Wedding Venues: What You NEED To Know
Backyards, estate houses, bars, restaurants, beaches, churches, hotels, rooftops, warehouses, temples, tipis in a field… the list of possible wedding venues are endless! But how do you choose the best fit for your celebration? You want to create a ‘one with mother nature’ feel or like you and your guests are in attendance of the luxurious Met Gala. We’ve come up with what you NEED to know when looking for the perfect wedding venue.
Choosing a theme for your wedding does not just mean choosing a color palette or a fancy dress era. Having a theme can also help with the type of ambiance that you want your wedding to have and therefore your venue type – ie. relaxed, outdoors, classic, traditional, circus…
Location, location, location…
Have you considered having your ceremony, photos and reception all in the one venue? Having everything in the one place will save you sooo much time! You won’t be wasting any precious photo or partying time commuting back and forth AND it will also spare your guests the hassle of driving between venues or having to amuse themselves while they wait for you, they can just go ahead and get the party started! Keeping everything in the one spot makes for a super relaxed and easy day for everyone!
The ins and outs…
So you’ve chosen your venue and you are about to drop the deposit, but what about the extras?
- Additional time – will you be charged an extra fee if you go overtime? What about extra hours of bar service? Is there a cut off time? Are there noise restrictions in the neighbourhood?
- Set up/pack down times – can you set up the day before or pack down the day after so you’re not sleepily pulling down decorations in your wedding gear at midnight?
- Parking, accessibility, public transport – considered bussing in your guests so they don’t drink and drive?
- Wedding coordinator / staff – does your venue include an ‘on-the-day coordinator’ to help keep things running smoothly and ensure you get fed on time?
Speaking of getting fed, choosing the right venue for you and your boo also has a lot to do with the types of menu options available. Thinking about the style of menu you would like can also help you decide on the venue itself, such as (and not restricted to) the following:
Buffet or barbeque = a homestead, outdoors or backyard
Family style platters = hall or barn
Roaming cocktail or hors d’oeuvres = funky art space
Traditional sit down dinner = classic function centre, restaurant or marquee
The second food consideration to factor in is whether you will need to bring in caterers or if the venue has in-house food service. And finally the third consideration here is try to discuss the option of taste testing with your caterer or venue. Personally the most important componant of a wedding to me is the food and I would want to ensure the food was tasty. Period!
So you think you’ve found your perfect outdoor spot for your ceremony… then the sky thrash down with rain, eeeek! Sometimes a few spare umbrellas just won’t do, so be sure to have a wet wether contingency. Insist on a contingency plan with your venue manager. However if your venue does not include a venue contact, be sure to work out your own back up plan earlier on. I say plan: for the worst and if you get the best you won’t be disappointed.
“I’ve seen the light…”
Consider the venue lighting. A dimly lit dungeon may seem like a rad idea for your wedding story… not if you re-think the lighting situation. Turn off the fluorescent lights house-lights, string up a few fairy lights or lanterns, set up a few lamps or up-lights onto the walls and hey, suddenly you’ve created atmosphere; your guests can see what they’re eating, AND your photos will be gorgeous! Lighting can turn an average space into a magical wonderland. Yup, I said wonderland!
If there is one piece of advice we can give you…after these other pieces, is to not go crazy with wedding planning. We know, easier said than done. But what if we told you, it’s as easy as going to one place, and having your invitations, entertainment, florist, limo, photo/video and anything else you need for your wedding in ONE spot. That’s taking maybe 20+ stop and making it one.
It’s not too good to be true! Be sure to stop by the NJ Wedding & Event Center in Clifton, NJ and see what vendors can help take care of your wedding and event planning needs!!!
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