Whether it’s your place of worship, your backyard, a hotel or resort the ceremony and reception venues are one of the most important decisions you will make during the planning process. Here are a few questions you’ll need to answer.
How big will your wedding be? A small wedding is typically about 50 guests and contains immediate family and close friends. Medium size weddings are between 50 and 150 people and may include extended family and coworkers. A large wedding consists of 200 or more people. Keep in mind the larger the wedding the more space and time you’ll need at your venue. Don’t forget you’ll need additional time for design and decorations.
What’s your venue budget? Your venue budget stretched depending on how flexible you are with the day and time as well as getting married out of season among other factors. The cheapest time of day to get married is early in the morning before 11 a.m. local time. Getting married on a Friday night instead of Saturday night can make for a significant difference in price. The wedding off season, which consists of the months of November through April, is another way to get the most out of your wedding venue budget.
After you have a guest count and a venue budget, now is the time to make a list and scout wedding venues where you are interested in holding your ceremony and/or reception. If it’s local, go and take a look around. If it’s a destination wedding or outside driving distance, either have someone you know take a look or request more information on the wedding venues website.
Do you want both the ceremony and reception held in the same place? It is common for the reception to be connected to the ceremony wedding venue, but you can do your own thing and have the reception someplace else. Other wedding venues you could try are botanical gardens, museums, or resorts. The benefit of having the reception and ceremony in a single location is not worrying about out-of-town guests getting lost, no awkward downtime by having the ceremony immediately after, and not having to make sure everyone has transportation to the new venue.
There are six important questions to ask about wedding venues besides cost and size:
1.) The layout of the wedding venues.
how well is it spaced out for tables and chairs for your number of expected guests? Just because it’s a big building doesn’t mean you can use every square foot of it.
2.) How big of a space is the dance floor?
You want a decently sized space to avoid guests running into other tables (or the wedding cake!).
3.) Are the wedding venues wired for sound?
This is important for both the wedding and the reception. During the wedding, four different situations occur when music will be played: the processional, bride entrance, interlude, and recessional. So no sound is a no go.
4.) When do the wedding venues close?
You never know, especially with a church if it may close in the early evening. It’s always better to ask before the issue arises.
5.) Can you have decorations and/or confetti?
A good question to ask given the venue may not want decorations due to the potential hassle of cleaning them up. You are going to want floral decorations, pictures of you and your significant other, and any other things involved with the theme and style you want to create. Getting a no to this question could be a deal breaker as well as it could also help you avoid potential hidden fees.
6.) Can you bring in your own caterer and other wait staff?
Since every reception has some form of drinks and food, this topic must be covered. The answer to this question may surprise you as the venue may want you to specifically utilize their catering services.