So, you said "yes" and now it's time to begin your planning journey, but you don't know where or what to start with. No worries, this is a common statement I hear from clients. As a result I encourage all of my clients to follow their planning outlines or lists and move one of the big rocks off first. Typically the biggest task is selecting the wedding venue. This task should be a fun experience as this is the place where all of your dreams will become a reality. Today I'm going to share with you a few things to consider when selecting your perfect place to say "I do'". But before we look at venue selection you have to first start with narrowing down your budget.
Knowing your budget is key as you begin your hunt for the perfect venue. Most venue's require a fee to rent their spaces and you don't want to waste time looking at venues that may not be in your price point. Ensure that you and your partner are honest (with yourselves and your planner) about the amount of budget and those contributing to your budget. No matter the size or style for your big day, you should still be mindful of all the expenses that come with booking the perfect venue, as costs can add up very quickly. With that being said, there are definitely bargains to be found if you know how to shop wisely. (Or have a savy wedding planner!) For instance, selecting a wedding date that is during off-season or weddings that takes place during the week can oftentimes come at a great discount.
Other budget-related points to keep in mind:
Be mindful of payment schedules
Ask about cancellation fees
Remember that some venues will charge additional fees for things such as cleanup or overtime
Any aspects of the wedding that the venue cannot provide will need to be provided by you and could add to your expenses
Now that let's discuss the actual location or venue. It’s important that you have a clear vision for the type of wedding you want to have. Consider whether you want to have the ceremony & reception in one spot, indoors or outdoors with a view or without a view. Identifying which aspects of your wedding are most important to you as a couple is key. I encourage clients to make a list of the things you don't want to compromise on and anything that falls outside of that list are things you'll want to be more flexible with.
Additional things to keep in mind when selecting your location:
A venue's capacity limits for indoor or outdoor spaces
Whether a venue has a liquor license
Any possible venue provisions (furniture, food, equipment, etc.)
Rental time limits (can it be reserved for a few hours or a few days?)
Whether there are grounds on/near the venue that can be used for photographs
While it's true that your special day is about you and your future spouse, you still have to consider the people who are going to be present to support you during this important milestone. First and foremost, you should consider the number of guests you intend to have. The size of your guest list is going to impact the size of the venue you choose. Guest comfort is very important, and shouldn't be overlooked when looking for a place to hold your ceremony. You also want to make sure that the atmosphere is positive and energizing so that your guests have a memorable time celebrating your union.
Things to think about for your guests:
Is there plenty of parking space available?
Is the venue wheelchair accessible?
Is there an adequate number of restrooms?
If catering is offered, what kind of food will be provided?
Venue-shopping can be a detailed process, and there are a lot of things you have to keep in mind. But don't be scared away by how thorough you'll want to be. It's to ensure that you find the best fit for you and your guests. So shop thoughtfully, and don't forget to have fun. Happy planning!