Way back in 2011, while I was home for my sister’s wedding, my Mom and I were out picking up food when she mentioned that she’d found the perfect venue for B and I’s eventual wedding celebration. We detoured out of our way a bit to drive by the site of Zedler Mill. It was love at first sight for me. A gorgeous amphitheater on the river with a beautiful enclosed pavilion for the reception? Sign me up. It really was the stuff from which dreams are made. It was close to where I grew up, affordable, and not just another church hall reception, all of which were important to me. The only glitch was it being an outdoor location in south Texas and my anniversary being in the middle of August, but I figured we could always just do the ceremony in a more outdoor friendly time of year.
Had we been having the ceremony prior to or around or first anniversary, I have no doubt that I would have been fine with the idea of having the celebration on a different date. The problem now though, stems from the fact that the military lifestyle already makes it hard to celebrate important events on their actual date. And the date is important to me. Probably more so because I have to fight to be able to make the actual day special. As much as I never wanted a summer wedding (what, I’m a Texan who wanted an outdoor wedding October or March was my ideal month) a summer wedding is what I had. And I’ve kind of gotten super sentimental about the date itself.
Which brought us to picking our venue based around our date in August and the restriction of working with his brother’s at the time unscheduled wedding date as well. With the outdoor part being important to me and both of us wanting to make things easier on B’s family, we decided to have our ceremony up in Michigan. I agonized over this decision. It was my idea and I mentioned it casually to B and he jumped at the idea. It took me a little longer to relinquish my dreams of a hometown wedding, but I embraced the idea eventually.
Once we had decided on Michigan, I set about looking for venues that were outdoors, unique, and fun. Places like the Meijer Gardens, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and the John Ball Zoo Treehouse all made the list, but none were quite right. And then I found Post Family Farm and it was. I called my in-laws, they scheduled a sight visit and I just sat back and waited to hear how perfect it was and how lovely of a wedding we would have there.
The bottom fell out when my FIL found out that he was getting transferred out of Michigan. Far out of it, to the far side of the country. Everything got put on hold as we waited to see what was going to happen. Suggestions were made to just change the plans back to Texas or to set it in Chicago so it would still be close to B’s extended family but would be more accessibly for mine. I started over in searching for venues. Time and again I asked for price quotes on places in Chicago and laughed until I cried over the sky-high prices. Eventually, it got so bad that I told B I didn’t want to do this. I was stressed and spending hours every day trying to find a remotely suitable venue. Gone were my dreams of outdoor and near water, now I was just trying to find a country club that charged less than $200 a person for dinner.
I finally reached the breaking point and told B that if the last two sites in Chicago didn’t pan out, that I was done with Chicago and we were reverting back to the Michigan plans. Which is what we did. Luckily for us, our date was still available and we are working with Post Family Farm as our venue.
They’ve been amazing to work with so far. They’re super quick in responding to emails, work with great preferred vendors, and are willing to do what they can to make our vision and dream a reality. I still can’t believe how lucky we are to be working with them. After all of the stress trying to find a place in Chicago, it’s been smooth sailing ever since we switched back to Michigan.