Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Adventures in Gettin' Married: Location, Location, Location!

Guess what?! I am getting MARRIED! 

I wasn't engaged for more than probably an hour before I started thinking about where I wanted to get married. With Aaron's family in Iowa, my extended family in Oregon, and our friends and my immediately family in California we had an unlimited number of choices. 

We tossed around the idea of destination wedding. Hawaii. Mexico. Even New Orleans. But then we decided that we did not want everyone to have to pay a huge amount of money to make it to the wedding. We just hoped our friends and family would attend! 

That led us back to California, which I love! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn't want to get married in the valley. Yes, I live in the valley. I work here. People are super nice --- but if we are going to have out-of-state friends and family fly in, it should be to somewhere cool. Lake Tahoe. Disneyland. San Francisco. Monterey. 

My mom graciously bought me a Northern California Bride. I used the venue descriptions and websites as a springboard. I found a lot of really cool places! But when I called inquiring about pricing and such, I found out that they want to know your wedding date. Randomly looking at a calendar, I decided to inquire about October 1, 2011. 10/1/11. Aaron and I met on 10/1/08 and I thought it would be fitting and pretty cool to get married on the same day! And of course, everything was booked. Literally nowhere had that date available. 

I started looking into dates outside of 2011, when one venue I was really eager to look at happened to have an opening on September 3, 2001. This was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. And it was only a little over six months away. Aaron and I decided that it wouldn't hurt to check it out, plus it might be nice for travelers to have an extra day to see the sights!  Twelve days after getting engaged, Aaron and I embarked on an adventure to look for wedding venues. 

We knew that the venue was 'under construction.' Essentially, looking at the venue was like looking into the future: we had to imagine the possibilities. While there were quite a few things that were still being worked on, it was easy to imagine the beauty the construction masked. The house was remarkable! It is a historic Monterey landmark -- a Victorian home -- originally built in 1860 by a whaling ship captain. When it was renovated in the late 1960's the neighboring carriage house was remodeled with a beautiful vaulted stained glass ceiling, an art piece rumored to have been purchased at a junk yard! The small, intimate building is located minutes away from Cannery Row, and is within walking distance of Fisherman's Wharf. The view from the balcony was astonishing, as you could clearly see all the way across Monterey Bay. 

As we toured the facilities, I got really nervous.  I wasn't nervous because I wasn't sure about what it would look like, or anything like that. I was nervous because I really, really loved it, and it was only the first place we had been to!

After the official tour Aaron and I walked around on our own a bit, discussing what could be -- when I heard the couple below us ask about 'our date.' It hit me. I knew it was crazy. I knew it was soon. But as I stood on the stairway, looking out over the garden, I saw it. I saw myself standing there in my white dress anxiously hoping I wouldn't trip down the stairs trying to get to my future-husband. After I awoke from my day-dream, there was Aaron smiling and nodding. He knew it, too. 

Pictures from The Perry House, Monterey, California

The view from the balcony at night. 

Inside the Carriage House, note the hint of
the beautiful stained glass. 

The view from the balcony during the day. 

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