This April will be one year since I planned a very dear friends wedding in Costa Rica and April 24th will be the day my own wedding takes place. It's been an intense journey and incredible learning experience. Being a creative person I know I wanted to do as many things as I could myself. Luckily my day jobs requires me to be detail orientated which is crucial in wedding and event planning. Below are 5 tips and tricks for those starting to look at venues.
1) Deciding your budget is first. Food/alcohol is usually the bulk of the budget and remember that goes up as your guest list increases. Personally I feel it's best to quickly rule out the venues that are over your budget, best to not get attached. And keep in mind everything adds up quickly.
TIP: Going with a venue that includes , food, linens, dinnerware, tables and chairsmight seem more expensive when looking at the grand total, but will save you more money in the end.
2) Creating a rough guest list is second. Create a list A which includes the must have guests and a list B which includes the people you really want, but will need to wait and see on venue size and cost. Keep in mind seating and floor plan with the number of guests and venue size. TIP: Pick the total from list A when looking at venues for an idea of cost or go with a number between list A and B.
3) Researching venues online is third! Look at all the blogs, Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Brides.com and let that lead you to even more blogs. Pick places that represent you and your partner or a place that means something to you both. Get creative TIP: When getting estimates from venues make sure everything is included, tax, gratuity, permits, etc. Be sure to understand any terms that are expected from the renter. Remember to be a smart bride.
4) Envision your day is fourth! Roughly think about what your day will look like. Save the bells and whistles for later. Will you have a sit down dinner? Dancing? Cocktail hour? A photo booth? This will help in figuring out additional costs with your venue and which venue will allow for everything you are wanting for the big day. TIP: As you narrow down your choices look at the venues social media accounts, look at photographers who have been there. It's nice to see the various ways the venue can be set for an event.