Choosing a wedding venue can seem like a daunting task. Often brides to be can feel paralyzed with fear that they will choose a bad venue and that their big day will be a disaster. If you can relate, you are not alone.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help you make a better decision about the right wedding venue for you. Here are some things to consider which will help you choose a great venue:
The geographic location of your venue is important, particularly if guests will be coming from out of town or if you’re planning a destination wedding. You should think about logistics and getting guests to the venue without much hassle or confusion. Finding a venue close to where guests will be staying makes it easier on everyone involved.
Driving and Directions
While guests can use maps and GPS systems to find the venue, these resources aren’t always accurate. If the venue location is particularly obscure, it’s not a deal breaker, but you will need to consider how you can make it easy for your guests to get to and from the venue. This is particularly the case with any elderly or overseas guests you may be having at your reception.
To help them, consider providing a map with driving directions, in the appropriate scale for your guests. Be sure to include any landmarks or other details that may help drivers get to the venue without confusion. You may want to drive the route and make note of street names and critical details, especially if guests will be traveling after dark.
Before selecting a wedding venue, you should determine whether the event will be formal, informal, traditional, or contemporary. You will also want to figure out if your event will be held at night or during the day. Knowing the time of day and style of the event will help you narrow the search to only those facilities that can accommodate your wishes.
There are a number of different types of venues that can really contribute to the overall style you are trying to achieve on your big day. For example, a wedding in a rural location can provide a classic country style even, while a classic waterfront venue could achieve a classy, sophisticated reception.
If you’re planning a particular style and theme, the venue should support the type of decor you want, such as any hanging decorations like balloons or vines. Tables should be sufficiently large enough to accommodate several guests and centerpieces. If you’re bringing in catered food to coordinate with a specific theme, you will want a venue that allows you to use an outside caterer, as some venues don’t allow this.
Number of Guests
The number of guests you anticipate is important for most venues. Most places have a maximum number of people they can legally and comfortably accommodate. Venues for receptions will want a final guest count a few days before the event, so they can have the proper number of tables and chairs set up and for efficient food service for the reception.
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan and facility available indoors. Weather can be unpredictable and you don’t want guests sitting outside during a rainstorm. Some venues will provide leeway in the timing of the wedding, to allow for rain and severe weather. However, finding a venue with both outdoor and indoor space suitable to hold all your guests is generally the best approach.
Regulations and Requirements
Many facilities have regulations on the maximum number of guests. They may also not allow smoking on the grounds. If a number of your guests smoke, you will want to look for a venue that provides an outdoor space designated for smoking.
Locking in the Reservation
Many venues require solid reservations to be made up well in advance. If you like a venue and pencil in a date, but continue to look, make sure you get back to the original venue quickly if you decide it’s the most suitable. Venues often require a deposit a month or two before the wedding and a solid reservation ensures you won’t be scrambling at the last minute.
Parking, food, and alcohol are additional considerations in choosing a wedding venue. You don’t want guests to have difficulty finding a parking space. If the event will be catered, it’s a good idea to sample menu choices in advance. Alcoholic beverage lists don’t have to be extensive. If the budget is limited, try to select a couple choices in each category, such as beers, wines, and mixed drinks.
Hopefully determining some of the above points will give you clarity on choosing the ideal wedding venue for you.
Remember, if you feel you’re in over your head, seek outside help from a wedding planner. You can also discuss your plans with loved ones who genuinely care about you and the success of your day. Bouncing ideas off other people can help bring the clarity you need to ensure your day is a success.