When I dreamed of my wedding I always pictured it taking place somewhere like New Orleans. A big city with lots of culture and tons of life, lots to do to keep guests happy. The years went by and as you probably know now, I fell in love with a Cajun boy from Lafayette, so my dreams changed. I love Lafayette, it’s my home now. Not as big as New Orleans, but more than enough culture and plenty to do. So, I started exploring venues here in Lafayette. I wanted that New Orleans feel without the New Orleans price tag, because let me tell you…it ain’t cheap to get married in NOLA.
Well the time came, my parents were in town, and Matt and I had been engaged an entire week! We set up a visit to the venue that I thought would make my dream wedding a reality. It had a gorgeous New Orleans style courtyard, with a fountain, lots of space, a brick wall covered in ivy and flowers. Options for less than ideal weather. It was close by, not to far from downtown Lafayette. And most importantly the price seemed right! It seemed too good to be true. Can anyone guess what’s coming? Yup…exactly…way too good to be true.
Now I won’t get into the specifics because it was a perfectly lovely venue. The things that turned me off, may not bother someone else. The actual price tag may be perfect for some. I’ve seen tons of beautiful pictures of weddings there so it’s obviously a wonderful place to get married, it just wasn’t my place. I can say that now without gritting my teeth, without disappointment in my voice, but at the time it felt HUGE. I just knew I was going to have my wedding date set after we left. I even prepared Matt for a picture under the sign when we left to commemorate the day! But no venue, no date, no picture.
That night I sulked, and Matt being the wonderful, patient man he is allowed me to and did whatever he could to make me feel better. In the middle of my pouting, I got a text from my mom suggesting Blythewood Plantation behind their house. She presented it as costing less than other places so I would have more money to spend on my dress…she knows me well ☺. At the time I kind of dismissed the idea. I wasn’t in the mood to begin searching again.
I woke up the next morning bright and early, opened my computer and emailed every venue in Lafayette and the surrounding areas. I was determined to find a venue I loved as much as my first choice that turned out to be such a disappointment. The more I researched, the more Blythewood kept popping into my head. Finally I talked to my parents and asked them to find out pricing and information on Blythewood.
I got a hold of the email address for Blythewood’s managers, and asked I have no idea how many questions, but God bless them for answering all of them and so quickly. After I had all the information we set up a site visit so Matt could see the place. I basically grew up there, but he’s only seen it in passing and I wanted him to love the idea as much as I had grown to. At the visit we would do the food tasting, which is really all Matt cared about, HA! He loved the food, I loved the space and we booked it!
Was this my first venue choice? No. Is it in a big exciting city? No. Am I happy with my decision? Is there a word that means more than “yes”? It’s no longer about choosing an exciting place for people to visit, or having extra money for a very expensive dress I’ll wear for 8 hours (although the dress MUST be spectacular ☺).
On December 30, 2017 I’ll meet this boy that means the world to me on the porch of a plantation that has been a part of my entire life. This venue is literally more than I ever dreamed. I never imagined I’d be saying my marriage vows in a place with such sentimental value. Blythewood Plantation reminds me of playing in the woods behind the plantation with my cousins when we were little, of running with my mom training for races, of other weddings I’ve attended there with lifelong friends. It reminds me of my grandparents who can’t be with me in the flesh that day, but I know they’ll be watching over me and they would be thrilled because this is where they raised their family too. It reminds me of my loving, understanding, selfless parents. It’s more than a place, more than a venue. Blythewood is home, and I can’t wait to add another memory to my collection.