V is for Venues

If L is for the way you look at me, O is for the only one I see, V has got to be for venues and E is for extraordinary venues. We have hand-plucked a few of our most romantic venues just in time for Valentines Day. So forget the chocolates, roses, and over-sized teddy bears (okay, maybe don't forget the chocolate) because all you need for Valentines Day is a romantic place to spend it. 

Boettcher Mansion | Golden, Colorado

Built in 1917, Boettcher Mansion has deep roots in history. Surrounded by greenery, being nestled in the Boettcher Mansion is exactly what Cupid would have intended for you and your Valentine. The venue can comfortably accommodate up to 200 people so there is more than enough room to seat all of your loved ones. 

Maysara winery | Mcminnville, oregon

Maysara Venue

The bigger the better, and Maysara Winery is one of the largest indoor and outdoor venues in the Oregon Wine Country. Surrounded by 550 gorgeous acres of Momtazi Vineyard, Maysara Winery is one of out most romantic venues. With a soft country feel, this venue is the perfect venue for any and every couple looking for a romantic and rustic space.

Vista Hills Vineyard | Dayton, Oregon

Vista Hills

Family owned and operated, this cozy venue is perfect for Valentines Day. The 42 luscious acres sits atop the Dundee Hills AVA providing views of rolling greenery. Vista Hills Vineyard rests within one of the most popular and sought-after viticultural areas on the planet — oh, and of course the delicious wine helps add to the romantic ambiance. 

Bang for your Budget

This is a guest blog post written Kyle Ward, journalist by profession and a part-time writer at Rebates Zone. 

Coupons are a powerful concept that have existed throughout the centuries, in fact, their power may have been discovered by the competing businesses in ancient Egypt or Rome. Let us imagine a world of Pharaohs where the common man is enticed by coupons. Hmm, never mind, it is utterly ridiculous. But, the fact of the matter is that we all enjoy getting a bargain and although most of us would like our big day to be like that of Prince William and Lady Kate, few have the finances to back up that wish.

There are many ways in which you can employ the age old wisdom of using coupons while planning for your wedding. For the purpose of this day let us divide the finances attached to the wedding into three parts. First will cover the dresses, second will cover the venues, and third will cover the honeymoon.

The Dresses

The dress is perhaps the most important part of the wedding for both the bride and the bridegroom. And, although, traditionally, the couple used to wear their best clothes to the wedding, it is no longer a common practice, and is usually frowned upon, especially for the bride. The media has taken away our good sense and replaced it with mush, where we spend thousands of dollars on a single dress, which we wear for just one day.

Nevertheless, this is the big day, and there are alternatives to everything. Of course, you can try to sew your own dress, but since, we do want a semblance of decorum to be present at the formal event – let us also look for healthier and more practical options. These can range from borrowing a dress to trying out a new dressmaker, who is just dying to gain some recognition and would likely sell a quality suite/dress, at an affordable price.

How do you look for him? Well, there are many websites which offer local retailers the chance to increase their customer base, like Groupon, which results in the price getting slashed by half. So, we advise you to scour through them.

The Venues

We have grouped quite a few things in the venue. It will not only include the actual venue, but also the wedding planner, catering, floral arrangements, and the wedding cake. Obviously, you may skip a couple of these things, especially, if you have an extended family and you would like to take a gamble on their planning and execution abilities. If you are not much of a gambler or a planner yourself, even then we would advise you to include the sweat factor in your calculations.

The wedding cake is another story altogether, we are big believers in doing things by the hand, and would advise you to indulge in the fun experience of making it into a fun activity. After all, wedding is a happy time and it should be celebrated with vigor. But, just in case, do have a backup cake.

Once again, even at this stage the power of coupons can bring the costs down and add up to good savings, which can then be spent on the last part, the honeymoon.

The Honeymoon

Is it really advisable to go to a honeymoon? After all, anyone would get tired of drinking honey mead for full 30 days, as the Germanic custom would originally have you do. But, on a more serious note, it is highly advisable. The truth of the matter is that we spend busy lives, where it is very difficult to take a break from our careers and wedding is the perfect excuse to tell your boss - and pardon my French here - I’m out you pruned Br*c*oli.  

Now, it is best if it is after the wedding, but if your favorite place does not match up with the wedding days, then move your wedding forward. Why? I thought we had made its importance clear in the preceding paragraph.

However, let us put aside humor for some time. Wedding is a beautiful event, which not only provides security to the couple, but brings together two families as well. The cultures and traditions are shared. If all this is marred by financial worries, then is it really worth it? We genuinely believe that the happiness of the event comes from the people involved and not the ... never mind, who doesn’t love a good reception. Just as we look for the best bargain in our daily life, likewise, we can bring down the expenses and stay in budget when starting a new life.

A Sunshine State of Mind

Waldo's Secret Garden

Waldo's Secret Garden

With many fleeing South for the winter, we thought it would be appropriate to highlight one of our favorite states, the Sunshine State. Florida, with its thousands of miles of beaches, year-round golf courses, palm trees, wildlife, and oceanfront views for days are just a few of its most endearing qualities. Attractions like that can only mean one thing: breathtaking wedding venues booking every day of the year.

With their pool being once named “the most beautiful pool in America” by Life Magazine, there is little to be left undesired at the Raleigh Hotel. Situated right on the luxurious Miami Beach, it provides both an escape from the city yet close proximity to everything that South Beach has to offer. Known as a “Great Dame” of the art deco style, the hotel is effortlessly chic and remains a top destination for celebrities, vacationers, and locals alike. As an added bonus, being a guest at the Raleigh gives you VIP access to SBE’s Miami collection.

Visit the Hitch for the Raleigh Hotel’s wedding costs, availability, and capacity.

Ballroom at Church Street | Orlando, Florida

Forget Mickey Mouse — the Ballroom at Church Street in is the true destination spot of Orlando, Florida.  Boasting elegance and classic charm, this venue has more magic than all of Disney World. Everything from the brick entryway, cascading staircases and to the immaculate stained-glass windows draws you in. With over 10,000 square feet of beauty, the Ballroom at Church Street is a more than accommodating venue. Not to mention, with over thirty years of fine dining and hosting experience, this venue is sure to make your wedding a night you will cherish and remember always.

Visit the Hitch for the Ballroom at Church Street’s wedding costs, availability, and capacity.

Waldo's Secret Garden | Vero Beach, Florida

In 1911, Waldo E. Sexton broke ground to built a driftwood inspired home complete for his families. Over the years, his love for large, rough wood and rustic construction has made this venue a pure Florida gem. A home away from home, this  twelve acre garden oasis is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves and their guests in an intimate setting just minutes from the Florida coast.

Visit the Hitch for Waldo’s Secret Garden’s wedding costs, availability, and capacity.

Le Meridien | Tampa, Florida

We want a life of luxury.  Why expect anything less on your wedding day? Le Méridien in Tampa, Florida is the venue you have been dreaming of. This century old historic courthouse has been revamped into a top of the line hotel, with plenty of space for the entire guest list. The historic roots combined with modern flare makes for a venue that everyone is sure to love. Oh, and did we mention it’s a 4-Star rated hotel? 

Visit the Hitch for Le Méridien Tampa’s wedding costs, availability, and capacity.

5 Pieces of Wedding Advice Every Bride Should Have

This is a guest post written by Theresa Gibson, savvy wedding blogger and social media manager at Top 10 Wedding Vendors, a leading go-to vendor guide for brides across North America. To connect with Theresa, follow her on Facebook.

When you are planning a wedding, advice is seemingly everywhere, from bridal magazines to countless websites, on social media and much more. You do not have to spend your days reading all kinds of advice to ensure that your wedding is going to go off without a hitch, though. We have compiled some of the most important pieces of wedding advice that every bride should know that probably will not be found in a bridal magazine.

Create To-Do Lists and Budget Tracking in Google Docs

Google Docs is a great way to organize everything online and will save you the stress of hunting down your planning book that you have misplaced for the third time. Having everything in one place saves lots of time and everything can be updated and edited within the program. Google Docs also has a sharing feature so that you can keep your fiancee and wedding party up to date with what is going on and what has to be done. Everyone will be on the same page and you won't have to remind them as you can send updates right through Google and they can do the same for you. 

Get a Fresh Pair of Eyes on a Project or Contract

Sometimes someone else may catch something that you didn't while reading over a contract or looking at a proof of an invitation, for example. It is always okay to get a second opinion from a trusted friend or family member, and they may be able to offer some helpful insight as well. This is important when it comes to a contract too and making sure that you understand everything about it. 

Don't feel bad about taking a night for yourself

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, especially when you have other things to do in your daily life and can't spend hours planning it. Don't feel bad about taking a night for yourself or even getting away from it all with your fiancee. Go to a quiet bed and breakfast and turn off your cell phones and leave your computers at home. Doing this will help lower your stress levels. 

Thank your vendors publicly

Your vendors really are the ones that make your wedding. They will take your suggestion of, “I like lillies” and turn it into a beautiful bridal bouquet or stunning decor. They are the ones that keep you and your guests fed and entertained while making you feel like everything about your day has been absolute magic.

When it is all said and done, it is nice to sit down and write a detailed thank you to every vendor that helped in some fashion on your wedding day, but it is even better if you find a site where you can publicly thank your vendor. This can do wonders for their business, and help future brides make their decision on whether to hire them. 

Take Time for your partner and yourself on the big day

Many pieces of advice have probably said take some alone time with your partner on the big day, whether it is having a quiet drink together or going for a walk, but alone time is important for you as well. Planning an itinerary will give you a look at your day and allow you to carve out some time just for yourself, even if it means getting up a bit earlier and having a coffee alone to start your day. You will not likely find much alone time once the reception starts, so try and do it before then. 


Introducing The Hitch Chrome Plug In


The Hitch Google Chrome Plug in is here! To discover our venues in ways you never have before, head over to our page on the Google webstore, http://bit.ly/1jDNVhqand simply press the “add to chrome” button.

Plugins let you do more with Chrome, like view Flash animations or PDF documents. They also help make some videos and audio files work better, and in our case, that's a huge plus.