I think we quickly decided that booking the two major places - Ceremony site, reception site - would help in deciding every other major decision.
Hmm, where to go from here. Maybe I will list the things you need in a ceremony or reception site:
Are you having -
a large or small wedding?
an indoor or outdoor wedding?
a traditional or theme wedding? (or a mix?)
a large bridal party or small?
to work with an odd color scheme?
a desire to want your wedding in a meaningful place?
to work within a budget?
These play a major role in deciding where to have your event(s).
We chose the Mustard Seed because of four reasons:
1 - it would not take a lot of extra work to decorate the sanctuary
2 - it was well within our budget
3 - the church is sentimental to Matt
4 - big enough to hold our 750+ facebook guests (heheh) (We also went with a BIG wedding.)
Here are a good set of questions to ask when selecting your sites -
1 - How much!?
2 - How many guest can you accommodate?
3 - Do you provide catering or can we/do we need to bring in outside food?
4 - Do you allow candles? If so, what are your rules on usage?
5 - How much decorating/re-arranging can we do?
6 - What block of time would we have when reserving the space?
Now, on to Ze Dress!
When deciding on a dress I would suggest scheduling an appointment with David's Bridal, even if you do not plan on buying a dress there. At David's Bridal you can try on gowns in all sorts of styles. What you think you MAY like in the magazine, may not look as flattering on you. For example, as first I loved the big, puffy, princess-dresses, with all the gathers in the skirt, but when I tried it on, the dress completely swallowed me up! So I branched out and tried on other styles. The dress I ended up LOVING was a dress that the David's Bridal associate brought on her own for me to try on. Working with family and David's Bridal employees greatly enhances your ability to make a decision that really is right for you.
Once you have a style in mind (or even an exact dress), use your resources! I just came back from 2 years in the Philippines and had some contacts in the area. So I got the style I wanted for a lot less. There are plenty of ways to get the style you really want for less than David's Bridal prices, because, let's face it, they know they have the monopoly and use it to their advantage.
Side note: If you choose to go with David's Bridal in the end, don't think that you HAVE to go with their accessories and undergarments.
Get ready for next time... when we talk about talking with the parents... the good, the bad, the ugly.