in Pennsylvania.
We both come from event planning backgrounds so impressing us was pretty hard. We didn't want a place that has been so over done with weddings. We wanted a more boutique, unique experience since we had seen the pros and cons of working with many venues locally.
One of the first venues we scouted was The Garrison in Garrison, NY. This venue has a breathtaking view of the Hudson River and it is very chic, boutique and gorgeous. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it work with our budget restraints. We also looked at Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie, NY which is a very unique historical venue that has beautiful grounds. It was a front runner for a long while until we thoroughly researched the added costs of bringing in an outside caterer.
Jeremiah and I decided to check out some wedding locations in the Poconos in Pennsylvania. We first checked out a very popular location called Stroudsmoor in East Stroudsburg, PA. We quickly realized the inconvenience it would be to have everyone invited to the wedding travelling two hours out of their way. We would have to factor in hotel rooms, getting there the day of and so on.
The French Manor a boutique, country Inn was a wedding location that we stumbled upon and I fell in love, head over heels. It was perfect. It had gorgrous views of the mountains, it had an organic spa and the rooms were to die for. We learned that if we chose to book our wedding there we would be the only patrons on the property. Our very own Inn all to ourselves and our families and friends. Nice, right? We thought so too. Once we factored in the amount of rooms we had to guarentee, to add on an open bar and to secure a two night stay for myself and the bridal party it came out to be more than we had budgeted for. We were heart broken.
All hope was not lost. I finally convinced Jeremiah to visit the sister site of The Garrison, Highlands Country Club. We had initially thought that it would not fit with our budget, but once we met with Adrienne and toured the facility we knew this was where we wanted to get married. Truth be told, I had stalked Highlands since Jeremiah and I first became engaged. I thought it was a unique venue to get married in and if it was even remotely related to The Garrison it had to be fabulous, and it was. We kept it close to home, 20 minutes to be exact.
However, choosing Highlands had some sacrifice. We had to move our dream of an October wedding to November to meet our budget criteria. I also used my negotiating skills and worked some magic to gain a little bit more of what we wanted.
Once we had "the talk" with our parents, we signed on the dotted line. And finally, we had a date and a place!