Dave and I both share a fondness for Asian culture, specifically Japanese. I'd twice visited the Morikami Gardens and had my heart set on there as the place to host our wedding. I hadn't been there in many years, and Dave had never been there at all, but we both felt the atmosphere would be serene and not stuffy or pretentious. We both wanted something small and outdoors so we thought it sounded good. Last week we went for a tour and found out it wasn't going to work for us. For an evening reception, the price of the site alone was our entire budget and that didn't include any catering or table and chair rentals.
For a daytime reception, the event would be reasonably priced, but we were severely limited in ambiance and it seemed like a no-big-deal kind of a thing which isn't my idea of wedding. I plan to do this only once, so I'd like to do it right and not feel that we had to make it work just to do it in a certain location. I went home feeling grumpy that the place I'd thought of all along wasn't going to fit for us.
My friend, Billie, is having a wedding in November on the beach. I'm sure it'll be beautiful and a good time. There are no shortage of beach locations in South Florida, and it would be no problem to find a similar venue to host a wedding at, or even at the same site she's using as the event coordinator has been pretty good to her so far. But to me, I grew up on the beaches of California and have lived on the beaches of Florida since then and the beach doesn't do it for me. I had a garden setting in my head since before I chose the dress and I feel the want to keep a garden setting. So Morikami is out. But I'll keep looking.
Oh, and I did find a florist. Billie decided to use this one and, having met Carol, the florist, I think I'll end up using her too. We also have a DJ who is a friend of a friend and does my friends' Halloween party every year. Two vendors down. None paid yet, but two secured.