Congratulations; you’re engaged! Now that you have shared the amazing news with all your loved ones, it is time to start the planning process. I myself got engaged back in December, and I recently joined the Soiree by Souleret team. This summer I will be sharing my experience and advice with you. Together we will tackle down big and small details of wedding planning; from helpful tips to inspiring DIYs – Let the planning begin!
In a recent post, Shayne shared some insightful tips to help create a wedding budget. Today we will talk about one of the biggest decisions you’ll make regarding your special day- finding your perfect venue.
- Define what type of venue you would like. Have you always wanted to get married by the beach? Do you dream about a rustic barn wedding? Are you envisioning an elegant and luxurious hotel? Or maybe you’ve seen great pictures of certain country club? Knowing what type of venue you want to have will help you define the style of your wedding.
- Estimate the number of guests you’ll be inviting. If you have a big family, or you know your parents will want to invite everyone they know, consider that when looking for venues. When looking at different options, make sure to check its maximum capacity, and if there’s the option to add a tent, if needed.
- Consider your budget. You might find a place that you love which fits your ideal guest count, but if it doesn’t fit into your budget, you will need to contemplate other options. Add in tax, service fees, administrative fees, cake cutting fees and other fees that the venue charges so that you have the most accurate information for your budget.
- Determine how inclusive you want your venue to be. Do you want a venue that includes everything from food to floral centerpieces, or would you rather have a blank canvas where you’ll rent props and decorate everything? An inclusive venue can minimize stress and save on costs but with a less inclusive venue, you’ll have expanded options and room to customize!
- Think about the ceremony AND reception. Do you want to get married at the same venue where your reception will take place? Doing this will save you transportation costs. It will also be more time effective. Make sure you ask potential venues if they have ceremony options and what their policies are. However, if you and your groom are more traditional and want to get married in a church, make sure you contact the church to make sure the date you want matches the venue’s availability.
- Pick up the phone. The best way to get a good sense of what a venue includes in their costs, as well as their availability, is to call them. Talking to the event coordinator at a venue you’re considering will be ten times more helpful than just looking over a website. You can ask specific details like availbility, inclusiveness, ceremony policies and more.
- Once you’ve selected your favorites, schedule a visit to tour. Make sure you schedule an appointment with the person you spoke with over the phone so they can show you around. Recently, I visited one venue I really liked, but the event manager who had given me most of the information I needed, wasn’t available. She had her assistant give me and my family a tour. Although we did get to see the venue, her assistant didn’t have the answers to many of the questions I had. That being said, don’t feel like you have to visit every single place; be selective, practical, and efficient with your own time.
- Consult wedding websites and magazines. Wedding websites and magazines are great resources to engaged couples! Local magazines like WHIRL Wedding Guide and Pittsburgh Magazine: Weddings, or local blogs like The Knot, Lace and Loyalty and Burgh Brides, offer a helpful venue lists! They also feature real weddings from which you can get inspiration and read couple’s reviews.