Wednesday, March 30, 2016

choosing your wedding venue and date

The first two questions that everyone is going to ask you when you get engaged is, "oh my gosh what's the date and where are you getting married??" It's like people expect you to have it pinned down within 24 hours of your engagement. Realistically, though, venues can be fully booked up within 12 months of your engagement date so if your heart is set on a specific venue. It's time to get it locked down.

My best advice, unless you have a specific date that is special to you, is to have a date range in mind that you want and plan around your venue. I fell in love with a venue more so than a specific date. We also had to take into consideration the different seasons that our venue incurred. The different seasons affected the prices of hotel rooms for our guests and the availability of room blocks at certain locations.

disney's wedding pavilion
Our wedding venue: Disney's Wedding Pavilion at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Photo by: Austin Trenholm Photography

When selecting your perfect venue these are some of the things to take into consideration:

  • Price:
    • Different venues will charge different rental fees. We found these to be anywhere from free to $7,000. Is the venue that you're looking at really worth what you're about to pay for it? If it's super expensive, are they providing you with a lot of services to justify that amount of money?
  • Restrictions: 
    • Does the venue that you're looking at restrict you from doing anything that you absolutely have your heart set on? Read your contract carefully. 
  • What are you going to have to bring in from outside and what's provided?
  • Does this venue match the look and feel that you want your wedding to have?
  • Do you have to use a specific caterer? What's the bar situation?
    • If you have to use a specific caterer, do they have good reviews? 
    • We completely ruled out a venue because they only did a bill-on-consumption (BOC) bar. If you have friends or family members that enjoy their cocktails, a BOC only bar is probably not for you. 
  • Logistics
    • Nearby hotels
    • Nearby airports if you have a significant amount of out of town guests
    • Transportation:
      • Will your guests need transport from the airport to the hotel or does the hotel provide that? 

There are lots of other factors that you could take into consideration when choosing the venue and date for your big day but these are the ones that felt the most imperative to me when making my decision!


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