All of the guests stand as the “Wedding March” plays and the bride walks down the aisle to meet her groom. But where is this aisle? Will you get married in a church? A ballroom? A garden? What about the reception? These decisions are not small ones to make and many questions will come up when searching for the perfect venue.
The wedding’s theme plays an important role when picking a venue for your wedding. It’s “pretty substantial,” said William Tonks, director of facilities at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia. “We obviously get people who are more interested in a natural setting. We don’t get many people that want a disco party.” Consider the style of the wedding you want when visiting venues. How will the flowers, colors, and dress you’re envisioning fit in with the location?
When planning a wedding, searching for a venue should be one of the first decisions made. It allows everything else to be set into motion, from invitations to catering to flowers. Tonks recommends looking “Roughly a year in advance. For instance we rent up to 18 months in advance, but it’s rare that someone books that far out.” By looking nine to 12 months in advance, you increase your chances of securing you pick of venues on the date you want.
If you are considering an outdoor venue, make sure to have plans in case of rain. Nothing can ruin the immaculately planned day faster than a fast approaching rain shower. Other consideration included the catering policy. Do they have a catering kitchen? Is all the catering handled by the facility or will you need to hire a separate caterer? There are various policies on permitted decorations that change from venue to venue. Alcohol policy also varies greatly between venues. Questions to consider are: “Whether it’s allowed and what kinds. Do they have licensed bar tenders?” said Tonks.
Distance between the ceremony and reception should also be taken into account. Many people may not be able to travel for long periods of time to get to a reception area, no matter how beautiful it will be. One idea is to hold both the wedding and reception in the same place. It adds continuity and can cut down on dead time, “but it shouldn’t be restrictive at all. A lot of people want to have a church wedding and then come out here for a reception and we’re happy to see that too,” said Tonks.
The venue sets the scene. It brings the ambiance. It creates a backdrop a the most memorable day in your new lives together. There are many questions to take into account when searching for the perfect place, but by fully understanding all of the venue’s policies and price points, you can move forward in choosing the perfect place to tie the knot with confidence.