Hey brides! I’m back at it again to talk to you about picking a VENUE! This was honestly one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. Touring romantic spots with your husband to be um, YES count me in! Although fun, finding a venue can cause some stress so sit back, turn on some ocean breeze sound effects, and get ready to be relieved of all of your wedding planning woes.
Step 1: Utilize the internet. TheKnot.com and weddingwire.com were my LIFELINES during my wedding planning. You can find TONS of information and research all types of wedding vendors from these sites. You can bookmark your favorites until you are ready to make a decision. Use this inspiration in the next steps of figuring out what types of venues you like and how much you can afford for the venues you love.
Step 2: Once you get a feel for the types of venues out there it’s time to ask yourself what do YOU want. Do you want a venue that’s all inclusive where you just have to say yes and no and everything is taken care of for you? Do you want a venue that let’s you make mostly all of your own decisions on vendors like catering, alcohol, and desserts? For me, I liked having the options of putting my own team of vendors together to really let our personalities shine throughout our wedding. I chose The Silver Fox in Streator, IL as our venue for this reason! At The Silver Fox, I was able to pick an out of the box caterer, Wooden Paddle wood-fired pizza, and they are BYOB so we were able to bring in our own alcohol for the open bar at discounted prices from a local store called Streator Drug and Target. Open bars can get a bit pricey when included venues so this really helped us with our keeping budget and keeping drinks in our guests hands.
Step 3: Budget. Sit down with your spouse and families if they will be involved in helping you plan your day. Get on the same page for a budget early in the planning process and it will really help you in the long run! Once you have a good idea of the budget you want to spend it’s time to start looking at your venue choices!
Step 4: Ask questions. Before you start the tour, write down some important questions to ask the venue coordinator. Some things you might ask are –
Is the venue handicap accessible?
How many hours are included in the rental space?
Do you need to rent any extras or are all of the tables, table clothes, chairs, dinnerware, etc. included in the space rental?
How many people can the space hold?
Are there extra rooms for ourselves and bridal party to get ready in?
Is there parking nearby?
Is a wedding coordinator included?
Can I have the ceremony and reception both here if needed?
Do you have vendor recommendations that you work with frequently?
Is there a backup plan for an outside wedding in bad weather?
Make sure you have ALL of the information you need before making your final decision and putting down a deposit.
Step 5: Pick a DATE! How exciting it is to pick out the date you get to marry your love and celebrate the day each year for the rest of your lives. Make sure to look up major holiday dates to avoid if you need to. Some venues have good discounts for week day/Sunday weddings or weddings in their off season months as well if you are trying to stay in your budget!
Enjoy your venue tours and take it all in with your soon to be. – Cierra