This is a post I’ve wanted to make since Scott and I got engaged but I was so busy with school, work, wedding planning, and life. Now, I have some time to sit and chat with you all for a bit — even if it is almost four years later. I figured I break everything up so it’s easier to read. In this post, we’ll discuss finding the right venue. By the way, all of the photos except for the gifs are photos from our wedding by the talented, Victoria Velastegui.
Our theme was rustic-chic. I looked into barns, farm houses, etc. I particularly looked into this barn, and this farm house, as well as country houses within close proximity to us. The woman with whom I spoke at the Newland Barn about renting it, laughed when I asked her if there was any availability within a year of our engagement. I thought that was odd. LOL. We ended up going with a cute little place called The Mitten Building. The building consists of exposed brick, wood flooring, and beautiful chandeliers. We were in the Main Room which is three levels: the main level, the mezzanine, and the basement bar. I loved having several levels because it added a special kind of sophistication, to me.
Food, Food, Food!
Tip #1: When looking for a venue, make sure you explore the catering options. Some venues work exclusively with their preferred vendors, while others allow outside catering. There are also venues that allow you to do both BUT most times it’s less expensive to use one of their preferred vendors. The reason I say that because there’s usually a fee to use your own caterer. You might think you’re saving money but by the time you pay that outsourcing fee and then the vendor, it could end up costing more.
I would also encourage you to do a little extra research on your own via Google, The Knot’s Marketplace, and even Yelp. You can get honest reviews of different businesses. Plus, tastings never hurt anyone 😉
Tip #2: Think about your photos. Is your venue photo-friendly? Does the venue require additional dressing in order to look legit for photos? As I mentioned before, The Mitten Building had features that didn’t need add-ons; the character spoke for itself. Try to find somewhere that looks great inside and out. Or a location that has some cool spots near it to break up the scenery for great photos. Our reception venue had lots of plant life on the outside, dead railroad tracks, and older downtown city buildings within walking distance. It definitely added some oomph to our album.
Tip #3: Consider lodging for your out of town guests. Are there accommodations nearby that would make it easy for your guests to get to and from the venue? If your location requires a car, consider the drive time. Most out of town guests want to have the simplest trip possible and not have to worry too much about getting around.
Tip #4: Take into account the accessibility for older and/or disabled guests. Does the venue accommodate those who may have special needs? We had quite a few guests who either needed assistance walking or were just a little bit over the hill. We made sure that there was an easily accessible entrance into the building. There was also parking, nearby, that made getting from the car to the premises a dream.
Have A Budget
Tip #5: Last but not least, make sure you a realistic budget and stick to it! That’s where a lot of people get into trouble. It seems some people become so excited they’ve found the venue of their dreams and forget that there are other things to pay for. Set a budget that is reasonable for YOU and YOUR fiance; not what someone else thinks is reasonable. We made it a point to discuss how much our ceiling for each category was. One thing my family has taught me, is that EVERYTHING is negotiable! Try your hand at getting a couple of things thrown in at no additional price. Or try negotiating the price down for things you don’t want. My mom was a dream getting some things removed/added to the package. It doesn’t hurt to ask; the worst you can be told is ‘no’.
Finding the venue is probably the easiest part of the wedding planning process. The next part of wedding planning I’ll cover will be the fashion aspect and how to stun without breaking the bank.