Choosing a venue is one of the first big decisions you have to make when planning your wedding. There are a lot of options, and it can be overwhelming, so the best thing to do is take a step back and figure out what you need from a wedding venue.
The number of guests you plan to invite will impact the type of venue you can choose. Every place has an occupancy limit, but if you have your heart set on a place, you may still be able to have your reception there if you’re willing to stray from the standard reception. If you do a cocktail reception instead of a full, seated meal, then you can fit more people since you don’t need tables and chairs for everyone. If you don’t have a dancing crowd, you can also fit more guests, as a dance floor takes up a decent amount of space.
You also have to consider the time of year you’re looking at. There are a number of beautiful venues with gorgeous grounds, gazebos and patios that can be tented, but they may not be the best choice for a winter wedding or it may be too hot in the middle of summer.
Next, you’ll want to think about the type of reception you’re planning and the type of look and feel you’re going for. Does it lend itself more to a hotel ballroom, a country club, a trendy restaurant, and outdoor tent, etc.?
Once you figure out the time of year you want, the approximate amount of guests you’ll be inviting and the type of venue that fits you, your fiance and your reception the best, start researching local venues and exploring websites. If you’re unsure of a place, look them up online and read past brides reviews, you can even ask them for references and testimonials.
Once you’ve found some that interest you, give them a call or email them and ask about their packages and pricing- be sure to include the time of year or date you’re considering when asking for information, this way you can be sure they have availability, and it may also impact what they offer. If the packages they offer don’t fit into your budget, you can ask if they can work with you- or if there are any dates they discount or special offers they’re running- they may be able to.
Take your time when going through all of the information they provide and be sure you’re comparing apples to apples when comparing multiple venues. Is it a sit down dinner or a buffet, are their cocktail hour offerings similar, how many hours is the reception, is the tax and service charge included or is it extra? These are all important things to consider because they will impact the cost.
Good luck with your search and if you’re having a lot of difficulty, give us a call!