All About Venues
There are definitely "cons" to the backyard tent wedding, though. The house is pretty far from the church (NW DC to Oakton, VA). We'll have to rent everything and get staff to set it all up. Although the backyard is really big, they do have neighbors, who may not be thrilled about the huge party and DJ. And, of course, there's the fact that we'll be taking over his parents house entirely for at least the wedding day.
So we're looking into other ideas. The church has a hall, which I'm going to check out on Friday. There is a rental fee, although it would cost less than a tent, and while it comes with some dining tables and chairs we'd still have to rent lots of stuff.
There are a few hotels nearby that I've contacted about guest room blocks and a reception. It seems like that would be convenient for our out of town guests. One is even walking distance from the church!
There are a few restaurants and wine bars I've contacted too. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but it seems that having the reception in a place that already has the tables, linens, dishes, etc. can be less expensive than renting it all separately and getting a caterer. I guess we'll know when the quotes start rolling in! Even if the price isn't much different, it does give us fewer things to worry about and vendors to work with.
And maybe that last point is really the heart of the matter. We want to have a nice wedding and a reception where we can spend time with our friends and family, but without going nuts! My new wedding motto just may be "simplify, simplify."