The Venue Search
Comparing venues is like apples and oranges: they're just not the same across the board. As you embark on your search for the perfect wedding venue, keep these tips in mind to ensure that you are weighing your options evenly.
1. Nearby Amenities
The lower price of a rural venue may be enticing. However, once the added expenses of transportation for guests and "out of area" delivery fees are tacked on, the price difference is minimal. There's also the question of the bridal suite/hair/makeup. Will it be done at the venue? Because that would require a far travel for the stylists. Or will it be done at a studio, which is unlikely to be close by? For Caitlyn & Micah's wedding, we saved a little by renting as much as possible through one company to cut out several delivery fees.
Many venues offer spectacular outdoor areas that can be used for cocktail hour, or even the reception. The catch is that these areas are often times poorly lit or not lit at all. In order to take advantage of this space, lighting will need to be added, which will create another expense. This is not always negative, because the soft string lighting can create an intimate reception area, which the well-lit ballroom cannot. Check out this beautiful bistro-bulb canopy and waterfall lighting that the Lighting Professors created for Lori & Dick's wedding at The Wilton House.
3. Layout of Event Space
The venue is said to hold 180 guests, but is that 180 guests all seated at evenly distributed round tables, or is that 180 guests split up over different sections of the event space? In Richmond, we have quite a few historic venues and there's a lot to love about these venues, but there's also a lot to keep in mind. A venue that has several "nooks and crannies" will make it difficult to provide uniform seating throughout. However, it does lend nicely to lounge seating and conversational sets which breaks up the monotony of the room. Here's a beautiful jewel-toned inspired set, also from Lori and Dick's wedding, that we created with Paisley and Jade.
As you tour your potential wedding venues, make note of what's included at each, and also what's not. A blank canvas that requires everything to be brought in may be your perfect venue because it allows for ultimate flexibility in your creativity. But - if the added expenses give you the heebie-jeebies, then an all-inclusive venue is right up your alley.