One of the first major decisions a couple must make after getting engaged is where they’ll be married. There are many factors to consider when deciding where you’ll say “I do.” Some couples prefer the traditional look and feel of a church, while others prefer a beach ceremony and reception. When comparing wedding venues, you’ll want to be on the lookout for the following key features.
There are two primary types of wedding venues: full-service and not full-service. Full-service is generally the better option if you are looking to get some relief from the wedding planning process. Non-full-service facilities generally only provide space, while full-service facilities may supply everything from chair rentals and tables to linens.
Space is a big consideration when comparing locations. First you’ll want to determine how many guests will be attending. Next, you’ll need to see how many people the facility can comfortably and legally hold. Many couples also prefer an open-floor plan, which allows for plenty of room for tables, dancing, food, and socializing.
Most couples prefer a location that is bright and cheery. While artificial lighting can be used to brighten a space, there’s nothing quite like natural lighting. If possible, try to find an indoor space that has plenty of natural light from large windows, doors and/or skylights. Visit during the day to see how much light the location actually gets.
If you’re working with a hefty guest list, you’ll want to ensure that the location you choose has plenty of parking available for guests and vendors. This parking should be in close proximity to the entry to allow vendors and guests to easily find the facility. It can also be helpful if the facility offers transportation for out-of-town guests.
If you’re like many couples, you will be serving alcohol at your wedding. Some wedding venues have a full bar, while others allow guests to bring their own alcohol. It can be worth the expense to pay ahead of time for bar service for your guests, but make sure that you understand what the bar service includes and what it doesn’t.
Does the facility you’re interested in have a facility coordinator that will be there the day of your wedding? If so, what exactly are the responsibilities of the coordinator? Couples often favor a location with a facility coordinator to ensure that everything goes smoothly on their big day. This cost may be included in the contract or may be charged separately.
If you’re in the midst of planning a wedding, you’ll want to take the time to choose a location that will suit all your needs. Do your research and compare the features of each facility before making your decision. It can be useful to right down a list of questions to ask the wedding venues during your visit to help ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises on your big day.