Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Venue

(c) Andie Linn Photography

They say in real estate it's all about location. Well weddings aren't any different. Finding that perfect venue that has the look you're going for, accommodates all your needs, is set in an ideal location and fits your budget can be a daunting task to say the least. The venue will definitely be one of the biggest expenses, if not the biggest, of your wedding, so don't settle for anything less than perfect. The rest of the wedding details are dependent upon it.

Your best friend is going to be Google. But get creative with your searches. If you only search "wedding venues," you're going to get super pricey locations that over charge everything simply because it's for a wedding. Don't limit yourself to the first page or two of your results either. I found my venue on page 10, fell in love, and it happened to be really close to where my husband and I live. Search for local barns, vineyards, and historic sites that allow site rentals. My location cost $500 for the entire grounds. Most wedding venues charge you individually for each area you use.

After you find a place that you're interested in, make sure it will really work for you. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Is it large enough to hold all of your guests?
  • Will it work for the ceremony and reception, and if not is there a location close by that will work for the other?
  • If you're planning to do a first look, is there an area that's private that will be ideal for photography?
  • If you don't live within a few minutes of the venue, is there an appropriate place for everyone to get ready? If not, look into nearby hotels.
  • What are the regulations for the site? (Alcohol, catering, tent set up, photography, etc)
  • Is there appropriate shelter in the event that it rains? (A huge factor I had to deal with at the last minute-plan ahead!)
  • Are there any hidden fees that you could get hit with after the big day is over?

If you find a place that will work for all these things, find out what you need to do to reserve it immediately. Places go faster than you'd expect. I couldn't believe how many weddings were going on in the same month as mine!

Lastly, if you know someone with beautiful property that would let you use it for free or really cheap, do it! There's no need to pay for anything that you don't have to. Don't be scared to ask, the worst that could happen is you get a no, and you just move forward. Most people are excited to help your wedding be as perfect as you hope for.