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Choosing your Venue, how do you decide?

Many brides agree that if there’s one thing you spend a lot of time choosing, arranging, and finding it's on the venue. You could also spend much more money just by not taking into account some basic details.

Here are some recommendations we have gathered one by one with special care. We put ourselves in your shoes when such a nerve-racking event is on the way and these are all the things you need to take care of so everything comes out perfect and smoothly.

Create a draft budget

When it’s time to start your search, do not overwhelm yourself by going to 10 or 15 venues. Probably, they’ll have all that you need and the price will sound like heaven but what if some of the caterer service, parking lot, linens, dance floor, and others are left out of the rental fee? If that would be the case, you’d have to find vendors, approved and recommended by the venue, that provide the services.

Defining a budget, leaving some extra money —just in case— taking into account all the services the venue may or may not include for your event helps you to avoid headaches and heartbreaks.

Communication is one of the top priorities. You want to provide and request all the specific information you care about to create the best possible event that surpasses even your expectations. Whether it is the reception or the wedding, asking questions to clarify, to know beforehand, or to take notes about it.

We advise that you feel confident and totally free to ask them, otherwise if you feel they don’t meet your needs or the service and politeness doesn’t make you feel comfortable, move on to the next one. There’s no space for misinformation or discomfort in such a big event.

Know the number of guests

Now that you have your budget, you want to bring the approximate number of guests at your wedding to the table. Some places have room for more or fewer people, this will depend on decor, areas, and implements some venues have. You want your guests to be comfortable and have plenty of space to mingle, dance, and have a total blast instead of being stifled and wanting to get out of the place.

Remember, the space that will be dedicated to your wedding, reception, welcome party, or all of them cannot be too big because that will have your guests rattling around the place and it cannot be too small either or it will be too tight for them to dance and have fun and enjoy at ease.

Virtual Tour

Always keep in mind the number of people the venue you’re visiting can fit. Be specific about your questions, and ask as many as you want. Ask in advance if they have the possibility to do a virtual tour around the place, this allows you to start picturing way beforehand actually visiting the location.

Of course, I agree that you may be thinking that it’s much better to visit it and see it with your own eyes, that’s what you’ll do next because we agree.

There are a lot of venues of all kinds and for all tastes, but you cannot fall in love with a venue right from the start because it has all you want in it, not without confirming if it has all the services you require and meets your needs. Do not sign anything without paying attention to the small details.

Sometimes having a virtual tour of the complete place just won’t be possible, so go and visit it yourselves. Feeling the place out, going around, seeing every part of it, and picturing every detail like tables and chairs, musical apparel, and others being right on the place is another option.

Envision your ideas

Many wedding pictures look like paradise brought to earth, and you really like the way all of them look but the fact they are popular doesn’t mean you have to do it the same because it's on-trend; you want something different and totally your style.

Create an ideal wedding based on your likes and taking into account also what you don’t want to have at all on your day. There are plenty of options to browse and search on the web, in order for you two to start putting that perspective and design into words, sketches, designs. Your Pinterest board will be a great tool for saving visual ideas.

Clear communication is key

Providing guidance and specifications of what you want to wedding planners or coordinators, venue holders, service staff, and vendors is so important.

In fact, it is a lot better to be very specific on the music you want, what food to have for your guests to enjoy and taste, the palette and theme so the decor team can accomplish the goals, doing all of this before and during the process of creating an event is definitely key.

Be clear when you want to change something on time and in the best way possible so nothing is forgotten or done at the last minute.

From the moment you call venue renters to arrange a meeting to the moment you’re saying goodbye to your guests the day of your wedding, keeping straight and polite communication and giving the best representation of your idea will avoid misunderstandings and assumptions.

To have better guidance when it comes to the specifics, you can opt for a wedding planner’s advice. Specialists have no comparison in the area of experience, so having one to help your dream wedding become real could be something to keep in mind.

Keep not one, but both eyes on what services the venue offers

We have mentioned it several times, this is due to the fact that we consider it extremely important. Now, some things must not be omitted and have to be clarified when choosing a venue or searching for it online before you sign or agree to anything.

There are plenty of venues to choose from, with different packages and prices, close to the beach or on a farm. When you have such a great variety, aiming exactly where you want it and how you want it will save you from deciding among 20 different options, always remembering to stick to your theme, design, and budget.

Be clear about what’s really in the “all included” service. Otherwise, if there’ll be a service you need to find on your own ask for recommended and approved vendors, this will avoid having issues or being uncomfortable about any little detail that was forgotten or simply messed up.

Here’s a list of elements to keep in mind as services you’ll have to search for —if the venue doesn’t offer them, of course—, such could vary depending on the venue and packages they have. There’s a huge probability the location offers all that you need.

  • Rentals

  • Decor

  • Floral

  • Audio and Lightning

  • Photographers and Videographers

  • Open Bar

  • Caterer

  • DJs and music (ensembles and soloists)

  • Hairstylist and Makeup

  • Rooms to get ready (Separate or not)

  • Service Staff

  • Parking

  • Security

  • Restrictions (time and/or noise)

Extra but important items:

  • Enough outlets

  • Good acoustics

  • Available bathrooms

  • Areas for kids

  • Easy access to the venue (by car or public transportation)

  • A backup plan (weather change, blackouts, etc.)

Also, having a preliminary interview or a video/phone call with owners or people in charge to clarify the basics about what comes with the venue and what’s included in the packages can save you a lot of time.

Riviera Reflections Tip

You can have a predesigned sheet or chart where you include everything you have doubts about or want to check —the proper organization is never an old hat.

Privacy and availability

Are you the only event in the location that day? If not, have you considered a buyout to have complete privacy? This could create confusion on the guests if there’ll be more than one event that day.

In hotels, venues are commonly close to each other and some celebration cries or the inspiration of a karaoke lover can take part in your own celebration, sounds trespass anything sometimes, they can also be located in common areas where non-wedding related people can have easy access led by curiosity. If privacy is a priority, try to visit the place when they host several events to see how it would be.

When we talk about availability, we refer mainly to your schedule but also to the venues. As you won’t be the only ones getting married, the most advisable thing to do is to choose all the possible dates that can be booked in a place and, mostly, that are adapted to your time.

Whether the wedding will be celebrated in 6 months or a year, sit down and evaluate more than a few possible dates because it could happen that you miss the opportunity of hosting your wedding right on the spot you loved because they don’t have the date you chose available in the case you only have one possible date.

Natural decor or a blank canvas?

All settings: ballrooms, beaches, farms, and so many others, have their own presence and decoration, some more than others. The selection of any of them will depend mostly on the theme and palette of colors you designed for your big day.

Beaches come with there own lightning and scenery that allows natural beauty to take part in a delicate way, it wouldn’t need much than few decorative elements and don’t worry about the background, the splendid deep ocean blue will be it.

In the case of ballrooms, these are more of a blank canvas where you can allow your creativity to flow. The entire area will need decoration so the harmony in the place can be complete from beginning to end.

In the end

What you want is to find the right place to host your wedding day. One that has all you need. However, having a flexible attitude towards (possibly) getting rid of some extras in order to have the place you like the most is a good idea.

Remember to take the necessary precautions to have all your doubts solved and do not assume, instead ask all the questions. Don’t forget you can always ask for help, support, and guidance during the process of turning your dreams into a magnificent wedding day reality.

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