Here you'll find wedding planning tips and inspiration from our previous weddings.
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Before even thinking about a venue, you have to decide on an approximate guest count and budget, I would hate to have your heart broken by visiting a venue that you can’t afford or isn’t big enough. If you fall in love with a venue that is to expensive or doesn’t have the services you need, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment.
Not sure where to start? If you have hired a wedding planner, such as Top Shelf Wedding Planners, they should know your style and be able to help narrow it down. If you don’t have a planner at this time, hit the google search, Wedding Wire or The Knot for venue’s in your area.
Once you have narrowed down your list, search for real weddings that have taken place at those venues. You can go to google images and type in the venue name and the word wedding. You should find photographs of past weddings held at the venue location. Keep that in mind, it will help you when looking for a photographer. If you have a Pinterest board, pin these venues to your board. If not, make a computer file for each venue so you can compare later. Next, you will want to make appointments to see potential venue. Visit all your favorites and take notes and photographs.
Things to consider:
Aside from choosing a venue that captures your vision, there are things to consider that can make a big difference when choosing the perfect ceremony and reception location.
Ask for a breakdown of costs
An easy way to narrow down your list of venue options is to confirm what will fit in your budget. The venue will be the biggest expense of your wedding budget, so knowing what you can spend is very important. Ask the venue representative for a breakdown of all the costs associated with the venue. If they include catering, get a sample menu to include in the cost. Make sure it includes tax and service charge or gratuity, and if not, make sure you add it. Tax and service charge can add up to 30% of the per person price.
Many venues offer a coordinator dedicated to your event. This is very helpful because for as they will see your wedding from a venue perspective and be able to direct the set up and load in of vendors. Do understand that a venue coordinator is not your wedding planner. They will not be by your side all day to make sure everything goes as planned. They will look at your wedding from a venue standpoint. So, if you don’t have an on-site coordinator, it makes a wedding planner, such as Top Shelf Wedding Planners that much more essential.
Decide of you would like a one-stop-venue, one with an on-premise caterer. It makes planning ultimately easier. If your venue does offer in-house catering, ask if you can have a tasting before you choose the venue instead of after signing the contract. If your venue does not offer catering and you have to hire a caterer on your own, ask if there are restrictions on which caterers you can use. When renting a venue with off-premise catering, I highly suggest that you have a wedding planner to help with organization on the wedding day. Either way, make sure you can bring in your own cake and there is not cake cutting fee.
Will your wedding be the only event hosted at the venue that day? If not, you will need to make sure your guests know where and when to find your wedding so make sure they have a concierge at the door. Having more than one event at your venue could also tie up photo spots depending on how the day is scheduled. Make sure with the venue representative that your timing for photographs matches
Visit the venues that fit:
This is a critical step, as you won’t know how a venue truly feels until you’ve been there. You may think you have a top choice in mind, but when visiting find out that it doesn’t give you the same feeling as you had hoped for during your research. When you visit the on-site coordinator or property manager, make sure to ask the right questions. Have your list of questions ready so you ask all the venues you visit the same questions. That way when you get to making the final decision, you have all the answers to all the questions at every venue.
There are so many things to consider when choosing a wedding venue. The good news is that you will know when you walk in if it’s right for you. You and your fiancée will just be all smiles and giggles. And, Once the venue is set, you will feel a real weight lifted off your to do list! Now, let the planning begin.