San Franciscans may choose a trolley venue. In New Orleans, don’t be surprised to see a wedding party rumble by on a historic streetcar. Many brides wouldn’t think of getting married anyplace but her place of worship. Regardless of where you decide to tie the knot, these ideas will help you plan and budget.
Does your wedding have a theme? If you have your heart set on a formal wedding and reception, consider your place of worship, hotels or museums. Casual weddings would do well on the beach or in a park. If exotic is what you are thinking of, perhaps a destination wedding would be just your style. Visit your chosen venue at the same time you are planning the wedding. You’ll see what the venue looks like at that time of day and season. If you choose to have your event in a public space, check to see if there are fees, permits and scheduling requirements.
How much can you spend? Your budget will play a big part in your wedding venue decision. If the location of your dreams is more expensive than you planned, negotiate the price or reduce other expenses. Sometimes just changing your day or date will reflect a significant savings.
How many guests will you invite? Your guest list is critical in selecting a venue. If you are planning to have an event for 300, don’t book the romantic, adorable chapel that only fits 50. The first question most venue representatives will ask you is “How many guests are you planning to invite?”
Who is going to coordinate the event? The last thing you need on your wedding day is to worry about the details. Traditional wedding locations may supply an on-site event coordinator to keep track of everything and coordinate deliveries and services. If you choose an untraditional site or decide on a destination wedding, you may want to hire a wedding planner to provide these services.
Does the location have all the amenities? Do you want a dance floor? Does the venue allow liquor and provide a bar? Is catering available and if not, is there a kitchen for outside caterers to use? Do you need to bring in already cooked food? Is there a preferred baker or do you provide your own wedding cake? Is there enough parking and is it easy to access? If you are having an outside event, what is the backup plan in case of inclement weather? Will the venue provide chairs, tables and linens, serving dishes, plates and flatware or will you need to rent these items? Decide what is important to you and which details are deal breakers. Keep track of the pros and cons of each venue you visit with a spreadsheet or notebook.
When you find a venue that meets your requirements, get an itemized list of costs with detailed information about what is included before you make a deposit. Get the cancellation policy in writing. The more popular sites book up quickly so act as early as you can. With a little patience and a lot of questions, you will say “I do” in the location of your dreams.
Determine what is important to you and which details are deal breakers. Keep track of the pros and cons of each venue you visit with a spreadsheet.