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I''m so confused!!!!...keep it local? have semi-DW in FL?

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Mandarine

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 20, 2006
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3,786
I must be the most confused bride on earth!!!!. I change my mind every three seconds and I keep on doing frantic research!!!!. I''m in FL and there are just so many options!!!!!

I started looking locally (from Miami to the Palm Beaches...). The prices here are so steep that I decided to start looking in other places in FL. I do still have some places locally that I like and that may fit the budget.

Then I started looking in St Augustine...although I love, it, FI is not loving the idea.

Then I started looking at Key West. The problem there is that I''m worried about people partying too much the day before (Friday) and then be too tired on Saturday!). ALso, I see Key West as a more "casual" atmosphere.

So today I started looking at the West Coast and fell in love with Sanibel Island and the surrounding areas.

I don''t know what to do!!!!. I have so many e-mails, quotes, etc...that is just becoming too much to tackle!.

Any suggestions? ideas? advice?. What would you prefer?. I like the idea of a traditional wedding here...but then I also love the idea of doing something somewhere else (I know the number of people coming would be less, but I''m ok with that.....it means I can spend more on the people that do come!!! ;))

Very, very confusing!!

M~
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
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I think this location choosing is the most difficult and yet most important part. Its so wide open initially and yet the decision will really play into a lot of different aspects of the wedding in the end - budget, guest list, "feel", meal options, ease of the rest of your planning, etc.

Its OK to feel like you are all over the place, to get quotes from a bunch of different places, to flit about with different ideas and see what you think the budget would be.

and the end of the day you and your FI will have to make some basic choices about what you want, which aspects to prioritize. So just carefully go over the ramifications of each choice and listen when your gut tells you something is important.

we initially were looking in both of our hometowns on the east coast, thinking it would be cheaper than where we live now and easier for my family to attend. We got price quotes there and here in CA, and realized that prices at places back home we were interested in weren''t that much cheaper, especially as we couldn''t go bargain shopping ourselves, more extended family would come (making it more $$) and planning would be a royal PIA, as I could just envision trying to rely on my parents to do wedding planning with disasterous results. So we ended up doing it here in CA, not exactly near us so it still will feel a bit vacationy, but close enough that finding vendors isn''t too difficult.

And other decisions - like to have it on a summer Sat. night, and serve dinner, that are made coincident with the venue selection will really have an impact on your budget and the kind of event you are planning, so I think its OK to take a lot of time on this step, and really explore the options with your FI and even your respective families to see what they think.

As for specific advice, I went to a wedding in St. Augustine and it was fine, key west would be fun but I think you have to really be up for a certain beach-crazy San Trope feel (it doesn''t sound like you are) so of the options you listed I really like the island on the West Coast idea. Still hopefully close enough that planning woln''t be too difficult and clearly I''m a fan of making people travel a bit to cut down on numbers.

But you have to make sure, in your heart, that you (and your FI) want the less traditional island wedding. Nothing wrong with a larger traditional hometown wedding if its what you want!

Good Luck!
 

Mandarine

Ideal_Rock
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Thank you Cara! Your post really helped :)

I''m ok with not having a traditional wedding. I actually would rather not have a traditional wedding...so if I did it local I would do things to make it different.

I mainly just want everyone to have a great time!, dance the night away and enjoy the party!!

M~
 

basil

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
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1,526
Sanibel is really nice. My grandparents live in Ft. Myers, so I''ve been there a bit over the years. My cousin got married at South Seas Plantation on Captiva last year. I couldn''t go, but I guess it was pretty nice.
 

aquarius_ser

Shiny_Rock
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Apr 12, 2006
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there are a lot of beautiful places on Sanibel and Ft. Myers area but they are pricey..... Out of my price range so I''m getting married in N. Redington Beach (by St. Pete/clearwater)
 

biblobaggins23

Shiny_Rock
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Nov 25, 2006
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when i chose my location, my main concern was travel time for my guests. i also wanted to make sure that those traveling had a very affordable place to spend the night if they were traveling and a place where they could go back home that night if they wanted to.

for me, the main concern was that the location was easily accessible to MOST of my guests. i wanted to make sure that everyone didn''t travel too far because i was afraid that if my location was far away, most people wouldn''t want to travel and therefore, hesitant to come (even if they did love me and my fiance, fiances are a factor for guests). i really tried very hard to make sure that the majority of my guests who lived in my state all traveled a short distance. i tried to find a common meeting point. i want a large wedding, so i had to make the majority of the people on the guest list could make it!

its also important that the location is a reasonable time away from your home for your sake and your planner. you will be taking many trips to that location to go over details, etc numerous times for your wedding to meet with the event coordinators at that location. i would say try not to be more than 30 minutes to 1 hour away. i think that thinking of the guests, at least from my experience, was my number one priority and then came price.

i know price is a factor for you and any bride when choosing a location, but it really shouldn''t. let me tell you why from what i am going through right now with my wedding planning. i do have a budget that i have to stick with though and i definately thought of price. but i realized that shouldn''t be my #1 concern. i knew that no matter how high-end of a location we chose, there would always a vendor SOMEWHERE OUT THERE with a price in my budget or vendors willing to travel to accomodate my price needs. you just have to negotiate, and some vendors are negotiable! i knew that i could make my budget workable to my location by being creative and making the most out of the money i could spend. its about design on a dime girl! travel distance not so negotiable for guests. i have learned that guests and the bridal party are really really picky.

i think a wedding on sanibel is FANTASTIC!!!! plus, you can make it dressy/coctail or beach side chic or casual. there are such a huge amount of opportunities you can do with location near the beach and totally work with your budget!!! plus, a casual chic wedding can be low-cost, but high end looking. its a beautiful place! i don''t know if you are considering this, but a sea side wedding would be cool especially if the beach is at your reception site.

i don''t know where you live, but if naples is close to your home, that would be another another place to consider. my parents always took me there as a kid, and i think its the most beautiful place in florida hands down! i miss it soo much!


GOOOD LUCK! I WISH I COULD DO A FLORIDA WEDDING! THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS! HAVE FUN PLANNING!
 

aquarius_ser

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
269
I just re-read your post and I need to add that we did not want a large wedding, but a smaller, intimate one with just the people we truly care about (I know, it sounds mean).
I don''t talk to most of my "family" and I really don''t care to, so I didn''t not want to have them at my wedding so I could "pretend" to be happy they were there and waste my time attempting to be gracious at the reception. That being said (Gee, I sound grumpy and hateful!)


Also, we''ve both lost touch with a lot of friends... so smaller made sense to us.

and I LOVE the beach!!
 

vizsla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Messages
1,015
hi there!
my FI and i are getting married on captiva island / sanibel island and we are finding it is cheaper than getting married where we live....... and we live in the cold cold midwest.

my FI parents have a condo on sanibel so we visit quite a bit. i just love it there, the beaches are beautiful and it''s sooooo chill!

i''ll let you in on a little secret;-) october in sanibel is extremely affordable and the weather is still really nice .. plus, since it is the "off season" hotel/condo rates are cheap cheap cheap... we''re talking $120/night for a 2 bedroom oceanfront condo that sleeps 6. so if you are concerned with the expense for your guests there are a lot of options.

we are renting a house on captiva and getting married on the beach. when you consider the cost of staying in a brand new house that sleeps 12...... that is also doubling as your reception venue the cost is right in line with anything i would have reserved here... AND we get to host everyone from the wedding party at the house.

since there is no cost to get married on the beach we only have to pay for the pastor''s fee.

as far as catering goes... we''ve found some delicious and affordable options (and if you are willing to do the coordination yourself you can save even more $$$) --- plus since we are buying all of the alcohol ourselves we''ve saved a ton on bar fees (and the ipod dj ;-)

i figured it out...... with EVERYTHING (from dress to invitations to coffee to decorations) we will spend close to $8000 for about 80ppl.

and we''re not eliminating the "good stuff" we''re still having a full bar, filet, cocktail hour...

i guess what i''m saying (in a ton of words) is that there is always a way to make it work.. you just have to be creative and unafraid of some legwork:)

i can help you with the sanibel area if you''d like!

have fun planning!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Sanibel...I love it there! I''ve only been there once, and it was for my cousin''s wedding. I can''t remember the name and I''m sure there are 1000 of them, but my cousin''s wedding was on a golf course. It was beautiful -- the wedding was on the course and the reception was at the pool they had there. It was in the evening and the light breeze was so nice. I''ll try to get the name of it and get back to you.
 

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
1,937
Mandarine, no advice on FL weddings but just wondering how it''s coming along. Can you go visit some venues in order to narrow things down? Once you go and talk to them, you definitely get a better feel for the place and options. I found there are many options outside the traditional package options that might work for you.
I may have missed this but have you picked a date or a month? I do think picking a venue is the hardest part and you will feel relief once you''ve made that choice but it takes time. It took us about a month to do the research, go visit, budget costs and options and then finally, PICK!
Good luck!
 
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