When I first set foot on Radford University’s campus, I knew it was the perfect school for me. I was comfortable, the scenery was serene, and the people were amazingly helpful. I could picture myself walking to class and never wanting to leave campus.
Choosing a venue was not as simple as choosing my home of the past few years, which was surprising. I always knew I wanted to get married at a vineyard… or so I thought. Where you may picture yourself saying “I Do” or dancing the night away may be completely different from where you actually end up and I learned that over time, stress, and even a few tears.
The biggest struggle that I hit during the venue tours was when I realized that my family just does not have the monetary capability to contribute to this aspect of my wedding. It took me a while, but I realized that just because we can’t afford the fancy barn surrounded by a breath-taking, mile-wide view of mountain ranges, doesn’t mean I’ll end up getting married by a dumpster serving whatever was thrown out that night. (Fact: I really did tell Ian, my fiance, that that would happen a few times… okay 7 times).
After looking at two venues that I knew we could work with and one that Ian and I both fell in love with but just couldn’t afford, Ian mentioned his aunt. She and her husband had just finished renovating an old farm house, literally three houses down from his parent’s house. We took a trip to visit her and when we brought it up, she INSTANTLY said yes! Finally, a weight was lifted off of our shoulders! The three of us walked around planning out everything and I could finally envision everything perfectly. I never thought I would be celebrating my marriage in a backyard, but now I love the idea.
Honestly, it never crossed my mind until just now: Why did I ever want a wedding venue that costs thousands of dollars and is going to be used by other couples over the years? Our venue is free. Our venue is unique. No one else will have the same exact scenery in their wedding pictures. Besides, who cares how much you paid for a venue? All that matters on the day of your wedding is that you get to start a new life with an amazing person and will be surrounded with love and celebration by those who mean the most to you.