Choosing your venue will be one of the biggest decisions you make for your big day. After all, this decision will affect almost everything else!
There are many, many venues to choose from. So, before you go out venue hunting make sure you have a clear idea of your wedding style. This will help you narrow down the overwhelming number of choices. What type of venue will be best for you: outdoor vs. indoor, traditional vs. contemporary, full service vs. limited service, ornate vs. a blank canvas?
The Great Outdoors
These venues include plantations, farms, fields, sandy beaches, etc. We absolutely love the scenery and inspiration an outdoor venue presents! As planners, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention a backup plan! If you opt out of a tent or other back-up shelter, you run the risk of mother nature doing her own thing and having nowhere for your guests to hide. Many outdoor venues require you to bring everything in. Tents, tables, chairs, linens, catering, restrooms, electricity; you name it, it will have to be rented and brought to the site. Now, while this is a challenge we are certainly up for and capable of achieving we want to make sure you are also aware of what this consists of in case you don’t have help pulling it all together.
The hotel wedding is the popular because of it’s convenience. If many of your guests are coming in from out of town then it is very easy for them to get to your wedding without having to find transportation. Many hotels and resorts also provide experienced staff and most of your rentals (i.e. tables, chairs, etc). You may have to try a bit harder to personalize these spaces. Some of our favorite ways to transform and personalize these spaces are to bring in a professional lighting design team or using draping to create a dramatic effect.
These are the venues that have everything rolled into one. They have an outdoor ceremony site, an indoor reception hall, and most of the rentals and experienced staff. This venue, like a hotel, sometimes needs a little bit of magic in order to turn it into the wedding you envisioned. It can be done! Just make sure to budget for your decor and signature items accordingly.
Additional things to think about:
- Amenities Provided: do you want the convenience of a full service venue that provides everything from catering to in-house linens or one that starts out as a blank canvas?
- Location: is it easily accessible? Are there hotels nearby and are shuttles provided?
- Capacity: will everyone fit comfortably with a dance floor, seating, food service areas, band, etc.
- Can you choose your own vendors or does the venue provide a preferred vendor list you have to choose from?
- Wedding Day Logistics: How much time is given for you and your vendors to be on the property? Or have they given you the entire day? This is particularly important for event setup. Is there a place to get ready on-site? This will determine meeting spots, transportation needs, additional hours needed for photography, etc.
- Your Wedding Date: This is super important for obvious reasons. Before touring a venue ask if they have your date open. If you don’t you risk falling in love with the venue just to find out they’ve already booked your date. If you are open to other dates, have a few in mind just in case your venue doesn’t have your first choice available.