We wanted to share some of our best advise with you, which we hope will come handy when you are searching for your wedding venue. Your venue will be the canvas to your picture that will be your wedding day and it will also be your biggest wedding expense, so it is best to choose wisely.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a venue:
- First impressions count – Now I am not even talking about the first time you phone the venue, email or drive out for a site visit. I am talking about their website and social media presence. When you type in that www, is the picture you receive on the other side speaking to you? Then on social media what do other guests that’s been there before have to say, and guys please make sure to keep in mind to read all reviews, good and bad, and make up your mind based on the references whether this is somewhere you want to be. Check with high quality suppliers that have done work there before (photographers and planners) on whether the venues are what they seem to portray.
- First contact – Do you receive an email back, a phone call and how long do they take to get back to you? Time is of the essence when it comes to planning a wedding and its important that you feel like your day matters. Remember though that Fridays until the following Monday might be slow response times for venues as those are the days most of the magic happens and they are giving their undivided attention to a bride on her special day – your day will come too.
- Coordinators are the windows to the soul of a venue. I can’t stress this enough. Who is the person at the venue that will have your best interest at heart? Does he or she make you feel welcome, important and really understand your vision for your big day? Make sure the venue coordinator explains to you in detail what packages include and exclude and when doing your venue visit ask questions – a lot of them so that you know what you are signing up for!
- Package Includes vs Excludes – What is included in your package measured against what the package price is per person. Now you might see a venue and their package price is say for arguments sake R250 pp and you are thinking YAY score! Finally a venue that is not going to break the bank against another venue you visited last week that is asking double that price. But when looking closer you realise the following: Perhaps the venue needs a lot of extra flowers and décor to make it look like something, or maybe the venue is excluding so many extras that you would have paid separately for, for example base plates, tablecloths and runners, possible décor items and the list continues. Sometimes the R250 option isn’t necessarily the best option the venue might add per item pricing for items like cutlery crockery and glassware, extra on staff like waiters and barmen or even charge you additional coordinating fees or chapel hire fees. Thus make sure the package price is in line with what your overall expectation is of what you believe should be delivered. Do a comparison sheet between the venues on their packages, a list for what is included and excluded and the individual price if you had to get the excluded items in. You will very quickly realise that most venues turn out to cost you round about the same.
- How do I judge a venues quality? Small tips, look at their bathrooms and kitchen areas, these speak long silent paragraphs of truth. If a venues kitchen looks like a Tsunami just happened or they had some kind of kitchen food war think twice on whether this is the place where you want your guests food to come from.
- Do a food tasting! Look, feel and atmosphere of the venue is really important, but the food is what your guests will be talking about. Talk to the coordinator or chef about different serving options, timing of the food versus what you have planned for your reception program.
- Your theme and colour scheme – If you like the industrial look then choose an industrial venue. You will save so much money on flowers and decor if your venue already lends itself to your wedding theme.
- Shell venues – As wedding planners we adore these types of venues as they give us so much creative freedom but be cautious as they are not for all budgets. We can setup a popup wedding venue literally anywhere, but it gets expensive when you need to bring in all the suppliers, furniture and amenities that is already included in a fully functioning venue. This trend started originally with weddings on family farms in rustic barns and has exploded to city rooftops, open fields, gardens, urban spaces etc etc. Before you loose your heart on the idea, consult your budget first.
- Think out of the box – This is one for the couples on a budget. You don’t have to get married at a wedding venue in order to have the perfect wedding day. You also don’t have to invite the minimum amount of guests to your wedding because you are getting married at a wedding venue. A lot of venues offer reduced packages for morning weddings, here your reception will be in the form of a brunch, it will be much shorter and there might not be any dancing. But you can always do something different like a live band or some lawn games. Another option is the old school american movie type weddings were they get hitched in a chapel (or your local church), most chapels have lovely gardens, enjoy some canapes from a cute little food truck, take some awesome images in a photo booth and then head out on your honeymoon! If you really want a reception then book out your favourite restaurant, you will be acquainted with the quality of food and service so what is not to like?
There are so many amazing venues out there today and we can proudly say that we work with the best! If you are searching for the perfect venue and you need some assistance, give us a ring! Venue searching is part of what we do as Wedding Planners and we would love to assist you in finding that perfect venue!
The Impressionant Events Team