For most couples, when you first get engaged, your head starts spinning when you think of all that needs to be done to go from “engaged” to “newlywed,” and the biggest item on that list is planning your dream wedding. It can be overwhelming and exciting, and there is much to consider.
Will you do a green wedding or a traditional celebration? Will it be an evening event with a formal sit-down dinner or an earlier celebration with a buffet banquet spread? And, perhaps most importantly, are you going to have a big or small guest list (or somewhere in between)? These and many more questions will need to be answered before considering what kind of venue would work best for your dream wedding.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a wedding venue:
First and Foremost, is There Enough Room for Your Guests?
You want your guests to be comfortable. So consider the seating arrangements during the ceremony and the wedding reception. Also keep in mind all the aspects you include, like a formal dining room, dance floor, cake table, gift table, photo booth, and any special elements you may want to add like a candy table, donut wall, or chocolate fountain. Determining the size of your guest list will help set the tone to the type of wedding you have, and identifying all the elements you want to include in your celebration will give you a good idea of how big or small of a venue would work for your vision.
Inside or Out?
You can have your dream wedding, whether you’re hosting inside or out! However, having a wedding outside can offer a few things that an indoor wedding sometimes cannot like, a larger capacity for a bigger guest list, a more casual atmosphere, fresh air with sunshine during the day, and dancing under the stars at night.
On the flip side, an indoor wedding offers the comfort of knowing that no matter what the weather does, you and your guests will be comfortable and protected from any surprise storm or heatwave. This is important because weather can be unpredictable, especially when planning six months to a year out. An indoor venue can also be a better venue choice if you’re having a black-tie affair as it’s a more formal environment, and your guest’s shoes and fine apparel stay generally cleaner.
How Does it Look and Make You Feel?
The look and feel of a venue are very important. When you envision your decoration in the venue, will you see your dream environment, or do you see a decorated venue? Some places lend themselves to being decorated, and some can be transformed into a magical experience.
It may sound strange to ask what the place “feels” like, but it’s a valid question. Do you walk into the space and feel comfortable, relaxed, and like it’s easy to see it decorated in your theme and color? Does the space offer a good “flow” to your wedding plan, or does it feel like you would have to make many concessions to make the space work for you and your guests?
The last thing you want to be doing on your wedding day is managing the event in any way, shape, or form. This is YOUR day, and it should flow seamlessly so that all you have to do is enjoy time with your family, friends, and newly betrothed.
Many venues are lovely, but don’t have adequate parking for all your guests. If you have older relatives coming to your wedding or have people that will need ADA access, does your venue include easy access and ADA parking?
If your reception is in a different location than your ceremony, is there a convenient place to park your car so that it’s readily accessible for you and your new husband or wife to hop in after the ceremony? Is there adequate and convenient parking for your vendors like your caterer, DJ or band, photographer and wedding planner? Especially when your wedding will take place when there could be rain or other weather that would make a long walk to the venue undesirable, it’s good to know that your venue has you and your guests covered! At Foothills Event Center, we have over 140 parking spaces that are close to the venue and offer lots of ADA parking as well as parking for your vendors that won’t take away from your guests.
What’s Included in the Rental?
When choosing a venue, you will often find a space that is inexpensive and seemingly perfect, but nothing is be included in the rental other than the facility itself. That can seem like the less expensive way to go, but often that is not the case.
If the venue doesn’t offer tables and chairs in the rental, then you’ll have to plan to order those separately. Often you can find a venue where the tables and some simple or metal chairs are included. Will those work with the theme of your wedding, or will you have to rent higher-quality tables and chairs anyway?
Does the venue offer rentals of décor and linens, or will those things have to come from separate vendors as well? Sometimes the one-stop-shop approach can save you time, money, and stress when it comes to putting together your wedding day.
Venue Customer Service?
So many venues will give you the tour of their grounds, offer you their pricing, and then once you book, “hand you the keys,” and then you’re on your own.
Look for venues that offer more customer interaction so that you are sure that your day will go off without a hitch. The last thing you want to be doing is trying to reach a maintenance person for your venue during your wedding or reception when the air conditioner doesn’t work, the heater won’t go off, the alarm is tripped, or you simply can’t figure out how the lights work…so many things can go wrong! Look for a venue with customer support all the way from signing your contract to the day itself. You want a venue whose staff will be there in person on your big day. That way, if an issue is to arise, YOU are not the one to deal with it at all! That responsibility will fall to your venue manager, and you can just sit back and enjoy the day, knowing you’re in good hands no matter what!
At The Foothills Event Center, we offer wedding packages that include a wedding coordinator. Your wedding coordinator can help you just on the day of your wedding, or she can help you with your planning all the way through so that you can sit back and enjoy the day, knowing you’re in good hands no matter what!