This'll have to be quick since I'm supposed to be, like, working and stuff. We just had the third of three (scheduled) visits, and...crap.
After being totally floored by The View on Saturday, I figured today's venue (The Garden) would be a token visit to confirm that we'd already found the best venue, but no, not so much. The Garden has many good things going for it--beautiful garden with blooming flowers, relatively low rental rates, a whole house at our disposal for preparing and lounging--and nothing we saw was clearly better or worse than The View; it was just...different. Where The View was all about elegance and service and well-manicured lawns (it is on a golf course), The Garden has simple beauty (rustic yet clean!), flexibility (choose from eight caterers!), and flowers for days. The Boy is going to crunch the numbers on this one tonight since we didn't get a full estimate, and if the cost difference is substantial (even including a hefty catering estimate and the potential stress of doing all the planning ourselves) then we might have a winner.
Now, if the costs work out to about the same (unlikely, but possible), we'll have a different question on our hands. Do I want pampered elegance (the Sunday wedding package at The View is literally called "Pampered Bride") or DIY? I was kind of looking forward to letting my crafty side out to make decorations, place cards, centerpieces, etc., but now I'm worried that they'll look shabby at the swanky place, whereas they would probably look great in a colorful garden setting. To what extent should the surroundings reflect our personalities, and at the same time how much do the surroundings say about who we are? And how much does it matter if the venue is swanky, even if we as people aren't?
Anyway, I'm hoping that a lot of these questions will answer themselves soon--either there'll be a clear winner on costs, or the magical July date at The View (the only one that doesn't conflict with a major golf tournament) will disappear. I know we'll be happy with whatever we choose, but this part is so frustrating...