SO! Kris and I may or may not have found our venue! Eee!
We went to visit the Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn today, and it's gorgeous and they rent it for weddings and it's super affordable and the money would go to a GOOD CAUSE and it's outdoors and there's a handy dandy bathroom facility for guests to use so there wouldn't have to be port-a-potties and it's not too far away or hard to get to and and and it's absolutely lovely.
The whole thing feels quite serendipitous, actually. Seems like serendipity has been a theme in this whole wedding planning. There's an apple tree right in the field where we'd be set up, too, which felt like a sign or something. (If you know Kris, you know how important apples are to her- they're a symbol of life and healing [which is important to her because of all her health problems] and knowledge [which both of us value so much].)
The only thing is that you have to rent and coordinate all your own tents and tables and chairs and basically everything but the space. Which I think we can do, but it's a little daunting. I mean, those costs could be covered by what we save on the venue rental itself, and the space is nice enough that we won't need a lot in the way of decorations, so that's money saved too. I think it's definitely more than do-able.
So! My next task is to figure out exactly HOW to coordinate all that other stuff. Because I think the Audubon Center might be as close to perfect as it gets. The space is absolutely stunning- the trails are gorgeous and I imagine it'll be even more stunning in fall, when all the leaves are changing.