Today, bride blogger Renee is sharing 5 things to consider when choosing your perfect wedding venue!
After you get engaged it can be pretty overwhelming but going to look at venues is a great first step. Maybe you’re set on a time of year and want to find available venues or you are set on a venue and will be flexible to their availability. Whichever you are make sure you take your time finding your venue and bringing a family member or friend along for advice is very helpful.
I got married at The Legend at Bergamont (you can see my Real Wedding gallery here) and knew when I first walked in that it was where I was meant to get married. As you search for your perfect venue, here are a few things to consider:
CHOOSE THE TYPE OF VENUE YOU WANT
Talk with your fiancé about the type of venue you want. Some couples know they want to have a barn wedding from the start, others may want to get married on campus or at a hotel for the travel conveniences. Or if you’re like us, you may want to get married on a golf course! The venue section of lovemadisonweddings.com has all local venues sorted by category, which is great for couples who know exactly what they are looking for AND for those who don’t!
CONSIDER RENTAL ITEMS
Before choosing your venue, think about how much control you want over rental items such as tables, chairs and linens. Oftentimes, barn venues will require you to provide tables and chairs. And while many venues do provide those items, you may want to customize the look of your tablescapes with something other than what a venue offers. I knew I wanted a venue that came “fully stocked.” By that I mean that it came with the chairs, tables, dance floor, etc., that I liked and that the room set-up was included in my contract. I did not want to be on point for sourcing or setting up and tearing down table and chairs, mostly because I chose to create a lot of DIY decorations for my wedding so I didn’t want to have to worry about coordinating details with a lot of vendors.
WILL YOU HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER?
As you think about venue set-up and begin researching venues, you may determine that you need/want to incorporate many rental items but don’t want the added hassle. That might be a good time to consider hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, especially if you choose to get married at a park or nontraditional venue. There are a lot of details to keep track of in the days leading up to your wedding and on the day-of, so you may want to have a wedding planner to keep everything straight.
And just a word of caution… if you pick a nontraditional venue to save costs be sure to create a detailed spreadsheet with cost of renting items as they add up really quickly.
TIME OF YEAR
If possible, try looking at venues during the time of year you want to get married. I know not everyone will be able to do this but venues look very different depending on what time of year it is. If you’re planning an October wedding and you visit the venue in the summer when the trees are full, there may be eye sores beyond the trees that you will see when the leaves fall. If you’re not able to see the venue during the correct time of year, ask the coordinator if they have any pictures from past weddings during that month. I booked my venue in November for a June wedding but my coordinator was able to show me a whole photo album of weddings in June so I could see how the couples decorated and what the landscape looked like. I also visited my venue in June as I wasn’t getting married until the following year, just to make sure the pictures were consistent.
PREPARING FOR APPOINTMENTS
Contact venues ahead of time and set up appointments with the wedding coordinator so you can ask all your questions on the spot. It’s also helpful to see the venue when it’s set up for a wedding – otherwise it might be hard to visualize your wedding day taking place there. I took my mom with me to three venues in one day (that was enough… you definitely get tired). The first one was set up for a corporate dinner so it gave us the wrong impression and was hard to look past that. When we walked into The Legend of Bergamont it was set up for a wedding, there was slow love music playing and we knew right away that it was where I was supposed to get married! My mom had to take a moment to herself and wipe her tears… yes, she cried at an empty venue.
As you tour venues and talk with the wedding coordinators, pay close attention to their cost breakdowns and don’t be afraid to ask for details or pictures. And most importantly, don’t feel obligated to sign a contract if you’re not 100% sold on a space. You will know when it’s meant to be!
READY TO FIND YOUR DREAM VENUE?
The venue section on lovemadisonweddings.com lists all local venues by category – a perfect place to start your search!
Photos by Azena Photography