The question has been popped, and the planning begins.
And now that you’ve decided to get married, you must next decide where to get married.
But how do you know which venue is best for your special day? Here are some tips for picking the perfect place to tie the knot.
The most popular places go fast — as much as 12-18 months in advance. For the best chance to lock in your first choice, book early.
Another reason to choose early is that your venue sets the tone for the rest of your planning, from your wedding decor to catering. The sooner the venue is solidified, the sooner you can move on the rest of your decisions.
Start by getting referrals from friends and vendors in your area. Look at photos from recent weddings to visualize how your wedding might look in different locations.
Some couples get married in a place of worship and host the reception in a second location, while others feel it’s more convenient to hold both events in the same place.
If you will need two venues, consider the distance and travel time when planning start times. If you use a single venue for the ceremony and reception, make sure there’s enough time and space available for both.
This is one area where a trade-off may be necessary. Which is most important to you, to get married on a specific date, or to get married at a particular place?
If the date is your top priority, you will need to cross off any venues that aren’t available on that day. If your heart is set on a favorite venue, you may need to set your date based on when that location is available.
Booking your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, or during off-peak seasons may save on rental costs.
This can be somewhat tricky, as not everyone you invite will be able to come to the wedding.
A good estimate helps you book a venue that will comfortably hold everyone, without spending money on extra space you don’t need.
When shopping for venues, ask about guest count minimums and the maximum capacity for different event setups — seated, dining or standing.
Once invitations go out, keep your venue updated as the RSVPs come in. You will need to provide a final guest count ahead of time, so don’t be shy about sending “friendly reminders” to stragglers who haven’t yet responded.
One way to keep from overspending is to decide ahead of time how much you can afford. You might want to gather quotes from a few places so you’ll know what’s realistic.
Think about what is included in the rental fee. A quote that looks more expensive upfront may actually be the more cost-effective choice if it also includes things like planning, catering, beverages and other services.
Formal or rustic? Modern or casual?
Your venue should complement the overall tone and color scheme of your wedding.
Ask your venue if any decorations are available in-house, what you’re allowed to bring in from the outside and whether any items are prohibited.
All of the pictures and second-hand opinions in the world cannot replace an in-person visit. Schedule a walk-through so that you can experience the atmosphere first-hand and get acquainted with the staff.
If possible, visit prospective venues when they are set up for a wedding, so you can visualize how your event would look. Take pictures and ask lots of questions.
This is a big part of creating a great experience for your guests. If you have people coming from out of town, include directions when you send out invitations.
As noted above, some venues offer a variety of services along with your event rental, while others have special requirements you’ll need to meet.
Finally, here are a few other details you’ll want to discuss with prospective venues.
Les Bourgeois Vineyards offers the perfect place to celebrate your nuptials on a breathtaking bluff overlooking the Missouri River.
Contact us to learn more about our event space and full-service catering.