The two that got away

09Sep08

Like most couples, we’re functioning on a budget. We decided early on that, while we want to throw a great party for our loved ones, we have no desire to spend beyond our means. We’re grateful (so grateful!) for the financial assistance of my parents, but we also don’t want to abuse that help. I’m actually sort of enjoying the challenge of working within a budget, and starting to think that I wouldn’t want to spend more than we’re working with.

But… there are these two venues, and if we won the lottery in the next few months, I would drop everything to have one of them be ours!

When we first got engaged, I jokingly said to Adam that we should get married at the Vancouver Aquarium. We’re members and we go for a visit every 4-6 weeks. We’re total Aquarium nerds – we have favourite animals, we know most of the names of the animals in the bigger exhibits, we go on the behind-the-scenes tours – and it seemed like it would be unique, relaxed and a little silly to have our wedding there. So I shot off an email inquiry, and eagerly waited the reply.

The next morning, I had a response, and at first I was optimistic. Our date was available, the area we envisioned was open for rentals, everything was looking peachy… until I did the math. Between the rental fee, food and beverage minimums, and assorted fees, the cost was $2000 over our total budget. Not our ceremony/reception budget – our total budget. Yikes! At first we were both disappointed, but as time went on, we got over it and began the search for other venues.

On a whim one afternoon, I decided to email the events coordinator at one of our favourite restaurants on Granville Island – the fine dining section of Bridges Restaurant. We had eaten there in the winter during Dine Out Vancouver and were blown away by the quality of the food, service and view, and our waiter had mentioned that they often host private events. I was fairly certain they would be beyond our reception budget, but once again I was in for some serious sticker shock. For a Saturday night, even in the off season, the food and beverage minimum was at least $3000 over our total budget. Yikes again!

Since these two unfortunate financial upsets, I’ve had much more luck finding venues in our price range, from the venue-that-wasn’t to the Steamworks Uber Lounge. Were your ideal venues out of your financial grasp, or would you choose a different venue if you won the lottery tomorrow?

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