It would be very embarrassing to call on wedding vendors without a venue booked first. But that almost happened to me.
We narrowed our choices down to two places located on opposite sides of the valley. We viewed each place once and were leaning toward the first venue because everything else paled in comparison. They were nice places, of course, but they didn’t have that intangible rightness the first did.
When we arrived on the property, a fully functional farm and wedding venue, it had a distinct homey feeling, probably because it is someone’s home. A dirt road led up to the front desk and a happy dog greeted my parked car.
A friendly-looking man appeared near the main lodge, and the dog ran back to him. He introduced himself and after a quick jaunt in the lodge to meet his mother, also the owner, we jumped inside his truck for a tour of the ranch.
Even during late winter the ranch was beautiful. We visited the cozy wood cabins before arriving at the grand hall, a gigantic barn built by the people who lived on the farm. Our guide said he would open the doors for us so we could see the “money shot.” Apparently many brides chose to make their breath-taking grand entrance through these magnificent wooden doors.
The doors slowly opened and revealed the interior structure. There aren’t many things which take my breath away, but this did. My fiance and I stood in silent awe. Our guide wasn’t kidding when he called this the “money shot.” I knew this was the place, and the remainder of our tour only confirmed that. A rustic, handcrafted, two-level barn could house our ceremony and reception. It was had changing areas upstairs, a full kitchen and bar. We spent some time back at the main lodge chatting with the owners; down-to-earth, kind-hearted people who truly knew how to host an amazing event.
We left that day without booking them. But it didn’t take long for us to call back and reserve our date with the ranch. Just like with the dress, you’ll know when you find your venue because you’re unable to imagine your wedding happening anywhere else.