Finding the Perfect Venue
So you've found the perfect guy and he's asked you to marry him. The first thing on your to-do list should be to pick out a venue for your wedding and reception. And there's a lot to consider but finding a place that really captures the essence of your perfect day is the one thing that will set the pace for everything else. Keep these things in mind when looking for your venue.
CapacityMake sure the venue can comfortably accommodate your guest list. Venues will let you know their capacity limits right off the bat but a lot of times they will give you a maximum capacity, if you're expecting 130 and the venue capacity is 130 do some extra research and viewing of the venue to make sure things won't get too tight.
PriceLike anything else, be sure of what you're getting for the price of the rental. Does it include the ceremony fee if you need it, are any of the rentals or services included? Review any contracts with your planner, caterer, or the facility staff before you sign it so you don't miss anything.
Look and FeelIt's true that you can style almost any place to convey any feeling you want, but why not choose a venue that already has a bit of your style incorporated? Existing decorations and room styling don't have to match your theme exactly but they should not clash completely. Don't try to have a simple, country style wedding at the Grand Plaza Ballroom and don't try to have a lavish $100,000 wedding in the basement of your church. A bit of work and strategic decorating can take an empty space and make it your dream vision.
InsuranceA lot of venues and vendors will have insurance but sometimes they will ask you to take out a plan on your homeowners policy. Insurance riders are typically free, or very inexpensive and a simple call to your insurance company should do the trick. It's usually not a big deal, but don't be caught off guard a week before the wedding, this is one thing you can do ahead of time and not have to worry about!
The little things.You've fallen in love with a venue. Its easy to be picturing your perfect day and then forget about the logistics. You're guests will appreciate a little fore-thought. What is parking like, is it free? What are the electric capacities? You don't want to start the first dance and blow a fuse in the middle of it. Is it handicapped accessible? What do the bathrooms look like? Especially with out door venues, you want to make sure that you grandmother won't have to adjust her evening gown in a port-a-potty. Walking through the event as a guest in your head may go a long way when picking up some of the little details.
Other weddings and privacyIf you want your venue all to your self and make sure that the venue staff are devoted to just you, then make sure they don't do multiple weddings in one day, or that they've scheduled an early afternoon wedding right before your evening wedding. If you're getting married on the beach or at a park, expect a passer-by and there's a chance they won't be discreet about their presence. I've been to a wedding in a park where a jogger ran through the ceremony.