Post # 1
I’m so excited. Fiance and I are taking a mini-vacation up to Maine this weekend to check out venues.
I’m hoping the weather is still warm enough because the venue with think we like the most has Sept 24th, 2011 available (otherwise it’s booked until Sept 2012!).
We’ll also be meeting with our caterer (FI’s godmother) while we’re up there to discuss menus, flowers, decor, etc. This will be the start of REAL planning and I’m SO excited.
Any tips for selecting destination wedding venues? We’re trying to find a place that’s either walking distance or easy transportation distance from local hotels.
Post # 3
We did a mini-vaca to scout out venues, and here are my tips:
– Combine venue-scouting with meals. Any restaurants we were considering, we went to either lunch or dinner there to decide if we liked the food/atmosphere.
– Don’t overschedule! We were running around like maniacs, and got really overwhelmed
– Look around a lot online, but don’t discount a place just because it doesn’t have a website. The internet can help to narrow down what you want to look at. Definitely make appointments! You might not be able to look at places on Saturday if they have a wedding taking place; one place we looked at, however, let us peek in at a wedding in progress, so we could see the place decorated. By calling ahead, you will not be caught unawares.
– Take a LOT of pictures. You will get home and not be able to remember some stuff, promise.
– When visiting venues/vendors, ask them if they do planning over email. One of our vendors does not respond to emails, and it is really frustrating, as that is the best way to plan for a long distance bride!
We ended up visiting 6 venues, and had already been to weddings at 2 others that we were considering. At the end of the day, it was a pretty clear decision.
New England at the end of September can go either way–you might have 80 degrees and sunny, or it could be freezing and a noreaster. But it is the peak of foliage for northern New England, so you should have some great scenery! I just wouldn’t plan an outdoor wedding, personally.
Post # 4
good luck! we went venue hunting for our semi-DW (near my hometown) a few weeks ago. it was a little overwhelming cramming everything into one weekend, but we ended up loving three places and booked one last week. we definitely let the proximity of hotels to venues play a big part in our decision. the majority of our guests will need to stay overnight in a hotel and we wanted to make sure they could get from the reception to the hotel easily, without having to drive. we ended up choosing a venue that has a nice hotel on the same block for that reason. plus, consider if there are things to do nearby where your guests will be staying. we’re hoping our guests from out of town will choose to make a whole weekend of it, and so ended up getting rid of one venue that was 20 minutes outside of baltimore in favor of a downtown venue, so guests are within walking distance of the local attractions. we would have loved to go back down and see our final two choices a second time before making the final decision but just didn’t have time. instead we read literally every single review we could find online and stalked every photography blog we could find for pictures of the two venues. in the end we’re really happy with our decision but man, it was a stressful week. but it does feel nice to have a definite date and a venue booked–like you said, wedding planning feels real now!
Post # 5
@Leprechaun: We really want an outdoor ceremony so that’s what we are worried about. We’d set up a tent and heaters for the reception. And my FI’s mom’s house is an old church, so we already have a rain location.
I will definately take lots of pictures, and once the venue is picked FI’s godmother can help with the rest. She’s a caterer/even coordinator and does everything from food, to rentals, to flowers. Plus she knows all the other vendors in the area (photographers, videographers, etc).
FI’s mom is also up there so she’s done some scouting/emailing already and will help us set up appointments.
I’m just concerned about a late Sept outdoor ceremony.
Post # 6
@Leprechaun: ditto to overscheduling! we were 20 minutes late to our last appointment of the first day which i felt terrible about, although we actually ended up booking that place. and the next day we saw the last venue on our way to the train station. i stupidly booked an appointment for 50 minutes before our train left (the venue was only 10 minutes from the train station) but the events manager was running a few minutes late and we literally had to run around the place and speak as fast as we could. no wonder we didn’t book there.
and definitely reiterate that you will be planning from afar. you’ll need someone that is prompt with returning phone calls and emails. and the more things included with your venue (tables, chairs, linens, etc), the better, as that is one less vendor you have to worry about booking.