Bridal Spotlight: Meet My Venue

By Ariel Norris

To be completely transparent, I cannot believe that I am sitting her producing a blog post on how Dylon and I finally made a venue decision. Even more shocking- the venue has been right in front of my face this whole time. Dylon and I have been all over Indianapolis and Chicago trying to find the perfect spot. But, to my great relief, we have finally made a very unconventional decision.
Drum roll please…
We are getting married in a building that does not even exist yet! Well, the outside exists, but the inside of the building is completely gutted. Allow me to explain- one of my family members recently acquired this building to use the much-needed space for his office building for his expanding company. The best part? Because it’s family-owned, I have free reign to do whatever I want with it as soon as the building is complete (just no permanent damage, of course).


So wow, Ariel, I’m still not sold on this idea at all. I know your kind of spontaneous and unconventional, but an office building for a wedding? First of all, I’ve seen the blueprint concept and it’s going to be awesome space! It looks more like an event center than anything.

Second, let’s dig deeper here: I wanted more freedom. Type-A personality, remember? There was so much commitment involved when choosing an official wedding venue. I could tell there would be a lot of deadlines for decisions and meetings with certain venues that I knew I would not even have time to make it to. I had lost all excitement about my wedding and became consumed with picking a date, wedding planner, catering, dresses, etc. Additionally, many of the venues that I looked at that
had very limiting selections for vendors since they were already partnered with specific companies. Many would argue that it is going to be more stressful to produce my wedding from start to finish; that I’ve basically become my own wedding planner. Although this process may be more taxing to some, I have already started to enjoy it. I love to pull things together from start finish and working with various local vendors to create my dream wedding from scratch. This might be due to the fact that 1) I’m in marketing and love creating campaigns and such from nothing and 2) I’m a negotiator, remember? I LOVE negotiating. It makes me feel accomplished to see both parties satisfied (in this case, myself and the vendor). The biggest thing that’s important to me is getting to “create” my own unusual wedding without any limits or someone telling me how I should do it. I could not get my mind off the budget. But really though- I was amazed at how many venues mark up their prices over double just because you’ve decided to celebrate the biggest day of your life at their venue. No, not all venues do this and if you don’t mind droppin’ an extra dollar or two for your wedding then no one on this side is stopping you. DO IT! It’s YOUR wedding and one of the biggest days of your life.

In my case, even though I have a generous budget, I was having a really hard time watching things add up. And they were adding up way too fast. I kept thinking about all the other things I wanted to spend that money on… like my dream first home a few miles down the road that I want to put a big down payment on. Or even just our honeymoon. We are planning an absolute dream of a honeymoon that was starting to dwindle away because all our money was going to the venue and all its millions of accessories. It was honestly painful to watch. You can do it do! Here’s the cool thing- your family doesn’t need an office building/future event center. Ask your aunt with the gorgeous back yard and lake if you can borrow her property for a few hours (and put it back to normal after the parties over, of course). Worst case scenario, you end getting married on a beach and only pay for the bare minimum. Purchasing a venue for the night is not the end-all- be-all for your wedding. Get creative and
think about the millions of alternatives out there. I can’t wait to start sharing about the rest of this planning process now that I’m all my own and have nailed down a venue. You better believe I’m going to learn a ton in these next few months that I’m going to want to share! Until then, happy planning!
- Ariel Ann