Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Picking a Venue

My fiance and I had been talking about getting engaged after graduating from the University of Maryland, so of course after he popped the question I had already narrowed it down to two places. We both make pretty quick decisions and are usually very confident in our choices which has really been a blessing for us during our six-month engagement. I found our venue by looking at wedding photographer blogs, I not only got to check out photographers but venues at the same time. The two venues I had narrowed it down two were the Howard County Conservancy and Union Mills Homestead.

Here are the photography blogs and couples I must have looked at 100 times, I feel like I know them.  Some of them are new finds and make me more excited than ever!

Howard County Conservancy
Lisa Boggs Photography - Aubrey and Alex
Dani Leigh Photography - Anne and Ryan
L Hewitt Photography - Adam and Jordan

Union Mills Homestead
Ferry Huang Photography - Ashley and Adam
Lydia Jane Photography - Mr. and Mrs. Ewing
Far/Wid Photography - Adam and Valerie
Kathy Fruendel Photography - Amanda and Jason

We went to visit the Howard County Conservancy first, and the woman we met with was extremely friendly and helpful. They also have a small barn, an outdoor garden and path and an indoor tall open room overlooking the property. The area is gorgeous and the rental fee for the location is $2,000 for a Saturday in the summer. You can bring any caterer in, however if you'd like to set up early you have to pay for each additional hour you rent and they do still have all of their normal weekend activities. They are a nature conservancy first and that is their main focus, but it is gorgeous.

The second venue, Union Mills Homestead is what we picked for our venue. As soon as we drove up I instantly knew it was the place. When I had called prior they explained to me that they were almost completely booked for the next year, almost two but that a weekend had opened up due to someone dropping out. When I arrived on site there were two other brides there visiting and were waiting to see if I would confirm the venue, otherwise they wanted the date. We walked around the outside of the venue while waiting for Tom to show us inside the barn. The outside is perfect, there is an outdoor garden and location for the ceremony, an old house used as a museum and a working mill.

The inside is what really sold me. The barn is already decorated with white lights and lanterns covering the barn:

To top it off, to rent the Homestead it is a total of $700 for the entire weekend starting early Friday morning until Sunday evening. There isn't a place to get ready on the premises, but we rented a local house nearby and a few hotel rooms for the guys and girls to get ready for the day. 

This place is magical! Can't wait! 

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