Top Ten Tips for Choosing Your Venue
So first things first…(I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat for a week just dying to know what venue WE chose…) DRUMROLL PLEASE…..we’ll be saying our vows and partying at The Estate at Florentine Gardens : ) and we could not be more thrilled! This site offered everything we wanted and then some…but it wasn’t an easy find…
Most of you have probably been planning your wedding since before you were even engaged, so you’ll also want to make sure that your venue is everything you’d ever imagined! Here are some tips that I learned on my “venue adventures” that will hopefully help make your quest easier than mine…haha
1. Ask for what you want! Don’t be afraid to request that extra food station or for an alternate dessert- these guys want to work with you and will meet most requests. We got a raw bar and a martini bar thrown in just for asking nicely : )
2. Find out what flowers are included. Some venues will decorate your cocktail hour and common areas, others won’t provide anything. Make sure you ask so that you don’t end up with your guests crowded around an empty table in the entryway.
3. If you plan on having the ceremony there, LOOK AT THE SITE. I can’t tell you how important this is (refer to my previous post regarding “animal droppings” for more…oy) Also ask to see pictures of other ceremonies that have been held there.
4. Keep your minimum as low as possible. You don’t want to have to pay for people that do not come, so ask your venue manager to lower that number (we got ours down by 75 people!) and add on later if you need to.
5. Talk to people who have been to weddings there. A guest may have a very different experience from the bride/groom and you want to make sure your friends and family have a great time after all the work you’ll have put into it!
6. Two Words: Food Tasting. While this usually comes after you book, try to ask for a small sampling or to attend an event there first if you can. You don’t want to have to hear your Aunt Matilda complaining about the overcooked chicken all night…
7. Linens! Ok, it sounds silly but think about it- you are picturing your stunning lavender wedding tables only to find out that the venue only offers white…SNORE. Now you have to either have a hospital themed wedding or run to your florist for help…which is going to cost you…so make sure they have options.
8. Chairs! Again, most places will require renting something fancy, like the ever-famous chiavari chair. So if you want something other than the standard ballroom seat, factor that into your budget.
9. Think about photos…will you be taking them at the venue? If so, check that there is an appropriately beautiful location to do so both INSIDE and OUTSIDE, just in case it rains…the last thing you want to is to have your wedding photo taken in front of the EXIT doors because it rained and there was no place inside to shoot!
10. Lastly, make sure you are comfortable with the manager/coordinator. You are entrusting this person with the details of one of the most important days in your life so they should be organized, trustworthy and competent. If they can’t give you info when you ask for it, are unsure of pricing or have a strange rap version of the wedding march as their ringtone….run the other way!