Choosing the Venue

We’re still giddy with excitement from booking our wedding! We feel like it’s the perfect time and place for our big day, and we’ve gotten a lot of enthusiastic support from our friends and family since the announcement. In light of that, we thought it would be fun to share the story of how we ended up picking where we’d be married and why we feel like it’s ideal for us.

Venue-hunters on the job.

Venue-hunters on the job.

We started talking about venues a few months ago when Devon helped with the wedding of some friends of ours. We obviously weren’t engaged at the time, so our conversations were hypothetical and more focused on the types of things we’d look for rather than on specific places and dates. It was fun to look at the various options out there and talk about what we liked and didn’t like about each one. And over time, we started to form a picture of what we were looking for, which made it a lot easier once we got engaged and were actually ready to book a place.

A lot of people assumed we would have our wedding at our church, which makes a lot of sense. Our families have gone to Cavanaugh for a really long time, we both work there, we love our church family, and it’s a special place in both of our lives. And we certainly considered it. But we decided to at least look at other venues as well. We love our church, but because we work there and have been there for a long time, we spend most of our time at the church, and we’ve seen a lot of weddings there. We just wanted to make sure that we found the right place for us to have our special day.

So we spelled out what we were looking for in a venue. We decided to look for something on the smaller side because we don’t want a huge wedding. Katherine especially liked the idea of an outside wedding, and Devon has always loved autumn colors (as well as the lack of allergens that time of year). We wanted a place nearby where we could do both the ceremony and the reception without asking our friends and family to travel in-between. And we wanted something that we could make our own, a place that was attractive but customizable to fit what we were going for.

So we both scoured the internet looking for places that fit our criteria. We came up with a few possibilities, including some barns, a pavilion, and a cowboy church, but none of them seemed like the right fit. That is, until we found The Barn with Southern Charm. Katherine’s stepmom Heather is actually the one who discovered it on Facebook, and she contacted Amber, the owner, for details.

It turned out that the venue was booked way out in advance, but they had a cancellation (due to military commitments, not a breakup), which meant there was one weekend available! They were even offering a discounted rate since it was a cancellation. Katherine took one look at the pictures and knew it was the one, but Devon wanted to see it in person before making a final decision. So we booked a tour the following week.

In the meantime, we couldn’t stop looking at pictures. Every day, we were checking out the barn and finding new things we loved about it: the lakeside ceremony area, the gorgeous reception room, the honeymoon suite, the decoration options. It was all so appealing. We visited another venue just to ensure that we weren’t limiting our options, and we even tried not to compare it to the barn, but that visit only confirmed what we already knew to be true: We had found our venue.

But there were still a few days left before our tour, and we were anxious to get over there. By that point, even Devon was ready to book the venue without putting eyes on it. And to be honest, we went through a little bit of that panic you get when you’re afraid someone else is going to take your wedding venue. We knew it was the one, so when the day finally came for us to visit, we were ecstatic.

The place is even more beautiful in person than in the photos. As we were walking through the venue, we started to imagine our wedding happening there, and we knew it was right. We asked Amber every question we could think of, such as, “How do wedding licenses work in Oklahoma?” (The barn is just across the border.) She was so knowledgeable and kind, the perfect person we want to work with on our big day. And the more we learned about the barn, the more we loved it.

We weren’t the only ones who loved it, by the way. Katherine’s parents were with us, and by the end of the tour, everyone was convinced. We paid the deposit and left with a contract in hand. But even better than that, we had a place for our wedding! And it was just right for us.

Because it was a cancellation, we didn’t even have to pick the date. The only one available was October 6, which was exactly when we were hoping to get married anyway. Apparently our timeline is a little shorter than the typical engagement, but we think six months is the perfect amount of time to plan and put on a wedding. We don’t want to overcomplicate things, and we knew a fall wedding was the goal, so it really couldn’t have worked out better.

(Short side story: When we were celebrating on New Year’s Day, Devon somehow got up the courage/lack of discretion to tell Katherine that he wanted to get married this year! It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work out, right?)

We followed the same principle picking out the right venue as we did picking out the right person and picking out the right ring: When you know, you know. And we know. We are so excited to be getting married at The Barn with Southern Charm, and we can’t wait for October 6 to get here! We’ve still got a lot to do in the meantime, though, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted every step along the way. Thanks for reading!

Devon Dundee

Greenwood, AR, United States

Spirit animal: deer in the headlights. Favorite nicknames: Uncle Dev, Vaughn, That Guy with the Mac Adapter.