Tips for Finding Your Ideal Wedding Venue, Part 1.
Eli and Kelly faced many challenges when they were shopping for their wedding venue. They were looking for something unique for their March 2019 wedding, because they, honestly, wanted something memorable.
When they were searching through about a dozen different unique places, they took Location, Size, Style, Price, and Amenities into consideration. They considered the Price as one of the most important decagon factors, and Amenities to be the least important.
Simply put, they were looking for an intimate downtown location that didn’t require a whole lot outside decor brought in. They are a uniquely Austin pair, they want to give their guests an Austin experience.
A few tips from this soon-to-be Bride and Groom:
-Ask a lot of questions to the event space planners and managers. Seriously, it’s the best thing you can do!
-Don’t be coy, especially about pricing. It makes the decision process easier.
-Don’t be afraid to choose a venue that’s not specific to weddings. There are a ton of great places that offer space for events with packages including the catering, which makes the planning process so easy!
And their venue is PERFECT!
But shhhhh…..I can’t tell you until after their March Nuptials wink
Hooray! He finally popped the question! Booking and Planning Season are upon us….so NOW is the time to find that perfect venue.
Okay, I have NOT been a bride ...but it’s safe to say I’ve been to my fair share of weddings (wink). I’ve had the honor of not just partnering with but learning from some of the smartest, most talented people in the industry.
One of the first things I learned was about booking season, and how it’s a race to get the ideal vendors. Among the first to be booked are (1) venues (2) photographers (3) the wedding gown.
We are going to discuss #1 today: Finding your Venue!
Great venues fill up very quickly and no bride wants to miss out on her chance at THAT venue. I honestly don’t blame you, especially in a place like Austin that offers such a HUGE variety!
But there are a bevy of questions that come with finding your dream venue. Will we need to hire transportation / will they be able to host the ceremony and reception in the same room / the ceiling be too low / do I have enough dancing space / You wanted 2 interactive food stations, but you only see enough space for one…..Oh MY the questions are enough to put anyone in a panic!
Because once that venue is selected, you start to REALLY see your vision come to life, and suddenly, everything else falls so easily into place....flowers, colors, table settings...Swoon
Seriously! Don’t worry, the decision is not NEARLY as much of a challenge as you think. You’re not throwing this massive party to impress EVERYONE else, you’re throwing it to celebrate your love and your unity.
If at the end of the day, you threw a damn good party and you’re married to the love of your life, everything went perfectly. <3
First things first, lets talk about expectations!
You and your SO need to sit down and discuss each of your visions for the wedding day. Encourage one another to be open minded and candid about what they envision for the wedding day. Take this opportunity to be open about what you’ve been daydreaming about since he proposed (though we all are guilty of daydreaming before the ring). Feel free to ask him questions about what he likes or doesn’t like. Your guy may not appear to be as into it initially, but the more you open up the discussion the more responsive he’ll be. Don’t forget, it’s his day too!
Of course, it has to be said that you NEED to discuss your ideal budget, even before you look at venues online.
Once you guys set those expectations, your budget, and share one vision, you can generally start to narrow down your venue search.
Now that you and your SO have had “the talk” (dum dum duuuuuuummm) and you have a shared idea for your vision, it’s time to look for the style of venue that matches that vision.
Are you looking for something classic and traditional with a ceremony in a Church or are you looking for something more urban with lots of exposed brick? A Big Rustic Barn or a Chic little bistro near the Farmer’s Market? Do you want to have it in a hotel ballroom or at a resort? A good jumping off point for starting to narrow down your list, is deciding on which style of venue fits your shared vision best.
There is a HUGE variety in most large cities that will be able to fit anyones style, but, Pro Tip, REALLY think about what style you want. The style you choose could effect the next step in making the choice, location. Mostly because there aren’t a whole lot of rustic barns inside city limits…and there aren’t a whole bunch of urban lofts in small towns.
Location, at least to me, would probably be the toughest part of this process. Keep in mind that there is a travel factor to consider for most of your guests. Unless you’re one of those lucky couples that spent most of their lives in the same area and have tons of family and friends there…a majority of your guests will be traveling to get to your wedding. Guests who’ve traveled 6 hours by plane are probably not going to be too thrilled with an additional 2 hours in the car.
So you may want to ask yourself “would each of my guests be able to get to my wedding day with ease?”
Another thing you may want to consider is alcohol. If you're going to have alcohol at your event, you may want a place that's in town or close. Otherwise, you may run the risk guests leaving early or driving while intoxicated (if you're not providing shuttles).
With Location, comes size!
I’m sure with “the Talk” , the two of you were able to talk about the size of the wedding. “The Size” meaning how many guests are you expecting?
Seriously, venues take guest count into consideration. Some places actually have a guest minimum brides and grooms need to meet to hold their event at the location. Plus, you neither want to have a place that’s too packed or not packed enough.
Overall, you're obviously going to want a place with enough space for all of your guests, however, there are other factors to consider. Tables....band or DJ setup...bar....buffet....cake or dessert table....gift and sign in table....All of these things do take up space. Even if you do decide on an open-air venue or a venue that's primarily outdoors, you want to ensure there's ample space on the lawn.
Some venues keep a basic set up to show potential brides, but some do not. If you can, see if there's a time they can let you peek in when a wedding has been fully set up to establish a sense of size. Open houses can also give you a good sense of the venue space with a full setup inside.
So guys, I do have a few more tips for you to help find your wedding venue….but you’ll have to wait for Part 2!!! Plus I’ll have some fantastic tips from another couple for you!!! I’ve never been a bride…but I’ve been to my fair share of weddings wink
Stay tuned for more of Kelly and Eli’s Wedding, a case for first looks, more tips on finding your ideal wedding venue, and of course, weddings, weddings weddings!
There may be a few fun surprises in between. Best thing to do is stay tuned.
-Caity Colvard- CCPhotoFactory