So, you’re engaged! Now begins the meticulous process of planning the wedding. Aside from the dress, one of the most important aspects that has likely been on your mind is the venue where you will hold the best day of your life. Obviously, this decision is quite important, and making sure the setting is perfect for your big day will have enormous and far-reaching consequences for you and your guests. Once you’ve picked out the venue, many of the details, like colors, accents, style, and so on, should quickly become clear to you.
So, what should you be looking for in order to find the perfect venue for a perfect day? In reality, you will most likely just have a gut feeling that will tell you “this is the one,” but we also have some hints to help you out along the way.
An Epic View
Let’s start with the basics. If you are a fan of destination weddings, perhaps the perfect view is a picturesque mountain backdrop, or maybe the ocean waves. It could also be as simple as a stunningly gorgeous ballroom, a beautiful gala, or a wooded grove. Whatever it may be for you, getting the feeling of perfection the moment you step foot into a room or a venue will go a long way toward helping you pick the perfect spot.
Enough Room for Everyone
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but be careful—that banquet hall may seem gigantic now, but when you factor in all the tables, bars, buffets, DJ areas, dance floors, and all of the other wedding essentials, the space can fill up quickly! The trick here is to customize your guest list to fit the space, or vice versa, depending on what is most important to you. Ask the venue operators about what size works best for the space, or, even better, take a peek at another wedding setup there and judge it based on that!
A Well Thought-Out Space
As you tour different venues, try to start picturing the venue all set up in your “mind’s eye.” This will help ensure that the “flow” of your wedding remains intact. Make a note of columns and any other obstructions to ensure that they don’t get in the way of the view. If the venue is oddly shaped, be sure that it doesn’t cut any section off. The general idea is that you want all of the main areas to be visible at all times, making your guests feel connected and engaged for the entire event.
Privacy (or a Lack of It)
For some, privacy will be a huge concern on their wedding day. For others, the idea of having their wedding day on a public beach or at a resort seems like a dream come true. If you are one of these types of people who is just as okay with random strangers interacting with your wedding as you are your own guests, this might not be a big deal for you at all!
However, if you are looking for a more private affair, it would be best to look into a private estate or hotel to host the event. Just because the room you rent will be private, however, doesn’t mean that wanderers won’t be able to get in on the action. If you want to keep things down to just your guests, be sure to include that in a list of requirements for the venue so that you know what you are getting yourself into when the day comes.
Lighting is a huge part of what makes a venue unique. There’s nothing quite like a candle-illuminated beach, or a sunlight-washed gala in mid-afternoon. Make sure to visit prospective venues during the time of day you wish to hold your event; this will allow you to get the most accurate picture in your head of what it will all look like on the big day! Certain venues look their best in certain lighting, so always be sure to keep this in mind when making your decision. After all, the less unwanted surprises, the better, right?
If you are like many couples and are planning to have a theme around a set of colors, it is important that your chosen venue be compatible with said colors. They don’t usually have to match exactly, but just be sure that there aren’t any clashing elements that would get in the way of the overall décor.
This one is a smaller detail that can end up having a huge effect on the vibe of the party! Be sure to walk through the venue in advance to ensure you’ve got the power requirements covered for your entertainment. There’s nothing worse than arriving to your wedding the day-of and finding out your DJ doesn’t have a place to plug in!
Check the Acoustics
This is another important factor if you are planning on having a DJ, or, even better, live music on the big day. Large tile rooms, for instance, tend to produce an echo, and it could make the music painful very quickly! You can always fit the musical act to suit the venue, once you have a place figured out. Just be sure to scope out the space requirements for the act and ensure that it will all be on theme, of course!
Make sure that either the venue itself or somewhere nearby has ample, safe parking that your guests can take advantage of. If there isn’t any good parking in the immediate area, inquire about a shuttle or bus service that could get your party to and from their cars safely. A bad parking situation can put a damper on everyone’s day, and that’s not what anyone wants … least of all, you!
The Dreaded Plan B
It’s inevitable; the show must go wrong. None of us want to think about unexpected complications on our wedding days, but the reality of the situation is that they often do come up. Knowing how to respond to these situations can be a real lifesaver in the middle of it all, and can mean the difference between a ruined moment and a great memory!