Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reception venue hunt, and learning to make decisions together

First, I was completely set on the 2300 Club. I knew that Mr. L liked it because he raved about the wedding he'd attended there, the price was perfect, and it was terribly historic and charming. Sure, it didn't have a true dance floor, it was split into rooms, and we wouldn't be able to have everyone sit down, but it was charming enough to make up for that. And there was that great price. That totally made up for the lack of off-the-street parking.

But I was looking at heavy hors d'oeuvres there, and Mr. L really just wasn't OK with that. OK. We can handle that. Onward, to find another venue that worked for him in Rich.

I found the Colony Club. It too, was pretty perfect. It was within walking distance of three great hotels, was another historic row house, and was run by an amazing caterer. I sat with her and came up with a menu. We'd have food stations upstairs and people would mingle, and then we'd adjourn to the ballroom downstairs. Sure, the ballroom was kinda lame, but it had a real dance floor and everyone could fit in the same room for dancing and cake-cutting. The cost-estimate came back, and we realized that we'd have to cut back to make it work; a little less food and a lot less people, but I thought it was do-able. Mr. L was again worried about providing plenty of food, and didn't like the idea of having to move everyone downstairs. Fine. Keep looking.

This time, I wasn't limiting myself to Rich. Sure, we had reserved the chapel there, but there was not deposit, and we wouldn't really lose out if we changed our minds. So I looked all over. He thought that it had to be somewhere that we had ties to - OK, that takes a lot of places out of the running. So, I found two places that looked promising around Lex. The Stoneridge Inn, and the House Mountain Inn. I found out that a few of the people I graduated from law school with used House Mountain, and they all said it was great. And there was the great price. So, while we were in Lex for the (failed) e-shoot, we also stopped by both places to have a look.

House Mountain Inn was lovely, in a brand new, huge hunting lodge sort of way. It came highly recommended, and it had great views. There was even a pond by the ceremony site, and there are hiking trails all around. Not a bad way to spend a weekend. But... we just weren't feeling it. It was too new.

So, the next stop was the Stoneridge Inn. It was everything that was missing at House Mountain. It was a historic plantation home, filled with antiques. There was a spring house and a small family graveyard in the back. But, everything (not just the ceremony) would have to be held outside, and the road up to it was gravel. Small details, as far as I was concerned. It was historic, near Lex, and affordable. And we could have the ceremony there, overlooking the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sigh. Enter Mr. L. He thought it was too far from civilization and wasn't really the Lex that he felt connected to. But he did like the ambiance. He also suddenly started to care about the possibility of rain.

And then he brought up the idea of having it at the 2300 Club again. I was more than a little upset. But I took a step back. We definitely had it narrowed down to two locations - 2300 Club or Stoneridge. Richmond or Lexington. I made it very clear that I wasn't going to look at anywhere new. I had exhausted every place that I knew how to find. (And the wedding planner that I would have trusted to take all of this out of my hands was completely booked for our Richmond date.)

And so, we're learning to make this decision together. We have very different decision-making styles (and I've known this for a while). I take in all the info I can get for a limited amount of time. I look at the info I have at that point, and then I make a decision based on what looks best at that point. I eliminate what I can easily (like places that are booked or way out of our price range), and then pick from what remains based on their known pros and cons. And then I'm done. Once I've made a decision, I feel good about it. I know that I looked at many options, and I know that it was the best one. I like to think of this as "the best way" to make a decision.

Mr. L, on the other hand, feels like he must have all of the information before he can make a decision. He worries/is convinced that there is one perfect answer to each question, and he is sure that he'll eventually find it. This is great in many ways. I know that when he gives me a gift, it is well thought out, and absolutely perfect. He also rarely makes impulse purchases, and the vacations he plans really are absolutely amazing. He finds the best hotels/restaurants/recipes and because of this, I have really been able to experience amazing things that I never would have known even existed. I'm really not complaining. Exactly.

The problem is that once I've made a decision, he starts questioning it, wondering if it is the absolute best. It drives me crazy! It makes me think that he doesn't trust my decision making skills, that I really did make a bad decision and he'll never be happy with it, and that I'm a giant failure because I can't even make these decisions! Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration, but really, it's not much of one. I'm an emotional creature.

And so, I am now trying a new technique. Now that we have it narrowed down to two places, I have let Mr. L know which way I'm leaning, and that I think he's leaning the same way, and that I'm giving us another day (today) to think about it. If we still feel good about it tonight, I'm going to sign the contract tomorrow. And I'm therefore going to have all of the info for our invitations and save-the-dates in to our stationer by the end of this week. And I have hope for this new method. If it works, I'll have a lot of updates this week!

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