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Choosing the Perfect Wedding Venue

June 23, 2012

The venue for your wedding will set the tone for every other aspect of your special day. Apart from the bride’s dress and the the best man’s speech, the wedding venue is likely to be one of the elements that guests remember most at a wedding. There are many types of wedding venues to choose from and choosing the right wedding venue is vitally important. When choosing the perfect venue for your special day, there are several factors and criteria to consider before a reservation is made.

WEDDING BUDGET

One of the first things to consider is your budget. Obviously planning a wedding for 200 guests and having a reception at a fine hotel will cost more than a beach or garden wedding with 50 guests. Of course, there are always exceptions. I recently planned a wedding with 75 guests outside on the beach with tents, chivari chairs, a dance floor, and a catered sitdown meal where the budget exceeded the fine hotel scenario.

If keeping to your budget is a priority it is best to keep the guest list small and choose a venue where your guests will feel comfortable and not get lost in a huge setting. The best options are a beach, garden or home wedding ceremony and reception. These type of settings can be very elegant and formal depending on the brides' style and desires.

OUTDOOR WEDDING VENUES

Couples today are choosing to have their wedding ceremony and/or receptions outdoors. This is a wonderful way to incorporate beauty and serenity into your wedding; however, there are many things to consider. One of-course is the obvious weather considerations. You will need to have an alternative plan in case of rain or extreme wind. Besides wind and rain you will need to consider the time of year in which your wedding will be taking place. If you are having a Florida wedding in the summer you may want to keep your ceremony short and provide misting fans and hold the ceremony during the cooler evening hours. In addition, you will need to make sure you accommodate guests who are physically challenged. For example, if having a beach wedding you will need a hard surface for guests in wheel chairs or who use walking aids.  If holding an outdoor wedding ceremony it is important to consider lighting, parking and restroom facilities. These are all details you should discuss with your wedding coordinator.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF VENUES

A home or garden wedding provides a lot of versatility not to mention privacy. There are many benefits to having a wedding ceremony and reception in a park/garden or at a private home.  For one, you won't have as many restrictions on decor. In addition, you can supply your own caterer and purchase your own liquor for less money than a hotel or restaurant may charge.  This will help offset the price of the rental equipment.

A hotel or formal golf and country club can be a beautiful setting for a more formal affair.  Since these venues are accustomed to weddings they offer a variety of package options to fit different budgets.   It can be easier to plan a wedding ceremony and reception because you have access to their preferred vendors such as a caterer, baker, bar service and event coordinators

A hotel or formal golf and country club can be a beautiful setting for a more formal affair.  Since these venues are accustomed to weddings they offer a variety of package options to fit different budgets.   It can be easier to plan a wedding ceremony and reception because you have access to their preferred vendors such as a caterer, baker, bar service and event coordinators

Holding your wedding reception at a community center or private hall may seem a little boring and a lot of work but any venue can be turned into a beautiful setting. With the proper decor, lighting, flowers and linens, it can be transformed into an unrecognizable venue.  By renting these venues the day before the wedding you can enlist family and friends to help with the decorating and incorporate it within the rehearsal.

Where ever you decide to hold your wedding ceremony and/or reception there are questions you need to ask before reserving your venue.  For example -  

  •        Does the venue provide tables, chairs, and linens?
  •        Are the setup and cleanup fees included? 
  •        Can you provide your own alcohol and caterer?
  •        Can the venue hold the number of guests you’d like to invite (sit-down vs. buffet)? 
  •        Is there adequate parking? 
  •        Is there an alternative venue in case of inclement weather? 
  •        Are there overtime charges? 
  •        Are there extra charges for cake cutting or corkage fees? 
  •        Do they provide rooms for the bridal party to get ready? 
  •         Are there any insurance or permit requirements?

If possible, visit the venue you choose while it is set up for another wedding or event similar to one of your size. Your dance floor should hold 20 to 40 percent of your guests at a time.  Make sure there is enough room for the flow of traffic to the dance floor, bar and/or buffet and adequate space for your DJ or live entertainment.

Wedding and event coordinators can be lifesavers when it comes time to choose your venue.  They are experts at planning for unforeseen events and are familiar with the area.  This means that they are aware of the costs and issues that go along with any venue you may be interested in, as well as, many other options. 

 
"Christina was great to work with. Planning a Florida beach wedding from Indiana would have been very difficult for us. Christina put everything together including the location, the officiant and the photographer as well as offering great ideas and additions to our ceremony. Every email was answered right away and each change was accommodated. Our ceremony was EXACTLY what we wanted. I highly recommend Weddings By Christina!"   ~   Read More »
 
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