A wedding is one of the most exciting days in the life of an engaged couple, and choosing the right venue is of paramount importance. Proper planning will make the day go a lot smoother and will help ease the strain on the purse by keeping an eye on the budget throughout the planning stages. It is too easy to get caught up in the pageantry of the moment and lose sight of the finances.
Just about everyone looks online for goods and services today. A vast majority of people (84% to be exact) trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends. Good google reviews can help you choose a venue that is in line with your vision and your budget. Keep in mind that vindictive people also make comments, so read the reviews objectively, and it can be a good source of information.
Two of the most significant expenses for a wedding are food and venue. The right venue will minimize the hit that the food takes on the budget. The choices are numerous, but the personality of the bride and groom should carry the most weight in the decision. The venue will affect the other important aspects of the wedding, such as attire, budget, vendors, and decor.
Research possible sites and try to visit each one personally. Look at online pictures of other weddings that have been held at each location to get an idea of what you can expect for the budget you have. Of course, your own desires will be prominent at your wedding, but seeing the space decorated and inviting will help you decide if it is right for you.
You want your venue to ooze whatever wedding theme or style you select. If it is a western theme, possibly look for a barn, or a facsimile, with enough hay and western gear placed around so that it seems authentic. If it is an elegant affair, create the mood from the time guests arrive – perhaps offer valet parking as a prelude to a dramatic entry and beyond. If it is a beach or bohemian theme, the space itself will dictate decor and food.
A convenient location is important, especially in a large metropolitan area. You should consider traffic, weather, and parking. Will the ceremony be inside or out? What is the season you choose for the nuptials? What time of day will the ceremony be held? Do you have a contingency plan for an outdoor venue? These are all questions that should be answered during the planning stages. Not a lot of people place too much importance on how you’re going to get from your ceremony to your reception when you plan them at different places, but this is super important! You don’t want to be stuck taking an Uber or taxi on your wedding day. So be sure to ask your venue if they have any transportation available, or if they don’t, keep it classy and get a private chauffeur or limo driver to make sure you arrive in time for the reception.
To assure getting the date at the location you want, ask if your date can be held for a limited time if you make a refundable deposit. Has the establishment put in writing the amount, the event, and the expiration date for the deposit? Once you have found the ideal location and have signed a contract, stay in touch with the establishment or the coordinator to reaffirm your reservation. Do not take anything for granted.
Food and Beverage
The style and type of food you serve further authenticates the theme. You certainly do not want to serve barbeque at a very formal affair, and you do not want steak tartare in a barn. Since food is a major cost factor, choose wisely, but with the theme firmly in mind. If the venue only provides a full-service menu, and your budget will not allow it, continue looking.
Understand exactly what is included before you sign any contract. Keep in mind that items and services listed as being included may be basic. If you want something more elaborate, you need to make sure that is what you will be getting. Of course, that may increase your budget.
Beverages can be anything from a full-service bar to ice tea. It is your wedding, so it is your choice, but try to stay within the theme and atmosphere you want to create. Do not forget about taxes and gratuity. They may seem inconsequential, but they can throw your budget off track if you forget to include them in the plan.
Whatever your vision is, try to create it. Hopefully, you are only going to do this once. Look for a venue that will enhance the image you have created in your mind. Having dreams come true is a part of what makes the day so special.