Getting engaged so exciting and suddenly one of the most stressful parts of the planning process –
WHAT DO WE DO NOW?
Photo courtesy of Darling Photography
Selecting a date and finding an appropriate venue are two of the earliest decisions to be made. The rest of your planning flows from this decision.
Once you select a date – or time of year and possible dates – the first things to consider are:
  • What is your realistic budget? Weddings tend to cost more than you think – being real is a very serious consideration.
  • What type of wedding do you want?
  • Do religious considerations dictate a church ceremony or ceremonies?
  • What style or feel of venue might fit your vision for your special day? Ballroom, vineyard, barn, waterside (lake, ocean), destination, etc.
  • How accessible does your venue need to be for your guests? Consider distance, transportation, guests with physical disabilities, etc.
  • About how many guests are you likely to invite? Are you looking at a big wedding (100+ people) or a small wedding?
  • What time of year appeals to you? Do you want indoor or outdoor, or a combination of both?
 Once you have decided on some venues that appeal to you to tour, there are many questions to consider and to ask each one before making a decision:
  • Is the venue full service (providing all the equipment you will need – tables, chairs, linen, china, flatware, stemware, set-up, clean-up, etc.) or limited service? If limited service, exactly what is included and what will you need to provide as this will increase the overall cost of the venue.
  • Tour the venue, especially for outdoor weddings, at the time of day you plan to be married so that you see what the sun will be like, etc. If it is an outdoor venue, is there a rain back-up plan included?
  • What is the shape of an indoor space? Odd shapes are likely to restrict the flow of the evening or be awkward for seating.
  • Is there in-house catering (and a minimum food and beverage purchase in addition to your facility fee) you have to use or are outside caterers allowable? Does the venue have exclusive vendors for outside catering? Is there a charge for bringing in an outside caterer?
  • Is there coat check services (for bad weather months), ample restrooms, and parking to accommodate your guests?
  • Does the venue have inclusive packages – what exactly do they include and what is extra?
  • Length of time your space is available for your event – are there overtime charges? Is there set up or decorating time included? Is there rehearsal time included (when, how long, staff provided)?
  • Will you have a venue-provided coordinator/catering manager dedicated to your event on the day of your wedding? What are their responsibilities and what are yours or your planner’s?
  • What is the total estimated cost of your event? What is the deposit/balance of payment schedule? Are there any hidden costs or payments? Just in case of an unforseen emergency, what is their cancellation policy?
  • How many other events are likely to occur on the day of your wedding – either before or after, or simultaneously? How does this effect timing, staffing, parking, etc., related to your wedding?
  • Is there a kitchen or cooking facilities for outside caterers or do they need to be fully self-contained?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Does the venue have liquor license? Can you bring in your own alcohol? Is there built-in bar space in your proposed room/area or will there be a portable bar (normally tables)?
  • Is there smoking allowed (special area?) Is your space air-conditioned or heated?
  • Are there noise ordinances or venue rules? Is there an available sound system? Is there sufficient room for your dj or band? Is there a power supply and is there a charge for power?
  • Are there bride/groom changing rooms? Is there enough room for your wedding party?
  • Where are there photo opportunities for your photographer?
  • Are there décor policies?
  • What is the distance from the ceremony site to the reception site?
 Now that you are overwhelmed at all the things you never thought about, consider this … Bella! Weddings and Events can do all of this legwork for you – research appropriate venues depending on your style vision … get answers to all these questions for you … present you with a grid of apples-to-apples comparisons … for you to decide what venues you ultimately would like to tour that realistically meet your requirements.
That’s what we do! Save you time and energy so you can enjoy the process!
Call us today for a free one-hour consultation to see how we can assist you. Whether you need full-service planning, day-of coordination, or a few hours of education – we can do it all!
Happy planning!
Marie & Moneca
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