A venue is one of the first decisions you will make when it comes to your big day as it will control times and limitations of your vendors and guests. There are many things to consider when choosing the right venue for your wedding ceremony and reception. Finding the perfect venue is not an easy task. There are many choices these days from barns to hotels, restaurants and beaches. Below are five tips that can help finding that perfect venue a little easier.
Consider the Budget
Always keep your end budget in mind. Certain venue spaces charge more than a simple space fee. Hotels and certain facilities have in house caterers that adds to the bottom line. Additional fees may occur with these same venues when it comes to lighting and decor if you are forced to go with particular vendors. Break down your complete expenses by groupings and see if these additional fees still fit within your overall budget. Shopping around when it comes to venues and caterers is key to getting a good price. Knowing what the average cater charges in your area will help you weigh the pros and cons of venues that come with their own in-house food.
Do you have traveling guests? Consider the distance most of them will have to travel to the venue then between the wedding venue and the reception location. If your venue or reception site is a good distance away consider the limitations of your guests. Will they be capable of driving this distance especially at night? Will older attendees be able to find the location without access to Google maps or GPS? What are the expenses when it comes to parking if your location is in a more suburban area? How about traffic in your chosen location? Even if you aren’t choosing a destination wedding distance may still play a huge factor and overnight accommodations may rack up additional fees for traveling guests.
How many attendees are expecting? Many venues require a rough estimate 60–90 days in before an event especially if food is done in house. If there is a banquet staff prepping the location the venue needs to know your final setting count to prepare your space. A established guest count is usually obligatory up to 72 hours preceding your reception. It’s significant to come up with a solid approximation of your guests early so you can budget and select the right ceremony or reception. Also be warry of guests who do not RSVP as they may throw off your counts the day of and leave everyone in an awkward situation when it comes to seating and food.
Check the Weather
Every bride who dreams of an outdoor wedding fears mother nature. The weather is a major factor when picking a location especially when looking at outdoor locations for your reception or wedding. Having a Plan B you have to pay for can drive up the budget for your venue exponentially. Rain isn’t always enemy. Consider overly hot days that may leave your guests and you in a thick dress miserable Wind may cause you to consider auditory needs as it can prevent guests from hearing your vows. While you may be planning your wedding day in late winter months consider that space in the heat and what it might be like in the season your wedding is occurring. Also pay attention to the outdoors of your facility. While your wedding may be inside will guests have to track through mud and sand to get to your location?
Some locations come with additional restrictions that may put limitations on you and your guests that will need to be considered. Some facilities have stick smoking or drinking policies that will have to be maintained during your event. Alcohol opens an entirely different set of liabilities considering local laws, licenses and procedures. If you plan on having a band or other large decor this will take away from seating limiting your guest list. Do you have anyone of your guests with special needs such as wheel chair access?
Make sure you know all the limitations that come with your venue
Be sure to stay true to yourself when picking a venue and don’t panic when they pop the question and feel the need to rush into thing. Always consider your budget and way the pros and cons of each location and the limitations that come with it.
James Novotny is the administrative assistant at The I Do Company and director Always the Bridesman