Your wedding venue is more than just a setting, it is the place where memories are made. Congrats brides, choosing venues is a really fun thing to do! For me personally, this was one of the harder selections simply cause I was trying to be a perfectionist in selecting the best venue. I had a reasonable budget, but did not realize how expensive it would be until I started touring different places. I recommend for you guys to go see more than one venue. A lot of the time, we all dream of this one certain place and we don’t open our hearts to looking at another. We have to be realistic sometimes because there are moments where that dream venue doesn’t work out for you. If you are fortunate enough to land your dream spot, more power to you!
I know as a bride, I had my heart set on one place and I wasn’t being realistic with myself. Not only was I not thinking of our budget, I so badly wanted this place for the view but I did not think about everything else. To put it into perspective, the cost of the venue I dreamed of was my whole wedding budget. I was blind at first because I so badly wanted it but thankfully I had people in my life to take me off the pedestal and remind me that it wasn’t the venue that mattered, it’s about making sure that the experience was all worth it. The venue I dreamt was incredibly expensive and no matter how much the venue coordinator tried to work with me, it wasn’t a realistic budget. If anything it hurts me in the long run and it was not worth to spend all of it on the venue and have no money for anything else. Something that my mother in law said to me was that it’s okay to dream a different dream. It’s not saying that I didn’t deserve the dream venue, it just meant that I can still make my dream happen if I gave other venues a chance.
So as I put my dream venue on the back burner, I decided to be openminded about other venues and looked at all sorts! I looked at country clubs, beach venues, forests, glasshouses, hotels, and vineyards. What I love about venues is that there’s so much to choose from and I am confident that you are bound to find some that you love as well. The venue we ended up choosing was a country club which I visited right after I went to see my dream venue. Our theme was a mixed of Jurassic Park and Harry Potter so we felt that it worked perfectly with the place we went with. Always keep in mind of your theme if you have one, that tends to help narrow down the places you want to have your wedding at. This is also a good time to have a wedding planner go with you because they know how to negotiate contracts and the loopholes that can be beneficial to you!
There is a difference a venue coordinator and a wedding planner; The wedding planner usually runs the whole show, while your venue coordinator takes care of anything in house related. So when it comes to deciding what kind of colored napkins, food selections, prices on the venue contract, anything day of execution from the bridal suite to help executing the reception, those are your venue coordinators. Your wedding planner helps with just about everything else; the schedule of your wedding day, making sure decorations are set up to the way you want, table settings are correct, making sure you don’t have to worry about anything that could possibly stress you out. So be extra nice to them, they are the one that handle all the chaos that you don’t see!
The venue coordinator will cater to the venue business, whereas the wedding planner will always have your best interest. Know that everything comes with a cost at the venue; there is food, venue cost, extra purchases like adding an open bar, extra guests and changes to last minute details! If you want fancier tables or add flooring or set stages, those are all done separately and require extra costs. The venue will always offer to lend you their in house products like chairs and tables, but if your vision does not match their in house options, you will have to rent from the outside! I did not know of this pretty much till the day of, but thankfully the in house options matched what I had envisioned. These are good questions to ask your wedding planner as they will be honest with you! Things like adding charger plates or adding personalized setting plates, those are all purchased separately. Some venues may have it, but other times you will have to either make it yourself or buy it from somewhere else.
So when picking a venue, keep a lot of things in mind! Don’t blow all your money on a venue, know that wedding planning comes with compromises. Remind yourself what matters most and know that you don’t need to have every single thing that you see in movies or from social media. I can tell you that those extra purchases I made, ended up being used once and now remains in a box! Be smart about your purchases and always have some good people behind you to give their advices that can be beneficial to you. When it all comes together, I know that all the sweat and tears put into it will always be worth it!