Well my lovelies, we are more than embarrassed that we haven’t kept up this blog thing over here at The Love Riot! We guess you could say it is a good sign that we are keeping super busy dedicating our time and attention to our amazing clients. Thankfully we found just a few moments to put together what should be some helpful content for our soon-to-be-wed couples out there. This is just the first of what will be a regular series of helpful wedding planning tips from some super ‘Type-A’s” over here that won’t stand for that out of control feeling.
Venue shopping!! No doubt the most critical step in the wedding planning process since without it, you can’t set the date (and we know you are getting asked by EVERYONE when it is), you can’t send out invitations, choose your other vendors…basically you can’t do much of anything else. For this reason, a lot of brides can find this to be the most frustrating and emotionally draining part of the wedding planning process.
This is where we think The Love Riot can help! We want to provide you a little list of bullet points of things to consider as you shop for your wedding venue, because our goal is to make wedding planning fun and exciting…not the alternative.
- There is no “perfect venue”…Most couples are working on a budget, and with that comes making compromises to make sure everything you wants fits within that budget. It’s realistic to be forced to compromise on venue location, amenities, capacity, and/or price in order to get something that best suits your style. So make sure you are clear on your priorities. We are big believers that your entire wedding should reflect your own personal style. Make sure you know what is and isn’t “you” and cut out the rest.
- Know what is in your budget…Whether you have 6 months or 2 years to plan your big day, don’t waste your time looking at venues that will NEVER fit into your budget. If you want a more rural style, remember that weddings at parks or ranches will often times require a considerable amount of rentals, generators, lighting, trash disposal, etc. to make it work. All-inclusive venues like hotels or restaurants might provide all those items. While they are more convenient they often times come with a food & beverage minimum you are required to hit as well as tax, service and gratuity fees on top.
- Have a list of questions ready for the venue when you go on your walk-through… Do your best to remain objective during tours of venues. Do not allow their sales pitches to detour you from your goal of both having the wedding of your dreams but also not breaking the bank. Consider questions like:
-What is the parking situation? Do they provide valet? Are guest shuttles required?
-What comes with the booking package? Are rentals, serving staff, trash disposal/pickup, and security included? What about taxes, gratuities, and additional fees?
-Are you required to use the venue’s approved vendors? Do they require the use of their catering or can you bring in outside food? Does the venue require you to have a wedding planner?
-Does the venue require special proof of insurance? How many hours do you get at the venue as part of the package? Does that amount of time account for setup/break down?
- Consider having your wedding on a weekday or Sunday… This is a very simple way to increase the chances of the venue being available as well as help stretch your budget further by saving money on the venue fee. This is also a great option if you are having a destination wedding since most of your guests will be making a vacation out of it.
- The earlier you can book a venue in the planning process, the better… Because so much else hinges on you picking your venue, attack that item on your to-do list as soon as possible. Everything else will feel so much less stressful with that out of the way.
With this knowledge, you should be able to see your venue shopping process as just one more exciting step towards having the day you have always dreamed of. If after reading all of this you still feel overwhelmed at the process, you may just need to scoot on over to our contact page and have us give you a hand 😉
Until next time…
The Love Riot