So I really didn't think that the whole ceremony location hunt would be this difficult.
I visited the little white church.The church itself it is very pretty, definitely rustic but it's nice. However the 20 miles of winding backroads to get there and the one lane road it is located on are not out-of-towner friendly. especially if the weather is bad. Also the gravel parking lot is about a block away. And it was muddy when I was there, on a sunny day where it hasn't rained in at least a week. Not worth the headache or $750 unfortunately. If it was in a different location I'd swoop in an book it ASAP.
So we'll be visiting a couple other churches today. Not that it necessarily has to be a church. But in a small town, we don't have many "event spaces" that have any sort of character. All our community centers are gymnasiums. One of the brand new churches is literally a basketball court. They have basketball hoops that pop down from the ceiling of the same auditorium where services are held. Really? And I'm not paying $4000 to rent flooring to cover it up. We don't have giant lofts (or skyscrapers for that matter) or big art galleries. We don't have many old buildings with large capacities, most restaurants could barely hold 100 people standing.We're not much of country club people, and I'm not paying $3000 to have a 15 minute ceremony in the country club.
We really don't want to move the whole thing out to Sacramento (where there are infinitely more options), which is about an hour away. The whole point of having the reception at fiance's mom's house is to save money, and it's our hometown and we have memories there. Ceremony-wise, we can only comfortably seat a max of 70 people in the living room, with no center aisle, so we'd enter from the sides. It's not that big of a deal, but I do like the idea of coming down the aisle with my dad and seeing fiance for the first time. An option we're considering right now is using the garage space for the ceremony as well. They've done big parties before, and can comfortably seat 100 people in the garage and tent-covered adjacent driveway. My mom's not convinced, though we have some very talented friends that could decorate it to make you think you're anywhere BUT a garage. Then we'd do cocktail hour inside the house while 1 or 2 people set up the reception area with tables etc.
Hopefully we can actually make a decision!