I love when we get to share the knowledge of other people. Our guest posts are the time that we can share great resources from all over the web with you, our readers. I am pleased to share with you Tiffany Basser and her helpful factors to consider when looking for wedding venues…
When a little girl describes to you her dream wedding, she doesn’t start off with the flavor of the cake or what song she’ll have her opening dance to, she starts off by detailing where she wants to walk down the aisle. Not much has changed now that we’re grown, as the venue of a wedding truly sets the tone for the entire affair. Therefore, the decision should not be taken lightly or made in haste. Below are listed questions to consider and attributes to be aware of when shopping around for your fantasy location.
- While the venue can often inspire and shape the theme of the wedding, it is smart to have a general idea of what you do and don’t want for your big day, as well as the imagined size of the guest list. When evaluating whether or not a space is for you, mull over how much changes and enhancements are needed to provide for your dream affair. Will you need to spend thousands of dollars on flowers to spruce up an otherwise bare room or will minimal, simple reception accessories flatter an otherwise ornamental locale? When the two of you are brainstorming themes and sites of the wedding, don’t be afraid to throw out a few out-of-the-ordinary ideas that perhaps hold special significance to the two of you – perhaps you’ll want to be married in the aquarium where you had your first date, the college campus where you met or the sports stadium of your favorite team. Nowadays, it seems like no place is off limits, and there is no harm in calling and asking.
- Many facilities have both perks and hidden fees, so take the time to reflect on the nuances of the contract as this could heavily factor into your decision. Ask whether the place will allow you to bring your own liquor (which will be cheaper than theirs) and if there is an uncorking fee; whether they have an onsite caterer and if there is a cake-cutting fee; will they have all the needed equipment, like bountiful chairs and sound equipment; if it’s an outdoor ceremony and reception, will the venue have a contingency plan; and what overtime constraints and charges you should be prepared for. Additionally, it is wise to ask about what physical and decorative limits may apply – you don’t want to be ambushed down the line with the news that there is a noise restriction after a certain hour or that your lovely candle centerpieces have to be snuffed out due to a no-open-flame policy. Remember, no topic is too obvious or too silly to inquire about – you’d be surprised by the amount of venues that require the couple to haul in portable restrooms for their upscale affair, a feature that would be a deal breaker for many couples.
- Try to view the venue through the eyes of your wedding guests. Are the locations for the ceremony and reception distant from one another? Is there enough readily available parking spots, or will your attendees need to circle the block for half-an-hour to try and find a space and have to routinely duck out to move their vehicle to avoid tickets? Will your mobility impaired grandmother have a hard time getting inside the building? For colder seasons, will there be the option of coat check? If you invite children, will there be a separate area where they can play? When interacting with the staff, were they warm or disinterested? Just like the delicate subtleties can truly make a wedding special, these seemingly small factors can influence a guest’s overall experience. By anticipating the various needs of those attending, you can take extra measures to make the wedding more enjoyable, like providing transportation from one venue to the other.
As much as you may prepare and plan, there is no preventing a small hitch or two from occurring during the ceremony or reception. Maybe the food is served behind schedule, the decorations get knocked over or the lead singer of your band develops a sore throat. Ultimately, it’s important to remind yourself that the small details aren’t worth ruining your big day over, so focus on what counts (your new husband and the wonderful people in your life) and not the fact that the ice sculpture is prematurely melting.
Tiffany Basser is not a professional wedding planner, but rather a “wedding-fanatic” as she likes to say. Having been a bride, twice a maid of honor and six times a bridesmaid, she has learned the ins and outs of the planning process and tries to keep her finger on the pulse of what is trending in the bridal world. As a freelance writer, Tiffany enjoys reflecting on weddings, marriage and, as of recently, her experiences with pregnancy.