I am pleased to announce that Daniel and I have FINALLY made some real progress in our wedding planning. Of course, we are hesitant to set anything in stone until his visa is approved, but even the “legal” side of our wedding planning is ahead of schedule! As of January 29th, my visa petition was approved by the U.S. government. After two weeks of processing, it has been sent to the U.S. Embassy in Sydney, Australia. What does all this mean? Well, once the paperwork arrives in Australia, Daniel can FINALLY (noticing a pattern, yet?) apply for his K-1 fiancé visa. In short, as long as nothing goes catastrophically wrong, the visa process should be finished by the end of May, and Daniel can move to the U.S. anytime he is ready (up until six months after his approval date).
Moving on, yes, we FINALLY (there it is again!) have made a plan. And this time, I am ensuring that we stick to the plan by sharing it with The Broke-Ass Bride world, because that totally makes it official and prevents immigration mishaps, right?
We have gone back and forth about how to handle getting married with the added costs and time restraints of immigration, and we’ve decided to stick with Plan B. (Plan A was trying to pay for and put together a 50-75 person wedding with only five months’ notice and after a slew of visa/moving expenses: doable, not fun.) Plan B: When Daniel moves to the U.S., we will have a quick, very cheap wedding to bind us legally and allow us to finalize the immigration process. Then, next spring, we will have a commitment ceremony with any extended family and friends that are available.
So, what’s new? We have a venue for the commitment ceremony!
Daniel took it upon himself to email the bed and breakfasts and wineries in my area to see if any of them host weddings and what kinds of packages are available. The very first place to email him back was Casa Somerset, an Italian-inspired estate with four guest rooms and a small grape orchard. Of course, being an extrovert, Daniel immediately gave my contact information to the owner and the two of them convinced me to visit the estate, despite my reservations about touring venues before the visa is approved.
I am so glad I went (and dragged my mom along for moral support). Casa Somerset is the third venue we’ve looked at, and it is, without a doubt, the perfect venue for us. Being Italian-inspired, it fits perfectly with Daniel’s family heritage and my love of Italy. The grounds are gorgeous – there is a sparkling pond, huge patio for entertaining, and an iron gazebo, which fit my very specific desire to get married in a gazebo like my parents did. The house itself is three stories, with four themed guest rooms, a full service kitchen, a “man cave,” and a wrap-around balcony on the second level. The owners, Mike and Christine, were incredibly gracious and laid back. They answered every question my mom and I asked and made my wedding seem like the simplest and most important thing in the world. To top it all off, their two adorable cats and their cuddly St. Bernard, Bella, made Casa Somerset feel like home.
Beyond its aesthetic charm, Casa Somerset has a lot of practical features we needed. With our international loved ones, the guest rooms were a must, and the owners even have a second property across the pond that can be rented for additional guests. Moreover, Mike is a chef, and his specialty is Italian (noticing a second theme?), but he can customize the menu and make special accommodations for a certain father of a certain bride who is a super picky eater…
All that being said, I am just so relieved to have chosen a venue. (Mostly because now I can obsessively visualize the layout and begin planning the decorations…) My mom loved Casa Somerset so much that she wanted to put in the deposit immediately, but I insisted we wait until I spoke to Daniel about it. Obviously, he loves it, too (even without seeing it in person), and we will be claiming our spot shortly. Keep your fingers crossed that May 30, 2015 is still open, everyone!
Oh, my, was that a date?
Let’s just hope I haven’t totally jinxed all of our plans.
Until next time,