Choosing a Venue
People who are not married often wonder why couples stay engaged for over a year before making their final commitment; it’s not a case of cold feet but rather an indication of how hard it is to secure a popular summer date at a desired venue. Choosing the venue is a very important step – that is why it’s usually the first decision a couple make after getting engaged. Just like every other aspect of your wedding the venue you choose says a lot about who you are and what you want your special day to be like. Below are a few tips based on my experience with all types of venues over the years:
- Style: So much of your wedding day ends up being about style. You should choose a venue that fits you. Do you love being pampered? Then a Hall might be right for you. Are you looking for a more intimate event with a small group? I’d recommend a Manor house. Ultra wild party? Find a country backyard and put up a tent. Intimate beach getaway with a few friends and family? Then a destination wedding might be right for you. Whatever you choose make sure it makes you happy and meets your needs.
- Package Deals: Venues often offer package deals which include cake, or entertainment or limo service. Sometimes these work out to be incredible deals, other times they are substandard services at inflated prices. Always check out the partner services and do some comparison shopping before agreeing to these add-ons. If after your investigation they turn out to be a great deal don’t hesitate. Having the venue take care of multiple aspects of your special day can alleviate a lot of pressure on you.
- Proximity: A wedding is like a choreographed dance – there are a lot of moving parts that depend on each other. A typical wedding will have 5 different locations (groom prep, bride prep, church, photo shoot, reception) so it’s beneficial for you and your guests to keep proximity in mind when choosing your locations.
- Cancellation Dates: If you are not picky with your wedding date ask about cancellation dates for your favourite venues. Halls often discount their cancellation date by up to 50%, for example if you had 175 guests at $200 a plate your savings would be $17,500.
- Instincts: First and foremost you want to trust your instincts when picking a wedding venue. It pays to take time and visit as many different venues as possible. Check your local phone book or the web and create a list of potential candidates. Then make arrangements to visit the sites with your fiancé
- Preview: Once you have narrowed down your list ask to see your favourite venues setup for a wedding. The coordinator will invite you to come by on a Saturday before another wedding so you can see the hall all decked out and ready for the party. If you opt for bundled catering make sure you have a taste testing session.