Planning a wedding involves being constantly barraged by a multitude of options and making a myriad of decisions–all of which will play a pivotal part in contributing to the success of your big day.
However, while pretty much every aspect of your wedding can be optional, from wearing a colored dress in lieu of a white one to forgoing the entourage, there is one aspect that is pretty difficult to do without: your wedding reception venue. After all, it is quite impossible to have a wedding if you do not have a place where you can gather your family and friends. Moreover, booking a venue makes up about a third of your budget considering that this will likely be the most expensive decision you will make in the course of planning your nuptials.
With this in mind, choosing an appropriate wedding venue should not only be one of the foremost but should be a decision made with utmost consideration. However, other than taking your budget into consideration, what should you look for in your wedding venue? With so many options available to you, choosing a wedding reception venue can be a tad bit overwhelming. However, whether you wish to have an intimate celebration in a cozy restaurant or have a sprawling sophisticated setup in an elegant ballroom, your venue should have that special feel. This special feel should be something you feel you and your partner gravitating to.
However, apart from getting that special “the one” feeling for your reception venue, there are other factors to take into account when it comes to looking for your dream wedding venue. However, bear in mind that before you sign the dotted line, be sure to ask the right questions and ask to take a tour of the property. As you make your way through potential properties and prospective wedding locations, keep your eyes peeled for these certain things:
The places in your venue where your guests eat, drink, mingle and dance should all be logical and should make sense. As you make your way through a prospective venue, think of where each activity would happen (this is especially important if your ceremony will be held in the same place).
Should your venue be a little tight on place, be sure there is a logical way to separate the places into sections accordingly without feeling cramped. To maximize the use of the available space, it is recommended that you work with an event planner who can help you map out the space accordingly. Be sure to take everything in the room into account.
Are there columns that would obstruct your guests’ view of the dance floor? These are things you should take into consideration if you wish to give your guests an optimal experience.
It is imperative to look for a venue with ample space to stretch your legs out.
In this regard, just because your venue can seat 600 guests does not mean that you should fill it to that capacity. As said above, your venue should have logical places for eating, dancing, mingling and partying. Apart from this, those dedicated spaces should have enough room for your guests to roam around so that they would not be squeezing into one another. Make sure the space you book is big enough to accommodate the number of people on your guest list insomuch that they still have enough legroom to comfortably roam around. Keep in mind that the site can easily look enormous when it is empty but once everything is in place (buffet tables, bar, Dj setup, dancefloor, etc.), it will easily fill up.
Assess the size of a site by seeing it during another wedding with a similar guest list to yours.
Most couples overlook this aspect when it comes to booking a venue–a major oversight that needs to be corrected. Light can make or break the mood of a space which is especially true in events held in the morning. If you wish to have a daytime affair, be sure to check that your venue has enough windows as you would not want to be lurking in the dark when the sun is out shining.
However, if you are planning on an evening affair, ascertain that the room is not too dim. With that in mind, invest in quality lighting as well so that your dance floor will be properly illuminated.
To ensure that your venue has enough lighting, visit it at the same time of the day you have chosen for your wedding.
Privacy is largely dependent on the venue you have. However, privacy is only relevant depending on how much importance you place on it. If you wish to have a daytime event in a public spot such as parks or beaches, strangers that might wander in are beyond your control.
If this does not sit well with you, then you should book a venue that is a bit more secluded and private such as a large ballroom or a private estate. A little caveat though: Just because you have booked a grand ballroom for your event does not automatically mean you are assured of privacy. Banquet halls and hotels are known to hold more than one affair at a time. If you are getting married on a weekend, there is a likely chance that there will be other events going on simultaneously in nearby rooms. If background noise from neighboring events bothers you, you might want to consider booking the entire venue.
However, if this is out of your budget, try to schedule your wedding on a day where there is a likely chance that there will be no events next door.
On your initial sweep of your prospective venue, be sure to check the room for enough power outlets. This is especially important in venues that do not typically host weddings.
Ensuring that the venue has enough power outlets is imperative as you would want to make sure that your entertainment crew has all the power they need to make your party alive and kicking.
While we are at that, take note of the placement of these outlets and ascertain that they are in logical places.
If most of your wedding guests will be driving themselves to your wedding venue then you will want a venue that has enough parking space for everyone. Your venue should have a good parking lot, a dedicated garage or a big empty street where it is legal to park.
However, if parking proves to be a problem, you should look for alternative ways to shuttle everyone to your event. In this regard, you should start booking coasters, vans or shuttles to take your guests from the ceremony to the reception.
While inadequate parking is not necessarily a deal breaker, it may inconvenience your wedding guests or constrain you to spending money on a transportation alternative for your guests.
While this is an aspect that is easily overlooked considering that is a rather less glamorous subject, it is an incredibly important factor in considering which venue to book.
n this regard, checking out your potential venue’s restrooms is an absolute must. Apart from ensuring that they are nice and clean, you have to ascertain that there are enough to handle the number of guests you have.
With this in mind, it would be best to book a venue that has separated male and female bathrooms so that everyone can be easily accommodated.
Couples who have a theme in mind should choose a venue with non removable decors that go with their vision. Ascertaining that your venue’s decors do not clash with your vision is imperative if you wish to have your theme come to life.
While your venue does not necessarily need to be in the exact colors as the ones you have in mind, the walls, carpets, chairs and curtains should not be a drastic departure from the theme you intend to incorporate. As an example, weddings with a floral motif should have a space with pastel colors.
Classic and grand weddings, on the other hand, should be in elegant rooms done in black or white would be more appropriate.
Unless you are planning on having an indoor venue on the get go, it is imperative to have a contingency option should inclement weather decide to put a damper on your outdoor wedding.
With this in mind, ask the venue’s handler if they have an indoor space available for you in case of rain and if the space is big enough to accommodate your wedding guests.
Keep in mind that when it comes to choosing your venue, remember to stay true to yourselves and go with the venue that has that special feel. With the influx of Pinterest weddings available online, it can be rather easy to stray from the original plan and go with something that is a bit more trendy. Find what is authentic to you and choose a space that represents who you are as a couple. Remember, a venue can easily be dressed up and while it looks gorgeous with a different design and theme for someone else, that may not be necessarily true with yours.