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BY OLIVIA HUBERT-ALLEN
The Baltimore Sun
BALTIMORE--And so the wedding planning process begins.
I told myself I'd wait until after the holidays to really start thinking about it.
"I want to savor my engagement," I replied to anyone who asked about a date and location. And for a while, that worked.
I decorated our tree without a wedding care, ignored bridal salons as I checked off every person on my Christmas list and avoided the wedding section of Pinterest. But when I talked with friends, it felt like I was in an echo chamber of anxiety.
"Venues book up so fast!"
"You better set a budget!"
"How many people?"
"Where will it be?"
All the questions stressed me and turned this seemingly manageable task into a gargantuan one.
I know of only one way to put my mind at ease when I get stressed (that doesn't involve tequila, anyway), and that is to get to work. So I've been spending my free time doing extensive online research on venues. The only thing I've learned so far? Sam and I are a lot pickier than we like to pretend.
On the wish list:
Somewhere with a nice ceremony space or in close proximity to church.
No ballrooms, unless it doesn't look like a ballroom.
Tents are OK, but we'd prefer a reception indoors so weather isn't a factor.
The place can't feel like a wedding factory.
Wanted: unexpected, modern or scenic spaces. Not wanted: Anything cliche.
Reasonably priced. (Even if you've got cash to spend, should you?)
It's a lot to navigate, especially considering many venues don't list prices on their website. And to make things even more tricky, there is a wide range of what is included in the bottom line. Linens? Chairs? Food? A wedding coordinator? Tent?
My only piece of advice so far: Learn to love Microsoft Excel.