Kelly and Jay were chosen as the winning couple in our 2012 Dream Wedding Contest. As the winning couple they won $1,500 towards her dream wedding dress and custom designed wedding invitations from Follow their story as they share wedding planning highlights on our blog, Pear Salad.

We are so excited to be able to share our story with everyone! It has been quite the adventure thus far and I know there is much more to come.

Our wedding planning began as soon as we returned from our engagement trip. We both were very excited to begin looking for a venue, and for about two weeks looked at different places. Google is every bride’s friend! We found many web sites dedicated to venues in North Carolina, and started to make a list of our favorite ones. I had always dreamed of a beach wedding, but with costs and really wanting all of our friends and family to attend, we decided that was not our best option. We found some other options that would still give us a gorgeous outdoor setting but would fit us a little better. We decided to go check out a few each weekend and hopefully find one we really liked!

Kelly and Jay

We left on a Friday after work and drove down to Charlotte, where two of the venues we had picked were located. The first place we looked at was not the best, complete with weird old lady hoarder house, and nasty chemical pond! We quickly decided to look at the next place and hoped it was better. Our second stop was The Saratoga Springs, a beautiful house on a beautiful property. From the moment we arrived they were kind and very helpful! They had thought of everything! After giving us the tour, we knew exactly that it was what we were looking for! I could picture my dream wedding right there! It was an outdoor venue, with an air-conditioned area for people to get some reprieve. It had indoor bathrooms, a gorgeous pond with fountain, a bridge going over the pond and so much more! We found out they only had one summer date for next year left, so we jumped on it. After setting the date and place, we’ve been working on figuring out the type of theme and vibe that we really want for our gray and yellow outdoor wedding. Look for more to come as we continue to get ideas and make decisions for our big day!

Read more from winners, Kelly & Jay:
Dream wedding contest winners
Engagement photo shoot
Custom designed wedding invitations