4/10 Real Bride Alissa: It’s Venue Time!

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I can’t believe I’m saying this but … I have a venue! Apparently when it comes to wedding planning I have two settings: try to hide and pretend I don’t have literally everything to plan, and go go go! So now I’ve gone from this:

grumpy cat wedding meme

To actually knowing where the heck I’m getting married! So my mom is actually the one who found the venue. When my ex-husband and I first moved to Virginia, we found this amazing little town called Occoquan. It’s a tiny town, one of those quaint little places where people remember your name and what your kids look like. Even though we moved out of it after about a year, it’s still somewhere the kids and I, and now the kids and I and Chris, like to go and walk around and feed the ducks and buy little knick-knacks and snacks. There’s a restaurant there, right on the bank of the Occoquan River, called Madigan’s. Long story short, my mom looked into them, and they fit everything I’m looking for. It’s all-inclusive, so I don’t have to worry about finding a venue, plus a caterer, a cake, a photographer, etc. I didn’t think that it would be that hard to find a place like that around here, but it turns out it really is. Anywhere we looked was either too expensive, or didn’t include everything, or in the case of one venue, had everything but we could only have less than 50 people, including the bridal party.

I went and met with Cathy Madigan on Tuesday. Chris couldn’t go with me, he had work, but I had asked my mom a bajillion questions and had a list of things to ask from her and Chris. My mom works weddings pretty often, so she knows much more than either of us and we both trust her judgement. Needless to say, it went well. I love the venue, it has these old, beautiful wood floors and walls, and big windows overlooking the river and the town. And it includes everything except the photographer and the DJ (but they work with a certain DJ often enough that he gives a discount if you end up using him). I’m talking venue, food, tables, linens, some decorations, CAKE … all for one price. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop, I called my mom and she was floored. Chris was floored when we talked about it after he got home from work. And I went and put a deposit down this afternoon!

Madigan's event space

I’m getting married here!

This was very stressful for me, I’m not going to lie. We have a very tight budget, under $10k, and I honestly didn’t know if it was doable in the Northern Virginia area. But, fingers crossed, it looks like if we can keep it frugal when it comes to the details like flowers, decorations, and other items, we may actually pull this off!

Did you have any luck finding the *just right* spot without killing your budget?

  • Jennifer F

    I love Occoquan! We actually got married at Harbour View just down the river slightly. Glad you found a venue!