In the second installment of our series following wedding planner Sarah Pease of Brilliant Event Planning as she plans her own wedding, Sarah and her fiancé Cass tackle the first critical planning step: finding a location. With their families and friends living all over the world, it proved to be a tough decision. Read how the couple focused their efforts and ultimately made their decision after the jump!
"The first order of business after Cass and I got engaged was to decide on which continent to host our wedding. Easy, right? Wrong. He hails from Ireland, with family and friends in all corners of the world, while my guests would be coming mainly from the Midwest. And of course there were our friends in New York, where we currently live.
As a wedding and proposal planner who had been dating her boyfriend for four years, I had been unofficially brainstorming our wedding location for awhile. When we visited the Dominican Republic a few months before getting engaged, I thought it would be the perfect place. It was mutually inconvenient for all of our guests, so we wouldn't be favoring one side of the guest list over the other, plus it offered warm weather and an unpretentious surfer vibe.
After getting engaged, Cass agreed that the D.R. would be a perfect fit for us, and we went online to look at flights. And that's when our planning hit a brick wall: Flights from Dublin were over $1,400, including 25 hours of travel and an overnight stay in New Jersey. There was no way we could ask his family and friends to sign up for that. And we couldn't just 'do whatever makes you happy' because our top priority was to celebrate with as many of our loved ones as possible. So after hours spent searching the Web, various tear-filled arguments, and one desperate tweet to Richard Branson asking him to lend us a jet, we realized that our Dominican Republic wedding wasn't going to happen.
We considered other locations: New York City seemed the most logical. But, in order to enjoy good weather in NYC, that meant hosting a wedding in the summer—my company's busiest season. My family loved the idea of a wedding in Ireland, but neither Cass nor I were convinced—especially with the exchange rate against us. And getting everyone to Wisconsin seemed as unlikely as the Dominican Republic scenerio.
Ultimately, we came into an Empire State of mind, and decided on New York City. Nearly a month after our engagement, I'm reminded of what I tell my clients so often: Things may not work out perfectly, but they will work out. Now that we've agreed on a continent and a city, our next step is to find a venue!"
Check back soon for our third installment! —Lauren Matthews