The Venue Search: “It’s Perfect…Pity That We Will Have to Sell Our Future Unborn Children for an Open Bar”

Yesterday our parents met for the first time. Nothing quite like coffee, eggs, and growing up semi-wild in the country stories whilst in a gorgeous locale to bring together parental units from as far across a political divide as possible. Whilst eating breakfast enchiladas under an old pecan tree as everyone else regaled with stories of “…and, then the hornet nest broke apart” or “surprise scorpions are the worst,” I was struck by how this improbable hodgepodge of people were my family. And, I was very, very happy. And, how as a group, we would be superior at apparently fending off assorted bugs and arthropods.

I googled “scorpion wearing a tiny hat.” This hat with a not so tiny scorpion is a second best option. Possible rehearsal dinner headwear? Also, unfulfilled niche for tiny scorpion hats out there. Just sayin’.

The parental unit breakfast location was also a possible venue choice being as it is a working organic farm featuring numerous restaurants and outdoor locations perfect for parties. It’s wonderful. And, by wonderful, I mean one of my favorite places to which I have ever been on this whole earth. But, as we live someplace that tends to extreme weather, sudden monsoons, lightning storms, pop-up dust storms which make the sky red, heat so hot you might as well melt and die, those pesky “surprise scorpions”, the gamble on the one day a year or so from now having perfect weather is a gamble we are not willing to take. Plus, there is the opportunity to step in duck poop at said locale, and duck poop is gross.

The only instance of semi-cute duck poop.

Next onward to an expensive locale perched on the side of a mountain! Pastry and I have moved on to sharing one brain so as we were driving downtown I was thinking, “Hey, maybe we should go look at…” as he turned the corner to head up the hill to said venue. We also them remarked at the exact same time about the perfect penis shaped cactus near the welcome sign. Same brain sometimes. (Other times, like when inquiring about why there is a trowel, car polisher disc, decrepit fish tank filter, and a zombie card game all sitting on the same object in our garage, not so much.) This swanky venue mostly just stirred within us massive pool envy and a discussion about the blandness of hotel ballrooms. We took a selfie (alas not with the cactus), planned a theoretical staycation, and left for the next option a bit sweaty and hot from tromping up the hill in a desert summer.

There are some really bizarre stock photos of women and cacti. Should you want to go down this dark hole of the internet, please make sure to turn on Safe Search. Fair warning.

Next venue on the docket was the botanical gardens, the scene of our second date. Circa 16 months ago, Pastry and I met up at the gardens to watch the sunset and tour an artist installation in the dark. He brought a portable chess set which we never played as we spent most of our time sitting next to a fountain in those canvas butterfly chairs which are inevitably difficult from which to extract yourself with much grace. We went out for beers and burritos later after which we had the most awkward first kiss ever.

Great date, great venue. Our first venue stop at the gardens was an open air pavilion with rustic lanterns surrounded by desert wildflowers. As I’m a classical musician and a good portion of wedding guests are also musicians (who may be performing), acoustics of the venue are pretty important. Now, I am not a singer who is anxious to prove I can sing, warbling at any opportunity in a resonant space, so singing in public at the drop of a hat is not quite my thing (this policy really depends on the amount of liquor imbibed though). But, I sang.  Specifically a French piece about watching the sun set over the fields at the end of a very good day. And, it was wonderful and magical as we stood in the center together. And, then a bunch of tropical shirt wearing tourists from Portland rolled up to ask about the singing and grill us about wedding plans as I had apparently attracted a crowd on the other side of the wall of flowers.

Without going into great detail, we looked at several other venue options at the gardens. It is all amazingly beautiful and very us. Essentially, it is a great fit and all of it made my heart race in anticipation.

 And, then we looked at the alcohol pricing.

This look is what our future unborn child will look like when they find out that we had to sell them to the highest bidder in order to pay for the open bar at our wedding.

We could put a downpayment on a (very small) house (okay, maybe more like a fancy shed) with the amount of money it would cost to have an open bar. Ruling out the future profit of selling our unborn child in order to pay for just the bar, here are some other things we could buy instead of paying for an open bar with well drinks (premium liquor prices are not even considering) at the botanic gardens:

Around 8 to 10 years of seeing this cute, giant rodent face or well drinks for 115 people? Tough call.

So, we worked on our Weighted Decision Matrix of Nuptial Planning. The gardens are still in the running, but have taken a significant numerical hit in the “Booze Options” criteria rating. Besides, maybe we really need 294 pounds of crab legs and/or 454 containers of clarified butter instead.