Your wedding starts with a love story…and your venue sets the stage for telling that story. It’s a blank canvas for us to mold into a gorgeous display of your unique love and personality.
Selecting the perfect venue is a critical step in your planning and design process. It can also be a stressful one. With everything you need to consider, it can be overwhelming. You may begin to find the venue on your own, but you should think about what an experienced planner brings to the venue-selecting table. A planner and designer can end up saving you money in the long run by knowing what to look for and the right questions to ask in order to ensure your venue is as perfect as your love story.
Here are just a few of the many items we look for in matching our couples with the venue of their dreams:
Safety: First, be sure that the venue is up to code and does not pose any potential safety issues in achieving your desired results.
Layout: There are so many elements of the layout design to consider…for example, if you are having an outdoor ceremony, where will your guests park so that it is not disruptive to your ceremony? How does your layout impact the flow of your events?
Space: You may fall in love with a venue but before you do, have a strong handle on the size of your guest list and the reasonable capacity of the facility you are looking at.
Lighting: We spoke to one of our favorite photographers, Brent Deitrich of Live View Studios, to find out what characteristic he would advise brides to look for when considering their venue options. Lighting, lighting and more lighting was the resounding answer…specifically natural lighting. “Beautiful photographs are the end result of beautiful natural light.” He suggests you and your planner scout out your venue at the same time of day you plan to get married. Also, consider the time of year you scout your venue versus the time of year that you are getting married. This could change the natural light available. Flash photography gives your photographs a completely different look. He also recommends opting for partial or full shade for an afternoon outdoor wedding. Not only will it make your guests more comfortable, but it will provide more optimal lighting for your photographs. Brent provided us the gorgeous images included in this blog to illustrate what a beautiful impact the right lighting can have on your wedding photographs.
Getting Ready Rooms: If you plan to get ready at your venue, be sure to assess the rooms available to do so. Brent reminds us to look at both the lighting and the space the rooms provide to ensure your getting ready photographs are picture perfect.
Vendor Limitations and Accessibility of Venue: Many venues have an approved vendor list that you must use. This can appear convenient but can also affect the quality of the vendors available. Cost can also look affordable on paper but the relationship between the facility and the vendor may arise in hefty fees later in the planning process. A planner can really come in handy here with their extensive knowledge of vendors and an understanding of how to get down to the bottom line fees associated with them.
Bait & Switch: Be careful of venues that promise you the world…be sure to read the fine print and consult with other brides who have used the venue as well as industry leaders in order to ensure that you won’t have critical limitations when you get into the planning and design of your venue. This happens more often than you may think.
Aesthetics: In totality, a venue can look beautiful, but when you start contemplating the details, you may run into significant aesthetic issues that cost large sums of money to hide in order to achieve your desired look.
Looking for a venue can be a really fun part of your planning process…it’s where your family and friends will come to celebrate you and your new journey with the person you love most. Your venue should speak to your heart and feel like the perfect place to celebrate one of the most important days of your life. Enlist the help of a planner and designer to ensure that it also meets all of your needs and desires.
All images were taken by Live View Studios