“That Comes to $3,000 per Hour”

by Melissa on January 12, 2011

… said my fiancé.

That is the phrase that shocked me out of our decision to choose a local picnic pavilion site as our wedding ceremony and reception site.

The Pavilion rental company only seems to allow five hour rentals.  We pressed the issue, but they said that five hours would be “plenty of time” for a ceremony and reception.  They said that they would “allow” some extra set up time.  Even though the venue fee is inexpensive ($650 per shelter) and the catering is “cheap” compared to DC standards ($29.99 per person including lots of food and all sodas), we still don’t know if we’re willing to pay.

Given our $15,000 total budget, a five hour event comes to $3000 per hour.  HOLY.SHIT.  No, thanks.

Conversations about our dilemma with other people  went largely like this:

“You can both afford it.  Quit complaining and just do it already.”

If only it were so simple!  My frugalista self just won’t allow it.  So, once again, I have said so long to what I once thought was a perfect venue.  First Glen Echo Park, now the Pavilions at Turkey Run.  Alas.  No hard feelings.  I’m not willing to pay the kind of money you want and to have all those restrictions put in place.

So, after searching, once again, at potential wedding venues and realizing that I had seen them all before, I came across one that I hadn’t.  We can rent out a group campsite for $540/night (we’d probably book it for several days).  We went to visit it on Sunday, and it was AWESOME.  Great ceremony location possibilities, plenty of indoor and outdoor options depending on the November weather, no catering restrictions.  You can bring your own alcohol as long as you apply for a $50 permit.  Pure awesomeness.

And then, the catch.  Of course.  There’s ALWAYS a catch.  We want to get married in November 2011.  They won’t accept applications for that date range until March 2011.  We should not expect to hear if our date has been selected until late May 2011.  Yikes.

After much deliberation, we have decided to take our chances and submit an application in March.  The place is just too good of a deal and location to pass up.  Plenty of folks have planned wedding in six months or less, and we can do a lot of preparations in anticipation of a wedding, regardless of the date.

I’m so excited, and will post more details soon!

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