Let’s be honest…we have been dreaming about our wedding day since we were little!  We may have daydreamed about the dress or flowers, who might be there or even what time of year, but what about venue location?!  Once we find our soul mates and start the planning process, one of the first things you have to decide is where.  Before deciding on anything else, the location must be determined.  How do you pick the perfect venue for your perfect day?  There are some tips and things to consider before signing the contract and booking the space.  Below are some questions to answer in order to pick the best space for you and your partner’s day.

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First, decide whether or not you would like to have a destination wedding or one closer to home.  Determine how many of your family and friends you think would be able to attend a destination wedding and whether or not you are content with that size of a wedding.  The following questions refer more so to weddings a little closer to home…

Before you do anything else you need to begin a rough draft of a guest list.  Why?  It is best to have an idea on how many people will be attending the event in order to have a better understanding for the size of the space needed.  You might want to run out and start looking at venues immediately following the proposal, but what if you fall in love with one only to realize later that your guests won’t fit comfortably in the space?  After you have a rough draft of your guest list you will need to determine a budget.  How much are you willing to spend on the venue?  Once you have an idea on guest total and budget you can start narrowing down the venues in your area.

Are you wanting the set-up of the venue to be pretty hassle free or do you not mind setting up tables and chairs etc.?  If you are looking for a venue to take on a little more of the responsibility concerning set up and tear down of the big stuff as well as planning the lay out and flow of the event, you may want to consider a hotel or event space with a full staff (which usually includes an on-site event coordinator).  The nice thing about this option is it is pretty hands off.  You decide everything early on as far as lay out, time frames, place settings etc. and then the weekend of the event you just show up unless you are doing any decorations on your own (of course, you could always contact Spectacular Settings for that…).  There are some venues that offer decorations either included in your room rental or for a small extra fee as well.  The downside to this venue option is that these venues, although convenient and hassle free, are usually a bit more expensive.  The room rental might be higher as well as a gratuity added to certain items, so pay careful attention to any and all contract agreements with any venue or other wedding vendor for potential extra fees.  You might also have to use particular vendors associated with these venues.  They may have a preferred vendor list to go off of or even contracted companies that you have to use no matter what.  If you don’t mind setting everything up yourself you can save quite a bit of money.  These venues usually allow you to bring in most of the stuff on your own.  They might have restrictions on alcohol or who can serve, but you may still be able to purchase the alcohol yourself and hire bartenders which is still much cheaper than a venue that provides the bar service and having to use their alcohol.  You will definitely have more freedom at a venue that gives you the key and you can figure everything else out of your own, but make sure to determine whether or not you think you will be too stressed out having to search out all of your different vendors from scratch and finding people to help set up.

A few other things to consider before you decide to pick a venue:

*If it is outdoors, do they have a plan B if the weather gets bad?

*If the cost of a venue includes only the room rental and you have to find everything else, is it more cost effective to stick with that venue and rent all of your items (tables, chairs, tablecloths etc.) or would it be better to choose a space that already has all of those items, but is a little bit more expensive up front?

*If you are wanting your ceremony at the same location as the reception, does the venue have room for that?

*Can you envision your special day at this location?

Although, finding a venue can seem like a big task it is well worth it to do a little research and find the perfect one for you and your partner.  However, through all of the hub-bub of wedding planning and finding a venue, the most important advice I can give is to remember the reason for the day…you are choosing to spend the rest of your life with the most important person in your life.  Cherish every moment!  Don’t get so lost in the planning that you forget to celebrate the love you share.  It is one day, yes, one very important day, but your relationship and future are just as important!  So, remember to kiss your fiancé, tell them you love them and then go pick that perfect venue!!

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