You’re engaged! Congratulations! Take a deep breath. It is never too early to start looking for a venue for your celebration. It is possibly the most important decision you will make in this wedding journey. You must know “where and when” before you can move on to decisions such as invitations, music, caterer and other vendors that will help to execute your vision. Here are 5 things to look for in a wedding venue!
Before you even start to look for a wedding venue, discuss what kind of wedding you want to have. It will save you time and money. Include in your conversation where to have it (region, city), where to have the ceremony, what is a realistic budget, and your preliminary guest count. If you don’t fit and can’t afford it, then don’t consider it. Save your energy; you will need it later! Keep asking yourself throughout this process “does it fit?”
Make sure it is the right size so there is a seamless flow from one memory to the next and that your guests never feel too crowded or stuck at your wedding. Ask for floor plans and make sure they are to scale.
Do not exceed your budget on the venue, forcing you to skimp on other things that are important to you. Also make sure you understand what you are comparing when comparing venues. It is not always apples to apples, as they say! One venue may include tables and chairs while another may charge for them. If your band requires a stage, you may end up renting one if the venue doesn’t provide it. Compare and calculate what is included in the venue rental.
The look and feel of the venue will shape the ambiance of your event. If you are a creative, contemporary couple, you will not be happy in a ballroom. Instead think urban, industrial spaces that allow you to have a more unique celebration. If you are more traditional couple, a hotel or banquet facility will provide a better experience.
Is there easy accessibility for your grandparents? Can I provide enough seating for people who need it? Are the bathrooms accessible and appropriate size? Is there a private room for the bride? Green room for the band? Space for the caterer? Ample electricity? Are there any restrictions? Noise restrictions or catering restrictions?
Just like finding the perfect dress there should be an emotional connection with your venue and the venue staff. Will I enjoy working with this team? Make sure that you feel this will be a creative, relaxing and painless process.
Now take another deep breath and enjoy this journey.
Thank you to Isam Culver, general manager of The Theodore, a beautiful venue in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.