Ins & Outs of Choosing a Venue for your Wedding pt. 1
Okay great! You’re engaged! Now what? With everything around you spinning and having so many wonderful options and choices available to you, it is time to focus and make some big decisions! The most important might be the “where”. How will you get married and have your gorgeous reception in the venue of your dreams? After all, this is the first step you take to start your process of planning one of the most important days of your life. In this 3-part series on Choosing Your Venue, we have put together a list of essential factors to consider before you confirm your venue. In this first installment, we will explore the what to look for when researching a Wedding Venue, guidelines for Scheduling Tours and what to look for during The Tour:
Do your research!
It's never to early to start the search. Most venues book wedding receptions 12-18 months in advance. The earlier you start, the more likely you will be able to have your first pick in venues, not to mention all other vendors for your special day. There are some venue managers who do not wish to book events more than 12-18 months out for a variety of reasons. Others, such as Black Iris Estate and CANAL 337, are locally owned, privately operated by Thomas Caterers of Distinction and have no such restrictions. There are generally two categories of couples when considering venues. They are either set on the time of year and are willing to be flexible with the venue or they are set on the venue and flexible when it comes to the time of year. Which is most important to you, the date or venue or the date? Deciding your preference will help you when researching available venues and dates. You might love industrial chic venues like CANAL 337, or possibly a vintage, Greek Revival venue with beautiful outdoor spaces like Black Iris Estate. Explore options that aren’t all the exact same. When you are ready to make the decision, make it quickly to ensure you don’t lose the date you are looking for. Remember there are only 52 weekends in a year, and certainly many more couples looking to secure the date!
Plan your tours within a certain timeframe.
Try to schedule your tours relatively close to each other, usually within 1-2 weeks of each other so they are fresh in your mind. There is a magic unspoken rule when shopping for any aspect of your wedding – not enough is not ideal, too many is also not ideal. You want to feel as if you have explored all options without feeling overwhelmed by seeing too many. This is where your research efforts really will benefit you in deciding which top venues you want to tour in person. We recommend scheduling 3-4 tours, then only schedule more if you feel like you haven’t found your match. We recommend touring different styles as well to ensure you find the right venue to match your vision.
It is important to be honest with yourself and try not to compromise. When touring your chosen venues, the key word is Trust. Do you trust this team to be there for you and make your day everything you envision? Once you have a good feeling about the space, and the Team you will be working with, it's time to pull the trigger!
Cover Photo curtesy of Ian Borgerhoff Photography