One of the single most important decisions about your wedding is its location. For some people, they have fallen in love with one space since they were kids and always swore they would be married there someday. Other people search high and low to find that one place that seems to fit their personality. Here are some tips that will help you select the right venue for you.
#1. Consider the proximity to other places.
It’s always ideal to have your locations on the day of your wedding be relatively close together. Having guests travel a significant distance from a ceremony to a reception is less than appealing and often very time consuming. If it’s possible, try and have your day-of primping place, ceremony and reception sites all within a few miles of each other. Bonus points if this also cuts down on travel for the majority of your guests.
#2. Keep your design goals in mind.
If you are going for a modern look, do yourself a favor and don’t select a colonial or rustic venue. While a transformation can be made at any space, it always comes at a cost. Sometimes the cost of making a space your own isn’t the problem, but having the room for long enough to complete the makeover can be tricky depending on where you are. It is always better to find a space that lends well to your vision but could use some unique touches then to completely renovate a space in a matter of hours.
#3. Make sure you like the accommodations.
This might sound a bit obvious, but it goes without saying that this is a major factor in your long term success and happiness in planning your wedding. Be sure that you like the food that the venue prepares, the people that you will be working with (and will ultimately be running your wedding day), check out the photo ops and bridal suites and read the fine print. There is nothing less joyful then coming face to face with some fine print you weren’t aware of leading up to the big day. Doing your homework in advance will better prepare you to have the least stressful day possible.
#4. Try and remember your surroundings.
In Upstate New York we have a lot of different things going on at different times. For example, if you have always wanted a wedding in Saratoga but the majority of your guests are from out of town – maybe track season isn’t the ideal time for a wedding. Not that the weather isn’t great or there isn’t a lot of fun things to do with your guests, but it is important to be mindful of the cost and availability of hotels and travel. Check with the local tourism bureau’s to see if any large conventions, concerts or events are coming into town on weekends that you are considering for your wedding. Steering clear of heavily trafficked weekends will save you and your guests a lot of headaches.
#5. Consider functionality.
Some venues seem to come with it all, while others make you work a little harder to fit everything in. If you are really looking for a one stop shop, make sure you that you ask about ceremony space, cocktail area and reception location. Many area venues have made themselves multi-purpose and will house each stage of your day effortlessly. This is not only a tremendous value but also an invaluable resource to your sanity. You can always add personal details, décor and rentals to any space that you look to make it “your own”.
#6. Make your expectations clear.
Making your priorities known from the get go will help you start out on the right foot. Everyone has a different way of measuring the success of their wedding. Tell the venue what is really important to you and make sure that they are on board with making that happen. In this business, it is important to be clear and direct. Our goal as vendors is to listen and make sure we understand your needs. It is in everyone’s best interest if you make a list of your priorities from the get go. In some cases the couple is concerned only about the quality of the food and beverage and don’t have high expectations of the aesthetic, for others the sound quality of the entertainment needs to be superb. Everyone is unique!
#7. Talk to lots of people.
I don’t just mean other brides, but anyone who has been to a wedding. Guests often have different experiences then the bride and groom because they aren’t getting the same personal attention. No matter what the review, it’s always interesting to hear what some of the most frequented venues are and what stood out about them. Even after years of being in the business, we are always hearing new feedback and it’s a great way to gain invaluable insight.