THE PERFECT PLACE
Selecting your venue is by far one of the most difficult parts of the wedding planning process. Equipped with some simple information and a plan of attack, you’ll be able to make the process fun rather than frustrating, writes Tijan Biner.
It’s the first thing your guests will see when they arrive, and it’s where they’ll spend the next four to five hours celebrating with you, so finding the perfect venue can add some pressure on you and your partner. When it comes to choosing where to celebrate your special day, you may find yourself trying to weigh up the pros and cons of indoor versus outdoor settings, juggle suitable dates and scout ceremony locations nearby, all while trying to keep your guests happy. To make the process as smooth as possible, it all starts with knowing what to do while visiting potential wedding venues.
When you take a tour of a potential venue, which will most likely be with the venue’s event planner, you’ll see the property’s top spots – the newly renovated ball room, the winding vineyards or the picturesque lake. This will give you an idea of how you’d like to set up the space, and it will paint a picture of how your big day will look!
After the venue’s event planner has covered all of the basics – from sound equipment and décor to parking and handicapped facilities, there are a few important questions you should ask.
How many weddings do you host per day?
If you’re getting married in the morning, make sure you double check that there’ll be no other weddings later on to avoid being rushed. Alternatively, if your party is later in the day, you could possible show up to a banged-up venue and tired staff. Asking this simple question will set your mind at ease, so you can enjoy the day you deserve!
Are there any areas we won’t have access to?
If there are multiple weddings booked on the same day, make sure you’re aware of any specific places that you or your guests may not be allowed. This will help you avoid awkward run-ins with wedding guests that aren’t your own!
Is there a noise ordinance we should be aware of?
Some bands may be forced to stop playing by 10:30pm, whereas other venues will be a little more lenient. Make sure you get a good idea of any noise restrictions prior to booking a venue, because how late you stay will most likely affect the rest of your day.
Once your tour is through and you feel confident that you’ve asked all the questions you need, take some time to wander around by yourselves! The venue may have a specific area where couples marry, but perhaps you find an intimate corner of the garden that’s more perfect for you and your partner. While browsing the ballrooms, you may notice an outdoor terrace where you’d love to host a stunning outdoor reception. Don’t be afraid to ask for things that might seem out of the ordinary – your event coordinator is there to make your day as special as possible.
GET SNAP HAPPY
Planning a wedding is all about the little details. While you may be sure that your memory is iron clad, somewhere between the fourth and fifth event space and the third caterer, those details will start to get a little fuzzy. Make sure you take pictures – with notes – to help you remember the venue with the chairs you loved, and which view was the best at your preferred ceremony time. Having notes will help you put together the pros and cons of all your desired locations, and images will help you piece together all those other details.
BRING A FRIEND
Venue scouting is a lot more fun in numbers! It’s a great way to bond with some of your closest family and friends, and you can count on their honest opinion about each venue. However, try and bring only a handful of your closest friends. Huge groups may be problematic when it comes to making decisions, with the presence of so many opinions having the tendency to outweigh your own.
You will most likely see a number of venues, so include various people in your visits, but try and stick to one or two at a time. Your fiancé should definitely be first on the list to be included – venue scouting is an once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it should be done with the one you’ll marry.
If you’re newly engaged, it can be nice to take some time to relax and enjoy the feeling. However if your plan is to get married within the following 18 months, the luxury of waiting to make the big decisions just isn’t there. Wedding venues are generally booked at least 12 months in advance and 24 months if you’re after a particularly popular place at a busy time of year. Once your dream wedding venue has been set in stone, many of your other decisions will start to fall into place.
Although time is of the essence, don’t feel pressured into locking down a date and ending up with a venue that didn’t tick most of your boxes. It’s best to visit a number of differently style venues, and try to take your time so that you can feel completely confident and happy once your decision has been made.
With a list of questions and a camera in hand, your venue scouting will become much easier! Remember that although the place you choose to celebrate is an important aspect to consider, you should always follow your heart when it comes to planning your big day. If you and your partner drawn to a particular location, put down that deposit, because your wedding day should be everything you ever wished for.
Image credit: Kristof Photography