The first piece of advice I received from friends when I got engaged was to start looking at wedding venues right away, since the good ones get snatched up quickly. Naturally, I started googling and instantly fell in love with many dreamy, majestic locations. I could get married in a picturesque barn, on top of a mountain, in a tree house or by the ocean—the diverse possibilities are endless and they all sound amazing.

I started to daydream about how each type of venue would come together, like a rustic barn wedding, complete with glowing string-lights draped from the rafters. The one thing I knew for sure was that I was really drawn to the idea of saying ‘I do’ outdoors. Whether that was surrounded by tall evergreens (and retreating to a tree house on the wedding night) or getting whisked away on a helicopter adventure to a snow-capped mountain and watching the sun set behind a valley of mountains (my personal fairytale), was still to be decided.

My daydreams suddenly popped as reality hit me with some practical questions: If I get married in a barn, where will my guests go to the bathroom? Will there be running water? Is the forest clearing large enough to accommodate chairs for everyone? Will the ground be level? How will my family and friends make it to the top of the mountain with me? Do any of these locations even have power? Where will the dishware, seating and tables come from? How will we get all this stuff to the location and park all the vehicles required to get it there?

With this flurry of thoughts running through my head, I started to think ‘maybe I should just get married in a hotel.’  After all, they have an experienced staff and the infrastructure is already there. But when it comes down to it, though hotel weddings can be beautiful, with my outdoorsy style I just couldn’t see myself constrained to an indoor setting.

Feeling pressed for time already, I knew I had to buckle down and make the call. I weighed the pros and cons of the beloved outdoor settings I’d come across in my research. Each venue had charm and appeal, yet each had drawbacks. I knew I would have to make some tradeoffs because many of my fantasy venues were out of the picture for a number of reasons (mainly costs and logistics). And then I realized, ‘that’s totally fine.’ When it comes down to it, I don’t really care where I get married, so much as who I’m marrying and that we have a great night surrounded by people we love.

T and I talked out our must-haves and wish list for the venue. In the end, we decided to tie the knot at his family’s home near the beach. The home holds a special place in T’s heart (and also in mine); we vacationed there shortly after starting our relationship, and T has spent many summers on the beach there with his family over the years. Many of his relatives even live down the block in the neighbourhood. So, similar to his parents a generation earlier, we decided to say ‘Yes’ on the same beach T spent his childhood summers, and to have our casual reception in the backyard of his parents’ home. We couldn’t ask for anything better. 


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