Hey everyone! Today I wanted to talk to all of you who might currently be searching for venues. There are so many things to consider when choosing this incredibly vital part of your wedding. From pricing to staffing, I’m here to help you find the space that’s right for you!
Tip 1 : Size Matters
When choosing your venue, make sure you ask very specific questions about the number of people the space can hold. Many venues have printed materials that state how many people can attend an event in their space. These can be unintentionally misleading. Often, that large number of guests you see (or are told the facility can handle by a venue rep) on the info sheets fits into the room in a way that you would never want for your wedding. If your venue ever hosts non social events (think conferences) they are fitting a ton more people in that room than you will be. A business conference doesn’t need a dance floor and space for a band, two bars and food stations – you do! This is where your wedding planner can help guide you through the actual capacity of local venues. The last thing you want is for your wedding guests to be squeezed into a room and have no additional space for dancing or specialty decor.
Pratt Barn, photo by Hudson Photography
Tip 2 : What (and Who) is Included
Once you start to compare your (appropriately sized) venue options, it’s very important to be comparing apples to apples. What is included in your venue fee? Is it just the space and everything else (tables, chairs, staff) will be an additional fee? Is it all inclusive, will their staff set up and tear down your tables as well as serve as your bartenders and servers? A venue might seem really expensive on the front end, but once you see all that is included, it might actually be the most budget friendly option. I often find this is the case at country clubs. If you are only paying for the use of the space, have your wedding planner help you rough out the costs of bringing everything (and everyone) in before you sign on the dotted line.
Hardscrabble Country Club, photo by Beaty Photography
Tip 3: Fine Print
Is your dream to leave your reception surrounded by your friends holding gorgeous sparklers? If so, make sure that is allowed by your venue. Many venues have really cracked down on what is and isn’t allowed as far as things like ‘leave’ items go. Some venues restrict the time of day you can begin your ceremony while others limit the amount of hours you can serve alcohol. It is important to remember that, before you fall in love with a venue’s looks, if you can’t have the wedding YOU want, it’s not worth it. Again, your wedding planner’s experience with venue rules and regulations will help guide you here.
Arkansas Air Museum, photo by Meredith Melody
Arkansas is full of gorgeous venues run by fabulous people, make sure you find the one that is right for you!
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