Setting The Tone Of Your Wedding: Finding The Perfect Wedding Reception Venue

Finding the perfect location is a key factor in setting the tone and feel of your wedding day. Even though it is just one day, this is the “first day of the rest of your lives.” Cheesy as it may sound – it’s true! Your wedding day will be a lasting memory for you and your guests, and now it’s time to find the perfect backdrop for that memory! Here are some top tips on finding the perfect wedding reception venue for your big day.

When planning your wedding, the very first thing you should do is find your wedding reception venue. It may be tempting to start on other things first, but you need to put down the wedding planning books, cancel your dress fitting, and start looking for your venue now – no really – now! Why is the venue so important? Because you need to ensure all of your vendors can provide their services on the same day. If you book other vendors before your venue, and the venue of your dreams doesn’t have your preferred wedding date, you may have to call all the vendors you have already booked over again and ensure they are all still available on a different day. Do not do anything until you have set a date and signed on the dotted line with your wedding reception venue. That being said, how do you find the perfect wedding reception venue?

No matter what type of reception you’d like to have, there’s a location that’s right for you. Most likely, you already have a sense of the style and setting for your reception location. Imagine, for a moment, your dream wedding. Are you in a large ballroom with chandeliers and low lights with guests seated at round tables enjoying their plated meal? Or do you see a garden wedding with a pastel color palette, parasols, and lemonade? Maybe you want something completely out of the ordinary like a carnival themed wedding? These ideas, and your wedding venue, should ultimately reflect your personal style as a couple.

Larger facilities, like hotels and country clubs, are often a popular choice for wedding reception venues as almost everything you need is in one place. They can provide everything from the catering and staffing, to the linen rentals and bar set up. If this type of venue is not your cup of tea, there are so many amazing and unique options out there – art museums, historic mansions, botanical gardens, amusement parks – just take your pick! These are all great options, but be aware that these venues are typically just that, a venue. For those of you who enjoy the planning aspect, this may be your route as you will be responsible for a considerable amount of legwork, including catering, tables, chairs, linens, lighting, etc.

If you have always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, you are not alone! Many engaged couples love the great outdoors, whether it is at the beach or on a farm, and plan their weddings accordingly; however, keep in mind, Mother Nature may have her own plans for your big day. You should always have a backup plan in case she makes an appearance – especially if you’re planning an off-season wedding, or if you live in an area known for its volatile weather patterns.

Before making a decision, make an appointment with the Event Manager at your potential venues to visit the site and to ask questions about miscellaneous fees (such as wedding insurance or an alcohol permit) and any restrictions they may have for capacity. Restrictions could include other wedding vendors, decor, noise, parking, begin/end times, linen, tables, chairs, etc. Everything should be spelled out in the agreement, so be sure to read the fine print!

There is a lot to consider as you choose your wedding venue, but take comfort in knowing that the right venue for you is out there and you will have a beautiful backdrop for your perfect wedding!

How to Select a Wedding Vendor

Planning a wedding is a very exciting and stressful event. Selecting a wedding vendor is very overwhelming for many couples who need to choose carefully to ensure that the wedding vendors they choose to select make their wedding day run smoothly and successfully. This article will help guide couples in choosing their vendors for one of the most important event of their lives.

Finding the Best Wedding Vendors: One solution to finding a wedding vendor is to ask around! Do you have a friend or family member that recently got married? They can give you great advice and recommendation on vendors that they used for their wedding. Ask then questions regarding the florists, caterers, and rental companies, that they have used. If you know someone who owns a catering or restaurant business- utilize that knowledge! Find out the various fees such vendors will approximately charge or even use them yourself! Floral shops, caterers and churches can also recommend past vendors that were used in their events. Lastly, if you have a wedding planner, your work is practically done. Wedding planners can suggest the right vendors for the type of wedding event and style that suits your needs and your budget. Not having a wedding planner? Try surfing the internet! But be careful, he internet could be your friend or your worst enemy.. try to search for vendors with a good reputation and have portfolios featuring their work on their site. When in doubt, seek testimonials from customers that have used their services.

Interviewing your Vendors: Once you have made your selections, it’s time to start interviewing your vendors. You should interview no more than three vendors in each category (florists, caterer, decorators, etc.). If you find 8 caterers in your area, look at each vendors website and narrow it down to 3. Interviewing more than three vendors can become confusing and overwhelming. When meeting with your selected vendors, be prepared to ask questions! Questions suggested are:

  • How long have you been in business and how many weddings have you worked?
  • How many weddings have you done per year?
  • Wedding date availability- are they available for your wedding date? If not, what are alternate dates and solutions?
  • Can you (the vendor) provide three references from couples they have worked with in the past?
  • How much services (according to wedding size) and what is the deposited required? When is the remaining balance due?
  • What is your (the vendor) cancellation policy?

Remember, trust your instincts during the interview. Make sure that the vendor is interested in your wedding details and that they have a full understanding of what you would like. If a vendor seems standoffish or just plain rude- walk away. All vendors should treat prospective clients in a kind, professional manner.

Prioritizing your Wedding Vendors: Now that you have chosen a wedding date and selected your vendors, which one should you choose to work with first? When prioritizing your wedding vendors, you need to decided which vendor needs to be booked immediately. First-priority vendors are usually the wedding venue, the Officiant, wedding planner, caterers and reception entertainment (bands or deejays). These are the vendors that are high in demand and tend to get booked quickly so you will need to reserve their services immediately.

The next group of vendors that need to be booked are the photographers/ videographers, (wedding) bakeries, florist, hairstylist, make-up artist and transportation provider. These vendors can service more than one wedding per weekend (or weekday). The last group of vendors are the rental companies, invitation engravers and lighting companies because they can provide services to many couples each weekend or prior to the event.