We know getting started with wedding planning can be hard – Jordan Oliveira Heller, owner of SWEL Events shares some great tips to help you get starting picking a wedding venue.
Whether your ring was hidden in a dessert, accented by fireworks, or accompanied by a flash mob, you are still in the same boat as all other newly engaged couples. And you have NO idea what direction your boat is headed.
It is exciting to get engaged. You have a new piece of bling on your finger, a promise from a person you love, and a new reason to post on social media. But after the excitement settles, the panic sets in. WHAT’S NEXT?
Weddings are not as stressful as they seem. You just need to take it one step at a time. And your next step is picking a wedding venue. Did you think it was picking your date? It’s not!
While the date you choose is important, having that perfect square on the calendar is not the most important thing. Start with having a time of year in mind. Don’t get married to a specific date! It is more important that you both love where you are getting married.
The wedding venue is something you will always remember. It will dictate many of the details of your wedding like style and size. It will also be the backdrop of your professional images and those fun phone photos your guests shoot as well. They will all remember the venue, but what they will not remember is the date. Even if you pick something cute like 12.12.21. It looks great one an invitation, but it will not make or break the day.
You are already ahead of the game in picking a venue since you are here on WeddingVenueMap.com. But now you need to narrow down your options!
Here are the 6 of the most important questions you need to ask yourself when picking a wedding venue:
Do I want my wedding inside, outside, or a combination of both?
Inside is nice. It is dry, temperature-controlled and eliminates a lot of the worry that Florida weather brings. But you will lose the amazing Florida scenery that made you want to have a wedding here in the first place. Which is more important to you?
How many people do I want at my wedding?
You could find the most amazing venue with picturesque water views… but it only seats 50 guests. And your mother has already given you a list twice as long. Maybe this venue means more to you than those additional people. But if you have a firm guest count, make sure your venue can accommodate them comfortably.
What is my wedding style?
There are a million to choose from, but at a minimum, you should know if you want something elegant, rustic, or modern. Elegant venues are going to be ballrooms, botanical gardens, or historic properties. Rustic venues will be a barn, farm, ranch, and the like. Modern venues may include art museums, restaurants, or something more unique. These are not finite rules as you can have an elegant barn wedding or a funky ballroom reception. It is just a starting point to help narrow down what you want.
Are outside vendors allowed?
Most venues have preferred lists. Sometimes you must stick to them and sometimes you do not. It is always a great idea to hire from that list because they are vetted vendors who work well at your specific venue. But if the venue you choose does their own catering in house, you want to make sure it jives with your tastes. Venues that allow outside caterers give you more options to compare quotes. Some venues also have preset packages that include all the other vendors you will need. This is great if you do not want to find these companies yourself. But if you want more control over your wedding, package pricing may not be for you.
What will it cost?
When comparing venues, make sure you have all the information. Venue A might be $2000 more than Venue B, but maybe Venue A includes tables and chairs. Maybe those chairs are really ugly, so it does not matter. Know exactly what is included AND what its value is to you. Budgeting is a topic for a different article, but you do want to make sure you do not blow all your money on the venue to the point where you cannot feed or entertain your guests properly. Also, a venue rental fee may seem low but what if they require you to use the highest priced caterer? Their bargain bin price tag may be a bait and switch. Read the fine print and arm yourself with information.
Do I love it?
This is the most important. Why host such a special day in a place that makes you go “meh”? Your venue selection should excite you. It should be a place you want to come back and visit. It should fit you and fiancé’s personalities. Yes, you can love something that is way out of budget, but you are looking for something that meets ALL your criteria above. Trust your gut and your venue selection will be a breeze.
Answering these questions will get you started on your journey down the aisle. And if the journey is too scary to take alone, hire a planner! There is nothing wrong with deferring to an expert. Even if it is just to help coordinate. Your wedding day should not define you. It is a celebration of your love. Things can go wrong, and it does not ruin the day. There is no perfect wedding. Do what feels right, trust the professionals, and have fun!