So goes the trials and tribulations of wedding planning.
After coming to realization that, no matter how we crunch our numbers, I was not going to be getting the barn/backyard/garden/ wedding filled with all sorts of DIY personal touches (or at least one in the urban landscape of Chicago…in September…and relatively close to hotels for the many out-of-towners…with access to public transportation…oh yeah, and within our budget), Cheese and I stumbled upon a site I had previously ruled out for some reason.
It’s a restaurant – not a banquet hall or ballroom – but an actual Italian restaurant, tucked away in the middle of a residential street in Lincoln Park. The site is surrounded by brownstones, and walk-ups, and single family homes.
For a ridiculously reasonable cost, we would have access to the main room, bar, and patio. The smaller dining room would then be used for the band.
That is, assuming we can find a band within our budget, but I think we may have just ran out of Wedding God favors.
Oh yeah, and we would also be having the ceramony there as well.
And is not a big restaurant – rather, it’s small, intimate, different. So at least it keeps with the feel of what I was going for.
Given the size (of venue and budget), we are sticking with our original guest list of immediate family. Again, I like this idea as well – I am crazy grateful that we didn’t have family members trying to interfere and tell us who we need to invite, or having to give out the obligatory invites to relatives we haven’t seen since we were 10, or friends of parents we don’t even know.
I like to be able to keep it simple.
No drunk cousins, no crazy pervert uncles, no fake smiles to people I have never met or can't stand.
Just my family, and those I considered as like.
So how far away is it from my original wedding fantasy? What are the things I had to give up? Well, instead of having my Chicago-style food I was hoping for, it will likely be pretty much your typical wedding food. Blech. I LOATHE this idea.
And of course, no garden with the wind gently whispering through the trees and swaying my dress as I glide down the isle.
No dancing under the stars.
No smell of a warm late-summer night as the lingering guests sit around on lawn chairs under colorful lanterns, sipping cocktails and laughing until the police show up (although there is a pretty garden patio…)
But what do I get?
They provide at all - food, beverage, staff, valet, set up, take down – pretty much everything you can think of – and the ceremony would be on site too. No need to deal with separate caterers, linen rental, hidden costs, weather fears, need for Plan B in case of rain, staff hassles, or refrigeration concerns.
I would pretty much just have to show up in my party dress - which, being the lazy anti-bride that I am, could not be better.
I guess in the end my biggest concern was making it as stress free, easy and fun for the guests as well – most of whom are from out of town. And this place does that for me.
And, it’s in a location that, if people wanted to continue the party afterwards, it means a two block walk to just about any type of bar you want.
Now, it is certainly a far cry from the garden bride I was saw myself as, but when it comes down to it, I would much rather prefer as little drama and room for disaster as possible.
And with this one-stop-shop, I pretty much get this security.
And let’s be honest people – I never really saw myself as a bride in the first place. So I can let go of my “whimsical breezy garden party” fantasy and be okay with my mahogany walled, Chicago Italian restaurant.
After all, in my heart of hearts – I am a Chicago gal, perhaps more so than I will ever be that “garden barn” girl.
And if nothing else, the wedding weekend will scream Chicago.
Oh, and lastly – it’s on a Sunday. I know, kinda weird – but it was the only way we were going to be able to get a mid-September date (try getting a Saturday date in Chicago before November and you’ll be shit out of luck).
But I have also come to love this idea as well. I figured – hey – people were going to take Friday off of work anyways, so why not just switch it for Monday? That way, Cheese’s family and grooms party can hit the Cubs game that Saturday afternoon before the rehearsal dinner/backyard BBQ at my sister’s house, and then do the wedding on Sunday.
So that's that with the wedding. Now I don't have to think about it for another five months...at least...