The Pink Dress That Wasn’t


We did our first venue walk-through today, at a local museum I worried would become the Pink Dress of our venue hunt.

To explain that term, let’s turn back the clock to early 2005, when I helped a friend shop for a wedding dress [here's something to get you in the proper mindset.]   This was my first foray into the wacky world of weddings.

We went to a trunk show.  We got a private fitting room larger than the bedroom in my first few apartments.  The designer, a sort of a cartoon of a beautiful Mediterranean woman, joined us.   In my memory, there were flutes of champagne with strawberries in them, but I think I made that part up.

My friend tried on this gown she’d seen in a magazine ad.  It had this gorgeous pink organza overlay on the train, and pink was her favorite color, and she just looked like a million bucks in it.  The only thing that was wrong with this dress was that it cost absurdly too much money.

She didn’t make the splurge, but the specter of the pink dress haunted the rest of the search.

I’ve though about that pink dress many times over the last five years.  When apartment hunting, when buying my car, and, yes, while dress shopping.  I hate exposing myself to something that is exactly what I want at a price I cannot pay.

So,  I worried that touring this venue would be doing that.  It is at the very upper bounds of our budget.  I’m willing to cut back on plenty of things to afford a cool space, but if we went with this location, we’d have to cut with a machete instead of a scalpel.

But, to my relief (I guess) I didn’t love the venue as much as I expected.  The space is just a smidge too small.  The acoustics blow.  The lighting is questionable.  The contract is outrageously restrictive.  It comes with a built-in wedding coordinator who doesn’t like to play with other planners, and I didn’t connect with her the way I did with the independent planner we met with yesterday.  I still think it would make a fun, very memorable venue, but I also think it isn’t quite right for us.

And wouldn’t it be great if the real right venue for us fit more comfortably in our budget?  Oh… yeah.  I’m hopeful.


  1. Good luck! The venue was our hardest choice since it determines so much of the wedding. There was a venue that I avoided looking at for that exact reason – I didn’t want it to become my ‘pink dress’! In the end we found a reasonably priced place with a flexible contract and decent space. Not my ‘dream’ place, but it felt like it would fit us and our wedding.
    Again, good luck!

    • I’m so glad you found a venue that works for you. When we first got engaged, I said, “We’ll just find a venue and then take a break from planning until after the Bar exam.” I don’t think I really appreciated how major this first big decision would be!

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