When it came to planning the details of our wedding, I was one hot mess. My mind was a whirling tornado of ideas, mostly fueled by my Pinterest love affair. Side note, how did people plan weddings before the virtual land of pins and boards existed?!
The biggest detail was deciding where to have the ceremony and reception. With family and friends scattered across the country (and even the world) we decided keeping the wedding in NYC would work best. That only left us with about 1.3467 million places to choose from. After countless tours of over-priced and ridiculously decorated venues, half of which didn't have dates available, we were about to give up when a new place popped up in one of my countless on-line searches. We didn't have much hope for the place, but we scheduled a tour, regardless. And just like that we went from no venue, to our perfect venue. Maritime Parc in Jersey City's Liberty State Park had views of the skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the boats in the marina. It was on the water but was also in a park, a park that had willow trees (my favorite!!). The venue itself was newly renovated and reopened and was home to a world renown chef. It was equal parts rustic and modern. And best of all it was in our price range and they had our date available.
When it comes to finding a venue, I have a few tips before you start looking at places. First, set your budget. Everything else will revolve around this so it is absolutely crucial to know how much you can spend. Second, have some dates in mind, but more specifically, have a month in mind. You may have to be flexible to get the venue you want, which is a lot easier to do when you have a whole month to work with instead a specific weekend. Third, sit down with your fiance and make a list of all the characteristics and things that your venue has to have. Finally, make another list together of all the things you would be willing to negotiate on and the things that aren't absolutely necessary for you to have.
As far as our ceremony, we chose to have it at the church we had been attending when we lived on the Upper West Side, St. Paul the Apostle. While I loved the idea of a beach or garden wedding, I had always known that I wanted to go the traditional church route. Since my husband and I come from different religious backgrounds, we chose to combine both in a very unique way. It also may have been the first time a priest and a rabbi were together outside of a joke (please tell me you know the jokes I'm talking about!). The ceremony turned out beautifully and to this day we still get many compliments on how unique it was.