Location, location, location

I’m a writer. I like to sit at home with a cup of coffee, put pen to paper, and discourse over whatever has been floating around the old noodle for the last 24 hours. You could say I don’t mind attention – but only when I can receive it from the comfort and safety of my own home office through discussion boards, forums, and blogs. Or from my cat.

The part about the wedding day being all about the bride doesn’t resonate with me very well. I’m a bit chagrined at the thought of one full day where all eyes are turned upon me. Shortly after we got engaged, I’d frequently extol the advantages of a destination wedding to Fiance, selling him on the benefits of a limited guest list, less planning, and a laid-back reception.

Fiance, on the other hand, hates to waste an opportunity for a party. He also hates to waste an opportunity for people to lavish gifts upon him (see prior post about his proclivity for collecting free stuff), which would have been too much to ask of our guests should they have had to purchase a plane ticket and hotel room to share in our special day. I also understand Fiance’s strong family relationships and his desire to ensure his relatives can be present at no burden to them, and thus never questioned why he vetoed my destination proposal.

One thing we both agreed on was that the location we chose should reflect our casual personalities.

The perfect venue eluded us for quite some time, and is certainly one of the factors behind why it’s taken us three years post-engagement to set a date. We visited mansions (beautiful, but not exactly “us”), beachfronts (surprisingly beyond our budget), ski lodges (didn’t have our ideal date), and even an aquarium (might have been just far away enough to still be considered a destination wedding).

All hope of having our wedding in 2012, and potentially before the end of the world, was about to be abandoned when good fortune smiled upon us at a local micro-brewery. We were there to get lunch, but walked out with a place to get married. Boasting four floors (a basement night club, a main level restaurant, a second floor ceremony site, and a third floor reception hall), the Allentown BrewWorks had everything we could want in a venue – close to home, just big enough to accommodate our ideal guest list, and allows our guests to stay in one place for all of the important stuff, including the after-party at the basement nightclub. My favorite part is that the beer and food is amazing, and I’m a huge fan of the fact that they buy locally grown and organic ingredients.

It may not be an exotic beach on a tiny island, but I’m thrilled with this find – after all, you can’t get much more casual than exchanging your vows amongst stainless steel beer fermentation tanks.

Are you nervous at all about the big day? How did you decide on your reception site? Past and future brides, share your stories here!