Choosing the right venue for you.
Congratulations! You’re engaged. You are about to embark on the most important journey of your life…marriage! But before you get there, you’re going to have to make some big decisions of how you will kick that journey off. One of which will be your venue. Where will you say “I do?” Where will you enjoy the presence of your family and closest friends, dine to your hearts delight, and dance the night away? The venue you choose will help you focus and tailor the rest of the decisions you make for your wedding.
Before making the decision of what venue will host the wedding of your dreams, there are some things you should be considering…
What is your vision? This might be something that you’ll need to discuss with your fiance. Are you looking for rustic or elegant? Casual or black tie? What is your personality? If you are true to your personality, your vision will feel right. You ultimately want your guests to walk away feeling that your day was “all you.” When you find your vision it will help you eliminate looking at venues that don’t speak to that vision.
The Ceremony. What kind of ceremony will you be having? Will you be looking for a ceremony on-site, or are you religious and will be married off-site? Take this into consideration when looking. Is there an off-site ceremony spot in relatively close vicinity, or will your guests need to travel a distance between the ceremony and reception?
Budget. You need to definitely talk about this with your fiancé immediately. Remember, this is an important day, but you don’t want to do anything that will affect the future days you have together! When looking at venues pricing can vary dramatically. Some venues will have everything from soup to nuts, including food and bar service. Others will not have food or beverage service, but will include tables, chairs, linens, service items, dance floor, etc. While others will offer you the space, and you will have to rent all your items. So, you’ll want to get a good idea what each venue offer and be sure to look at the entire picture.
Your Guest List. Who is on it? Draw out the perimeters of who will be invited to your wedding. Only family? Family, close friends, and their significant other? Children? Can your venue accommodate everyone on your list? Is it handicap accessible? Will your elderly guests be comfortable?
Wedding Day or Wedding Celebration? In my opinion a day goes by way to quickly. You don’t have the chance to really visit with and enjoy your guests. Your wedding day is most likely going to be more of a work day than you think it will be. Between getting prepared, posing and smiling for pictures, saying hello to all of your guests, and not to mention meeting many new faces, it will be gone before you know it. Can your venue accommodate a multiple day event, meaning rehearsal, after party, brunch, etc.? Stop by the local tourism office of where you would like to get married. Get information on what your guests can do to pass the time in between wedding events. Wine tasting, gallery hopping, local shopping, eateries, etc.
On-site wedding services. Does the venue you are looking at provide any assistance with your wedding planning. Do they offer guidance in choosing your vendors? Will they be there on-site the day of your wedding to help you relax and enjoy your day? It is difficult if you are the go-to person the day of your wedding. You have enough to think about. It is priceless to have someone that can be working together with all of your vendors so that you can worry about the important things and not have to make sure that your day runs smoothly.
Venue Particulars. Will there be a kitchen on site? Do you need to rent the appropriate cooking equipment. What about restrooms? How long do you have access to the venue? Can you drop off items before your wedding? Is there an overtime fee?
Photo Ops. Does the venue have a backdrop for photography? Or will you have to go offsite to find a setting fitting for your wedding photography?
Consider the weather. Especially if you are choosing an outdoor venue, think about the weather. If the thought of inclement weather is too much for your to handle and would take away your peace as you prepare for your wedding day, do not choose an outdoor venue. However, if you are willing to except that weather is out of your control and you are willing to accept what you are given, talk about a rain plan with your venue.
Referrals. Talk to your venue about what vendors they like to work with. Most likely they’ve had a lot of experience working with different vendors and can give you invaluable insight in what vendors are best to work with. As you make decisions and choose your vendors, continue to check in with your venue to keep them in the loop.