Thursday 8 March 2012

Location, Location, Location

You have the ring; you have set the date; now the task ahead is finding a venue that will accommodate your vision.
There are several aspects that you must take into consideration when deciding on your venue. First, what does the venue say about you and your beloved? Does it suit both your personalities? Can it accommodate your guests? Does the décor work with your theme, if you have one?
With so many locations to choose from, how do you go about choosing one? To begin, you both should visit each of your possible sites. Call for an appointment with each location’s manager, and take some time to outline your questions and concerns.
You also need to pay attention to the size of the location to make sure it can accommodate your entire guest list. If possible, you will want to see the location while there is another wedding going on; the space may look large when it is empty, but how does it look when it’s filled with tables, chairs, the band’s set-up, DJ equipment, and people?

It’s also important that you address the following questions and issues when searching for your wedding site:
• Parking/Transportation: Is the space accessible to public transportation? What is the parking situation? Is there a valet? Make sure the location is safe for all your guests to get to and from their cars.
• Event Planning: Will the site provide you with an event coordinator for your wedding day?
• Photography: Is there a location on the grounds to take photographs? If it is an indoor location, how is the lighting? How will your photos look?
• Package Price: What does the site-rental fee include? Catering, cake, décor, etc.? Schedule a meeting with the chef and pastry chef to discuss your menu. Make sure the décor suits you, your personality, and your theme. Find out if you can coordinate table settings, colors, and accessories.
• Backup Plan: If you have decided to have your wedding outdoors, does the location you’re considering have a backup site to accommodate you if there is a change of weather? Will you need to rent a tent from an outside vendor, or will your site take care of it?
• Payment: What are the payment arrangements? What is required once you decide to commit?
• Getting In: How far in advance of the wedding will you have access to the premises?
• Narrowing It Down: If possible, take photos of each location you visit, as well as obtain a promotional package for each.
Sit down with the photos and promotional materials and outline the pros and cons of each location you both “love” before signing any agreements. Comparing all the possibilities will enable you to rule out unsuitable choices, narrow down the list, and ultimately find the site that’s right for you. Note that it may take several visits to the “finalists” before you decide on and book your site. And remember, venues are generally booked nine months to one year in advance, so you don’t want to put your search off for too long.

Happy Hunting!

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