Although many elements of a wedding can be omitted, such as donning a suit in lieu of a dress, or eliminating flowers and wedding cake, there is a crucial element that cannot be overlooked – the venue. Ultimately, you require a space for your loved ones to come together and commemorate the occasion, even if it’s a micro-wedding.
Discovering an ideal venue is a challenging task. The possibilities are endless, whether you desire a breathtaking barn, a sophisticated ballroom, an intimate restaurant, or a serene shoreline. Therefore, we consulted several wedding planners to divulge their expert recommendations for locating your ideal venue.
It is advisable to have an initial conversation with a planner.
It is recommended that you consult with a planner prior to commencing your venue search. Planners possess extensive knowledge of a space’s potential, its configuration, and the necessary time and resources needed to properly enhance it. In the event that there are any unconventional characteristics that may impede the realization of your vision, or innovative ideas to make it one-of-a-kind, your planner will be informed.
Select a venue that aligns with your vision.
It may appear self-evident, but it’s essential to search for venues that correspond to the aesthetic you envision. For instance, if you’re planning a contemporary wedding, consider art galleries, stylish restaurants, or industrial warehouses. Conversely, if your wedding is highlighting more natural elements, open-air settings like parks, backyards, and ranches would be ideal. Opting for a venue that complements and elevates your theme will create a stronger connection between your wedding and the venue.
Familiarize yourself with your guest list.
To avoid future complications and distress, it’s important to determine the number of guests you plan to invite before beginning your search for a venue. In the event that you select a location that cannot accommodate all of your guests and more individuals RSVP “yes” than you can accommodate, you may find yourself in a challenging predicament. It is common for couples to miscalculate the number of guests they intend to invite or the number of guests their parents may desire to add, so it is best to have an early conversation to establish a clear understanding of your guest list. Additionally, this will allow you to create a detailed budget since certain expenses are heavily reliant on the number of guests you plan to invite.
Be mindful of your budget.
When choosing a venue, it’s important to consider all associated costs beyond just the rental fee, especially if the venue provides in-house catering. These types of venues typically charge per plate, and expenses such as decor and floral arrangements can also increase the overall cost. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your total budget and the estimated cost of executing your design. If adding these expenses to the venue rental cost exceeds your budget, you may need to reduce the scope of your design or explore more affordable venue options. It’s helpful to categorize your overall budget and allocate more funds to high-priority vendors. Selecting a venue before finalizing your budget can make it challenging to remain within your financial limitations when you still have other vendors to hire.
Valuable advice: If you are unsure about the pricing structure in your region, seek guidance from a local planner to obtain more accurate information than what is typically available on national average websites.
Take your guests’ experience into consideration.
In the case of inviting many out-of-town guests or hosting a destination wedding, prioritize venues that are located near or connected to a hotel for convenience. Additionally, it’s important to consider the comfort of your guests within the venue itself. While a room may have a maximum capacity, that number does not always guarantee a comfortable amount of space for your guests. Therefore, it’s advisable to inquire about the venue’s comfortable capacity and inquire about fire code regulations.
Consider the inclusions.
When exploring potential venues, it’s essential to evaluate what is included in the rental package and what must be sourced externally. For instance, while a full-service venue may provide tables, chairs, and linens, they may come at a higher upfront cost than a venue that requires you to rent them separately. In this scenario, it’s advisable to obtain a cost estimate from a rental company to compare the total price when considering the option of sourcing items independently.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that the rental items included in the package are typically simple and standard, such as white linens, standard flatware, and banquet chairs. Therefore, it’s possible that you’ll need to rent additional items that align with your specific vision, which can increase the overall cost. Furthermore, when working with a venue that offers in-house catering and has a food and beverage minimum requirement, it’s important to factor in tax and gratuity when calculating the total expenses.
Be true to yourself.
Many couples nowadays are inspired by Pinterest weddings and select venues based on the style they found online. However, it’s vital to consider what feels true to your unique identity as a couple, and to choose a space and design that genuinely reflects who you are. Keep in mind that a venue may have looked stunning with a different theme or design scheme, but it may not be the perfect fit for your vision.
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