One of the biggest decisions you will make in regards to your wedding is picking the perfect affordable wedding venue. I mean, seriously, there are SO many options out there, and it can sometimes feel impossible to find the right venue for you and your fiancé. Am I right? Well, what happens once you find it? And how can you be certain you are making the right choice? Well, my friend, that's what I am teaching you today. Continue reading to learn about the FIVE things you need to know, and need to pay attention to, prior to signing that wedding venue contract.
1. Venue Size
While it might sound obvious, it's important to pay attention to the size of the wedding venue. Chances are, you are only looking at spaces that are gong to accommodate your estimated number of guests, but I encourage you to take that one step further.
Is it going to comfortably fit all of your guests and everything you want to bring in? For example, will your guests feel like they are on top of one another once you bring in a dance floor, a band, and a dinner buffet? I don't expect you to know this by walking into a space, so it's important that you have these conversations with your venue manager PRIOR to signing any contracts.
On the contrary, a space shouldn't feel TOO big. If you are booking a venue that accommodates 250 guests, and you only have 75, it is going to feel VERY empty. If this happens, you may find yourself wanting to bring in additional decor to help fill the space, which is going to add additional unforeseen costs to your big day.
Once again, this may seem obvious, but you want to find a venue that compliments your wedding 'vision.' If you love the aesthetic of your wedding venue, you won't feel the need to bring in as much decor; making it a much more affordable wedding venue. It will also eliminate the stress that comes from feeling like you need to figure out how to update or cover up an ugly venue. 'Pretty' venues may be slightly more expensive in the beginning, but the cost may balance out if you do not need to bring in as much decor.
3. Top Three Priorities
Before you book your wedding venue, I encourage you and your fiancé to sit down and zone in on your top three wedding priorities. Is it the photography? Is it being able to dance into the wee hours of the morning? Is it having a delicious meal? Is it having live music? Is it having gorgeous scenery? Knowing what is important to you, is going to help you determine the RIGHT venue for you.
For example, let's pretend your top three priorities are an awesome photographer, amazing food and a live band for the reception. When it comes to booking your venue, you are first and foremost going to want to ensure they allow live music and that they don't have a strict and early music cutoff. You would hate to book a venue, only to find out later that the space you choice can't accommodate a live band. Secondly, you would want to find a way to taste the food prior to signing the contract. Whether that means eating at the restaurant they have on site, or paying for an additional culinary tasting, it will give you peace of mind knowing that their food meets your standards. Does that make sense?
4. Proximity To Budget
This is the big kahuna. One of the biggest mistakes I see couples making, is booking a wedding venue they can't afford. The reason I think this happens so often, is that couples are just looking at the final price tag of a venue, and not fully paying attention to everything that is (and isn't) included in that cost. With that being said, it is SO important to understand everything that is being providing, and equally important to know the cost of everything you are going to need to bring into the venue. You need to be able to see the big picture.
Secondly, many couple's look at their venue as their big 'splurge,' and think 'we will spend extra money on booking our dream venue, and will find ways to save later on.' As much as I don't want to burst your bubble, that rarely happens.
If you are going into the planning process with this mentality, generally, you are going to carry that mentality through your entire engagement. There are SO many other details that come after you book your venue, and chances are, you are going to want to splurge on at least one of them.
5. Comfort Level
As crazy as it may sound, it's important that you feel comfortable at the wedding venue you choose, and it's equally important that you feel comfortable with the venue manager you will be working with. If you aren't 100% confident or comfortable with the venue manager, you are never going to be able to fully relax on your wedding day. You are going to be worried that (s)he forgot to do something, and that things aren't going to turn out as you had hoped. Along that same note, feel comfortable in the venue itself, is going to allow you to be more comfortable and relaxed on your wedding day as well.
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