Today Forrest Moody, Managing Director, of Oliveaire is tapping into his vast experience working in hotels to provide great tips on how to select your wedding venue. Take it away Forrest...
Well he has popped the question and you have accepted. You are feeling like you can fly and take on the world at the same time. Now your best friend, in her jubilation, asks where the ceremony and reception are going to take place. Suddenly your balloon deflates and you come back to earth to take on the task of finding the perfect venue for your special event. Do I want a religious ceremony in a place of worship? Do I want sit down dinner or buffet style service? What time of day do I want all of these activities to happen? The wedding reception is the largest expenditure for most wedding couples so taking your time and evaluating your decisions is important.
The top 12 criteria to consider for your Wedding Ceremony and Reception:
1. How many people do you anticipate inviting to your special event?
This is probably the most important aspect when starting to look for a venue. This will dictate how large of an event space you will need in order to accommodate your guests. Also, keep in mind that your guest count will be approximately 20% less then the number of people that you invite for various reasons. Many of the points below will be in direct relation to the estimated attendance for your event.
2. What is your estimated budget for the ceremony and reception location?
This is an extremely important factor before you start your search. Every venue will ask this question up front, and it can save countless hours of searching if you have an idea of this in advance. Also keep in mind that most venues will also have a service charge and tax added to their package prices sometimes increasing the listed package price by almost 30%. Keep this in mind when considering your budget.
3. Do you want a religious ceremony in a place of worship or can it be held at the same venue as the reception?
This is important to consider in determining if you have to find two venues or only one. Although places of worship are relatively inexpensive, it can save some money if you combine the two events at one facility. Always ask the question of your venue if there is an additional charge for the ceremony.
4. Will you require any hotel rooms for out of town guests?
This should be considered even if you are not having your event at a hotel. If you have out of town guests you will want them to stay close to the reception location, and also see if the facility offers some type of transportation back and forth from their hotel. If you are at a hotel venue for your event(s), ask the venue manager for a special room rate for your out of town guests. You will need to supply them an approximate number of hotel rooms needed. Depending upon the hotel and number of rooms requested you may be required to sign a contract for the guest rooms.
5. Would you like an aspect of your venue or event to be outdoors?
This is a key element to inquire in advance as not all venues offer an outdoor option.
6. Do you have any special requests such as windows, chandeliers or special architecture that you would like to see from your special event venue?
Again this is a key item to do your research in advance. Most venues have very informative websites that can answer most of these questions without wasting the time of trying to call the venue.
This should get you started thinking about your venue search. We will continue next week with the remainder of the top twelve criteria to consider for your wedding venue. We will get into some more fun things next week such as food, beverage and even wedding cakes.