The first tip I posted was about talking money, which directly correlates with your next major task - picking a venue. After awkwardly talking with your fiance, parents, and in-laws about how much they're willing to spend, your next step is picking the place to have it - which is fun. Like when my friends try to convince me to run because I like running as much as I like getting pap smears - 'Hey let's do a 5k together. Aww c'mon it will be fun!' (I mean that kind of fun.)
Picking a venue basically determines what your entire wedding will be like - where you'll have it, when you'll have it, and how many people you will have. Kyle and I both grew up in Ohio but now live in Southern California. Naturally, people thought we would get married back in Ohio because that's what you 'do'. We toyed around with the idea but couldn't wrap our heads around having a 400 person shindig which included our family dentist and our mother's brother's cousin twice removed. It just wasn't us. So while trying to make it more convenient for everyone else, we were losing sight on what we really wanted. Finally we said screw it and decided to do a small 100 person wedding in Redondo Beach where we lived.
Now this decision pissed some people off. Obviously, some people couldn't make it and it was going to be more expensive on our friends, but that's a consequence that comes with having a destination wedding. There are always going to be some trade-offs. But on the flip side, those who did make it out treated it like a vacation and said the trip was well worth it.
So I guess my biggest piece of advice is to do what is most personal to you. If you have a vacation spot that is meaningful to your relationship - have it there. If you want to do it in your hometown church where your parents got married - have it there. Point being - stop trying to make everyone else happy and do what makes you happy. You'll piss some people off - but you're going to do that regardless, so you might as well get what you want in the process.
Below are some pictures of the venue we chose - Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club in Redondo Beach. My mom found this place online which was literally two blocks from where we lived, yet I had no clue it existed. Remember that part of the story where I said I didn't like running?
Photos Courtesy: Marianne Lozano