When I graduated from college, I thought I’d never have to do another endless research project again. Boy was I wrong. Compared to looking for a place to get married, term papers were a piece of cake. I began my quest optimistically enough, but after a couple of days of frantic and fruitless networking (my wedding date was a mere three months down the road!), the enormity of my task started to sink in. It had taken me 33 years to find the right guy, and it was beginning to look like it might take an equally long time to find the right place.
Going into high gear, I reached out and touched just about everyone I knew along with quite a few total strangers. Friends and friends of friends didn’t have any recommendations that suited our particular needs, and although wedding consultants had information, they were reluctant to part with their lists of sites unless I hired them to plan my wedding. I even called some caterers, florists and cake makers, but they were usually too busy to give me in-depth descriptions of places over the phone. Some chambers of commerce had organized wedding location lists ready to mail out; others had nothing and knew nothing.
After days of phoning, all I had was a patchwork quilt of information. I still hadn’t found the place, and finally had to face the painful truth: there was no central resource or comprehensive, detailed list. I became anxious. With a full-time job I was hardly free to conduct an exhaustive search, and I realized that I would never be able to find out about the vast majority of interesting or unusual wedding sites, let alone thoroughly evaluate them! My frustration was exacerbated by the fact that it was August and the wedding date in October was drawing closer with each passing day.
As luck would have it, my sister mentioned that her hairdresser had gotten married on a yacht in San Francisco Bay. Hallelujah! That’s it! I cried. What a great idea! I’d never even thought about a floating wedding and had no idea you could do such a thing.
We got married on a hot, sunny day behind Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. The captain performed the ceremony on the bow, and afterwards the yacht tooted its horn, the crew let loose multicolored balloons, and a “just married” sign was thrown over the stern. As we swept past Alcatraz Island, Sausalito and the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, our guests relaxed in the sun, enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres. What a wonderful day! Even my parents’ friends had a great time, and wrote us after the wedding to let us know how much they’d loved their outing on the water.
Serendipity was largely responsible for making my wedding memorable, but you don’t have to rely on luck. I created Here Comes The Guide so that others wouldn’t have to experience what I went through, and I hope it makes your search for the perfect location easy and painless.