Wedding Week: Engagement and the Hunt for the Perfect Venue

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January 5, 2008

I can’t say that I wasn’t expecting to get engaged at some point to Jon, but I can honestly say that I didn’t expect it when it happened. It was a cold, gloomy, rainy January morning. Jon handed me a card which led me on a scavenger hunt… and with each clue that I found was a rose and another card leading to the next clue… and eventually to him holding a ring.

At the point that I started the hunt… I had a pretty good idea what was happening. 😉 I was so excited!

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We went to my parents’ house to share the good news. Apparently I was the last one to know that I was getting engaged. Jon had been at my parents’ house the night before to ask for my hand… in front of the whole family. haha Poor Jon. I love to hear him retell the story; it is hilarious.

Discussion of dates were the first order of business. Since Jon was making the transition from back seat to front seat in the jet… it meant he would be moving from California to Florida for about 8 months of training, leaving at the end of January. After that he would be moving to Texas or Mississippi for the next phase of training. We knew we didn’t want to rush the wedding planning but we also didn’t want to spend a year doing a long-distance engagement either. We decided that September would be a perfect month, leaving 8 months to plan.

It was first assumed that the wedding would be in California. I was born and raised there… and that is where I lived at the time. Jon would be living in Florida so it didn’t really make a big difference to him.

We discussed “themes”, “colors”, “styles”…which I’m not really sure Jon really cared either way. My dream wedding could have been a few different things:

Ceremony in an old white country church with a steeple.

churchBetter Homes and Gardens Weddings

OR under the majesty of the Grand Tetons.

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OR under a big oak tree…

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…with the reception in a barn.

Oh, how I loved the idea of a barn.

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My imagination is big, unfortunately our budget wasn’t. So we tried to create our dream in the far-from-country barns of Southern California.

I found this venue in Ventura called Eucalyptus Lane.

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I loved it…but it was a little over my budget.

Next, we found a delightful little historic church in Orange County.

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It was in a little historical park… right smack dab in the middle of the city. The church was cute… despite the fact that two people couldn’t walk down the aisle next to each other at the same time. As for the reception…

We found a barn on a golf course down the street called Strawberry Farms.

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It was going to be our best combination…but it just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t a fit for us… I couldn’t commit to the venue. 😉

And then I saw it…

After searching and searching… I knew I found the “one”…

three states away.

where I should have been looking all along.

call it intuition.

i call it destiny.

Of course we had to actually go look at this place first.

I had far too many “it looked a million times better on the Internet” venue searches that just ended up in disappointment.

It just so happened that I was taking the cross country drive to Florida with Jon to get him all moved into his new place. We couldn’t pass through Texas without looking at this place! So we did. And fell in love.

this was it.

this was the place.

We were going to have our wedding in TEXAS! :)

and yes, everyone did think we were crazy.

NEXT UP: The Venue!

Sneak peek…

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Stay tuned for a tour around MOON RIVER RANCH!

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  • http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com Marty

    Oh Happy Anniversary!!! YOur wedding venue looks fabulous. What a wonderful story of your engagement and your journey to find the right place for the wedding. I also enjoyed so much your post about attending the “Flight Day”. I know the Lord blessed you with that day. Hugs Marty

  • http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com Marty

    Oh Happy Anniversary!!! YOur wedding venue looks fabulous. What a wonderful story of your engagement and your journey to find the right place for the wedding. I also enjoyed so much your post about attending the “Flight Day”. I know the Lord blessed you with that day. Hugs Marty

  • http://www.sunnysusan.blogspot.com Sunny

    Happy Anniversary….we are awaiting our 18 in October…seems just like yesterday….blessings

  • http://www.sunnysusan.blogspot.com Sunny

    Happy Anniversary….we are awaiting our 18 in October…seems just like yesterday….blessings

  • Lauren

    I love this week, so I can hear all about your planning:) I know I’ll find some inspiration along the way!! BTW, that second picture of Eucalyptus Lane is exactly the look I’m going for at Moon River!

  • Lauren

    I love this week, so I can hear all about your planning:) I know I’ll find some inspiration along the way!! BTW, that second picture of Eucalyptus Lane is exactly the look I’m going for at Moon River!