By Nora Heston Tarte
It’s the most exciting time of your life. He got down on one knee, he asked the big question and—now what? The first step in wedding planning, after you snap countless ring pics of course—is choosing a venue. This important decision should be made early to ensure the space you want is available, especially if you have a specific date in mind. Once the venue is secured the rest of your plans will fall into place. Use these tips for selecting the perfect wedding venue:[columns] [column size=”1/2″][dropcap]1[/dropcap] Location, location, location! Whether you envision a golf course wedding, an overseas adventure or church nuptials, there is a venue for you. Will you stay close to home, or will you trek to the place you first met to exchange your vows? Deciding on a place will lead you to the place. Discuss with your partner what kind of ceremony you see for yourself—outdoor with a garden view, or inside under stained glass windows?[/column] [column size=”1/2″][dropcap]3[/dropcap] Weather Patterns. If you plan to marry in April, choose a venue with proper accommodations in case it rains. That doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to an indoor ceremony, however, it’s good to have a backup plan in place. Many venues offer white tents for outdoor receptions in case of inclement weather. The same can be said for a July or August affair. You don’t want your groom sweating through his tux, or your bridesmaid fainting in the heat. If you plan to marry on a hot day, ask your venue about options for increasing shade, or including fans, misters, etc. [/column] [column size=”1/2″][dropcap]2[/dropcap] Size matters. Some locales are better fit for an intimate affair, while others offer space for the extended family—and then some. Before you choose your venue, make a guest list. Take into consideration the largest possible number of attendees you will have. It’s commonplace to use a “B” list to fill seats when A-listers decline an invitation, but you should still know how much space you need to fit at least the musts. Venues tend to be flexible—within reason. They can rearrange seating to accommodate more, or less, without compromising comfort or visual appeal. However, you simply can’t take a dining hall with room for 100 and cram 300 of your nearest and dearest into the space.[/column] [column size=”1/2″][dropcap]4[/dropcap] All-inclusive? Many venues that offer restaurants on site—such as wineries, golf courses or event centers—include food and drink in their packages. If this is the case, ask to see a menu, or sample a dish, before you commit. Food and drink are a big part of the overall wedding experience and you don’t want to be left with a lackluster meal because you jumped the gun on signing your venue deposit check. If you have your heart set on the restaurant where you had your first date catering your first meal as husband and wife, then choose a venue without a kitchen. You don’t want to make the planning more difficult than it should be, or anger the venue’s chef by dissing his dinner.[/column] [/columns]
Location is absolutely essential when it comes to choosing your wedding venue. After all, your wedding is a special day, so it is important that the place you choose to have the wedding reflects this. For example, if you’ve always loved the outdoors then some kind of wedding venue outside might be your best option.