When planning a wedding, the venue is the most important element — other than your husband or wife to be, of course. The place where you hold your wedding or wedding reception sets the tone for the ceremony or celebration afterward. Before starting to look at all of the wedding venues available to you, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.
The first thing you should think about is whether you want your wedding to be held in a separate place than the reception or in the same place. If you plan to get married in a church and then travel to the celebration site, you might have a little more flexibility in reception venues. If you plan to hold both the ceremony and reception in the same place, look for a venue that has a separate area for the ceremony. By moving from a ceremony area to a celebration area, guests are able to leave the solemnity of your ceremony behind as they get ready to party the night away.
Another thing to think about is how many guests you plan to invite and how mobile those guests are. If you want conversation to flow freely during your reception, you shouldn’t have more than eight people at a table. Make sure you can fit enough tables of eight in your reception hall. It is also important to think about guests with disabilities. If your grandmother has trouble with stairs, you shouldn’t get married in a tower without an elevator, no matter how gorgeous the view. And if you have an aunt in a wheelchair, make sure that doorways are wide enough for her to fit through them.
Next, think about how much work you want to do. If you want to do very little, choose a wedding or reception venue that hosts weddings frequently and is willing to decorate and clean up for you. If you are more of a do-it-yourselfer who is willing to do a lot of work for the wedding, even a secluded spot in a field can become magical.
The least fun thing to think about when planning a wedding is budget, but it must be done. Decide how much you can spend on your wedding reception venues, and stick to that number. Ask venues what is included in their fees and take that into consideration when making a final decision. Sometimes, you can save quite a bit of money if the venue rate includes tables, chairs, and linens.
By keeping these tips in mind, you will find a venue perfect for your big day that will make you happy, will make your guests comfortable, and won’t make you spend more than you can afford.