From the moment you said “I do” the wedding planning began. Who will be in the wedding? Where will the wedding ceremony be? How about wedding venues, receptions, photographers . . . and the list goes on. The reason wedding planning can be so overwhelming is because it is such an important day. But with a little organization and creativity, anyone can pull off an amazing wedding. This how-to guide will break down how to find wedding venues, receptions locations, and ideas for designing the wedding you’ve always dreamed about.
Finding a Wedding Venue
One of the first things you’ll have to do when it’s time to plan your wedding is research wedding venues. By now you should have your wedding binder where you can keep all important information. Use the wedding binder especially when looking for wedding venues, interviewing caterers or photographers, and narrowing down reception sites. Save brochures, photos, your list of questions and answers from all venues, and anything else that may help you make a final decision. Keep in mind that you will typically allocate 30% to 50% of the wedding budget to your wedding venue.
Start your search for a wedding venue by reading reviews online, checking out the bridal boards or other wedding resources, and asking friends and family for recommendations on venues. Also, reach out to anyone you know who has planned a wedding recently. Make a list of possible venues and then start visiting the venues and interviewing the coordinators that will be helping you. Don’t forget to start with the basic questions, such as size, price and availability, so you can weed out some wedding venues early on.
Once you feel like you have asked all of your questions and you think you’ve found “the one” it’s time to seal the deal. Get everything in writing and review the agreement very carefully. This is not the time to have a misunderstanding about what time you will be allowed into the wedding location or what kind of flowers you’re allowed to bring in. Also, feel free to negotiate the terms of the agreement. If you are spending a lot with a particular vendor they are more likely to give you a break on the price or throw in extras for your wedding.
Planning Wedding Venues Receptions
When it comes to planning wedding venues receptions it’s important to be as detail oriented as possible. It’s a great idea to either hire a wedding coordinator to help you, choose a location like a hotel that may provide a wedding coordinator, or purchase an all-inclusive wedding package so that many of the details will already be worked out for you.
Regardless of which option you choose, you should first come up with a wedding agenda that lists in detail exactly what will happen and when. Also, if you are handling all of the vendors yourself, you will need a list detailing every vendor that will be involved in the wedding with contact information and terms of the agreement. If you are working with a wedding coordinator, they will handle all of the vendor management. The main components of a typical wedding reception that need to be planned out are food/alcohol, entertainment and general logistics such as how will the seating chart look and where will guests park.
First you must find out what catering restrictions there are at wedding venues. Receptions should take into account the vendors you can use and the types of food or alcohol you can serve. Some wedding venues may not even allow alcohol, so if this is an important component for your party, ask that question early on. The next question is price. Wedding venues typically charge per person for food and sometimes for bar service as well. Alcohol may also be charged based on the actual amount consumed. To save money, find out if you can supply your own alcohol. If you’re bringing in your own vendors, ask if there are kitchen facilities available at the venues.
Wedding entertainment may be a live band or a D.J. With either option, the D.J. or band members may not only play music, but they may guide the timing of the wedding as well. This person, for example, may introduce the bride and groom at the beginning of the reception, announce the first dance, and generally keep the wedding reception moving through the various events.
Before choosing your wedding venue reception location, make sure the type of entertainment you want is feasible. Ask about a stage or area for the D.J. as well as what electrical outlets are available. You will also need to ask about any restrictions on the kind of music that can be played, how loud it can be, and how late into the night it can go. For example, at some wedding venues, receptions have to close down by 10 pm because there is a noise ordinance. Interview the band or D.J. first to see if you feel comfortable with their style and if it will fit with your wedding. Talk about a song list and be clear on what role you expect them to play in your wedding.
At all wedding venues, for receptions and other events it is important to consider the overall logistics of the event. Go over each detail carefully with your wedding coordinator or your contact at the venues. Ask about rentals, parking, lighting, decorations, and timing. For out-of-town guests, find out about overnight accommodations and transportation.
Most of all, get good Wedding advice
The Tiffany Ballroom at Four Points Norwood has a wealth of experience helping couples plan their special day. Based on your tastes and needs, we can share some of the newest trends in receptions and events – from inspiring themes and entertainment to innovative menu selections, gourmet hors d’oeuvres and fine wines. We will delight you with a wide variety of floral and room decorations, place settings, linens, photo opportunities, gift ideas, and so much more. Whatever the event, large or small, our goal is to make your event very special, indeed.