The fact is: things happen. Things come up that you can’t plan for, and may never anticipate, even on your wedding day. Our core responsibility as wedding planners is to deal with these unexpected and unanticipated happenings and ensure your wedding day runs smoothly. In reality, we don’t want you to ever know about these unforeseen events! We cover things up and tell you later, or (TBH) we never tell you at all! See episode 22 of #leftovercakechat for one of our craziest wedding-day stories!
Wedding Venue Location, Location, Location
When it comes to selecting your dream wedding venue and location, wedding planners need to think of everyone and everything. Sometimes, that means the not-so-glam things come into play in your venue search, such as accessibility and logistics (not the most fun stuff, we know). We completely understand a couple’s vision in location may be driven by sentiment: a venue in their hometown, near Mom’s house, or in the city they met. However, the value in hiring a wedding planner for this process is we help you find all those things in your venue, along with all the logistical and operational details that make a wedding day run smoothly. Today, we’re peeling back the curtains and sharing our best tips on selecting a venue for your wedding day, from the perspective of a wedding planner.
Wedding Venue Checklist: How to Choose a Wedding Venue
Accommodations: For a destination wedding, you need to know where you want everyone to be and stay. If you’re staying on location, is there entertainment for a few days of spending extra time? Otherwise, hotel accommodations and blocks get tricky. It’s important to have a clear plan of where you envision guests staying if travel is involved.
Tip: We do not recommend paying up front to reserve hotel blocks. Oftentimes, couples get stuck paying for unused rooms if they don’t negotiate hotel block terms clearly.
Restrooms: Bottom line: You have to have bathrooms! If there aren’t any, you have to be sure your budget includes money for renting porta-potties.
Venue Distance from Parking: Consider the age range of your guests—will a long walk be too much for them? For a venue like a beach or a state park, you may have to consider golf carts to transport guests from parking to the ceremony/venue location. Also, if the venue is far from parking, it may be necessary to have people stationed giving directions (additional cost), or extra signs giving directions.
Terrain: Consider the age group of your guests. Rocks, sand, and cobblestone may be difficult for older guests or wheelchairs to maneuver. Also, heels!
Travel Time and Weather: Nantucket is a great example of a location that has limited accessibility. It is only accessible by plane or ferry. The weather may cause cancellations or delays in transportation, and leave you or guests with no other options. You and/or your guests may want to consider coming in the day before to give extra buffer time for delays.
Color Schemes (and carpet): There are REALLY bad carpets out there! Most ballrooms have carpet, and we can only put down a dance floor so big to cover a bad carpet! Carpets can throw off color schemes very quickly.
Important Guests: Think of everyone and everything when thinking of your dream wedding location. Are there any specific accommodations needed for guests that are important to you and that you want there?
Kitchen Location: Are you planning for dinner to be butler passed food or plated? If so, the kitchen must be close by! If not, your food will not be served hot.
Noise Ordinance: If your ceremony is at 5 pm, and the noise ordinance starts at 9, we have a problem! We need to understand if a change of location is necessary due to noise ordinances. This obviously adds a big cost!
Time of Year: Always tour your venue at the same time of year you plan to have your event. Seasonality may impact how you see the venue. For example: in a garden, flowers aren’t always in bloom, in the heat of summer, there may be a lot of mosquitos, or in a barn, farms scent in summer may be strong (we had to say it)!
Speak with us for a free wedding planning consultation today!
Before we begin any step of the process, we talk through your vision and ideas, so we are always on the same page, at every step of the process. We are here for you, to help you find the venue of your dreams, and every step along the way, to guide you to a stress-free wedding day.
Are you ready to begin your wedding planning journey with us? Contact us today for a consultation!