More than any other part of the wedding, your reception represents your unique personality. Is your dream wedding small or a Broadway-worthy production? Whatever it is, your reception requires careful planning, an abundance of patience, and a plethora of time. Since the number of wedding venue options are infinite, couples need to think about a variety of aspects before selecting their space.
Choosing a Venue
Do you know what kind of event you want? Is it traditional or innovative? Will it be formal or informal? Is having a garden ceremony or gourmet food a deal breaker? By looking at these questions your perfect wedding venue will start to come into focus. Each of these important elements can really narrow down your search.
It’s hard to know an exact headcount before picking a venue to host your reception, but if you don’t have an idea of what size wedding you are going to have you will not be able to pick a venue confidently. No firm count is needed to look at venues, but one of the first questions a venue will ask is how many guests you’ll be hosting. Not only does this make an impact on what size of a venue you’ll need, but guest count and budget are very closely related reception investments.
Mother Nature plays a bigger role in your wedding than you may realize if you’re planning to have part or all of your event outdoors. Exchanging your vows or having a fabulous cocktail hour under sunny skies is great, but when the temperature rises…or falls… Be prepared! Speak with the venue about a contingency plan they can provide that includes access to an inside space or tent in the event the weather turns too cold, wet, or far too warm.
Food and Beverage Quality
Food and beverage can wow your guests as much as the dress, the flowers and the décor. Memories can be made over meals and with such a momentous occasion taking place, it’s important to know if your venue has an in-house caterer, a preferred list, or their own kitchen. Be specific in the type, quantity and quality of what you eat and drink on your wedding day.
It’s essential that you identify the special factors that are important for your event. Take into account any special accommodations your guests might need such as dietary considerations or handicap accessible ceremony sites. For example, while any established wedding venue will have proper accessibility for people with disabilities, it’s important to remember some outdoor spaces may not have full wheelchair access.
Tips for Previewing a Venue
We recommend you make an appointment to see the location rather than just driving by. Sometimes an unremarkable-looking building will surprise you with a secluded garden or hidden courtyard. And sometimes the opposite is true- you’ll love the stunning façade, but the interior isn’t your style.
Bring a notebook- paper or digital!
When you speak with venue representatives, write down details you discuss and jot down any questions you might have. This will help you stay on track and make planning a bit easier. These notes become more important when you go to sign a contract. It will help you remember everything you have discussed and allow you to fully understand what you’ve been told and what you are about to sign.
When considering more than one venue location photographs can be helpful in collecting your likes and dislikes as well as other details that might stand out about the location. Although be sure you have a system for matching shots to their locations. You’d be surprised how easy it is to confuse photos sometimes!
Many venues will hand you pamphlets, menus, charts, and other materials to help you plan your wedding and show you what the space can offer. One of the best methods for sorting and storing the information is clearly labeled and easily accessible folders held within a binder. You’ll want these organized and available when you begin narrowing down at which venue you’d like to host your wedding and reception.
Always, always, always communicate what is most important to you! This is your special day and there should be nothing standing between you and the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. If you have questions about how to choose the perfect venue for your event, don’t hesitate to contact us! Call 317.577.3663 to speak with an Event Specialist today!