Post # 1
My FI and I signed our venue contract over the weekend. Two days later, I’m already experiencing some doubts and feeling like this might not be my “dream” wedding venue. I love some things about it… but I’m having a hard time letting go of some other things I wanted, that this place doesn’t have. Realistically, I know it’s hard to find a venue that has every little thing I’d want, so I’m trying to remind myself of that.
Since choosing a wedding venue is one of the biggest decisions for the bride, I’m thinking this can make for an interesting conversation.
What do you love about your venue? What made you book it?
Is there anything you wish you could change about your venue?
I’ll go first!
I love my venue’s cocktail hour space and ballroom. The cocktail hour has a unique look and guests have the option of dining indoors or outside. This was important to me because I am having a summer wedding – some might want air conditioning, and some might not mind the heat! I also absolutely love the ballroom. It’s spacious and has a very classic, vintage look with tasteful chandeliers and high cielings. It’s so elegant and the overall look of the indoors is grand and fit for a princess.
What I wish I could change about the venue is the location. It’s on a very busy street so there are shops and offices across the street. The drive up to the place isn’t any special, and because of it’s location, the outside area is pretty overall – but small. It reminds me of a big backyard. I feel like my photo opportunities will be limited because of the smaller outdoor space. This what upsets me the most because I would have loved to have a view of the water, or a large green space with many trees for pictures; there is something so beautiful about a bride and a groom with gorgeous landscape! I wish I could pick up the venue and plop it elsewhere.
Can’t wait to read your responses!
Post # 2
ballerina-bride: I feel like it’s impossible to get 100% of what you want in one venue, but your venue sounds beautiful! maybe you could take pictures elsewhere?
I love our venue’s historical feel with antiques, chandeliers and beautiful fireplaces… perfect for our winter wedding!
The only thing i really hate is the venues no open flame rule since most of my decorations were going to be white candles.. now i’m in the process of searching for realistic looking LED candles. Not exactly the cozy candle lit feel i was going for but hopefully it will still give off the same vibe..
Post # 3
I didn’t get my 1st choice venue because of cost, and yeah, it’s sad… But I’m still going to have a beautiful wedding, and all of the important things will still be there. Besides, my guests don’t know what the alternative was; I’m the only one who knows. I love how classic our venue space looks, I like that we have three separate spaces for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all on the same property, and I like that we have an outdoor ceremony space. I also really like that it is all neutral colors. I wish it felt a little more historical, and I wish that they had a better gazebo/ ceremony arch for the ceremony (there are actually two ceremony space options and neither is my ideal). But really, unless you get incredibly lucky or have a lot of money to spend on your venue, most people end up making some sorts of compromises.
Post # 4
I would have it in the restaurant instead of the ball room. In reality, the restaurant isn’t big enough for our party. But it’s so cool, there’s a lounge area, a huge bar, gorgeous floor to ceiling windows, a deck with trees and fire pits right off the door, etc.
It only holds about 80 – 100 people for a wedding. We have 208 on the guest list and expect 130 – 150. If we go as low as 100, I’m requesting a venue change. 😛
Post # 5
my outside ceremony location has beautiful, huge trees. They’re perfect. But the ground is leafy/dirt instead of grass. Sadness.
My inside reception is beautiful and is a laid back, southern country club. But I hate the carpet. It’s green & totally goes against my decor lol
Post # 6
ballerina-bride: I think your venue sounds lovely! You may not have the landscape, but I’m sure your photographer will still be able to take some beautiful photos.
I love just about everything about our hotel venue! Half of our guest list will be coming from out of town so it was important to us that the venue to be logistically convenient for everyone.
- It’s centrally located for our guests who live in the area, and is only 3 miles away from the Metro/subway station which has a stop inside of the closest airport for those who are coming from out of town.
- The hotel is located in a large outdoor shopping area that overlooks a man made lake. For our out of town guests that may come a few days early, they’ll be able to walk to a movie theater, tons of restaurants and cafes, Starbucks, boutique type shops, a salon, Target, Kohl’s, etc. There’s also a playground, carousel, paddle boats, and a trolley type train that rides around the lake for the kids.
- They’re pet friendly which means that our dog can be in our ceremony and guests who are coming from out of town can bring their fur babies if they can’t find a pet sitter.
- They recently renovated so all the guest rooms, lobby, restaurant, ballroom, and patio area are nicely upated.
- Our ceremony and reception will be here, and since it’s a hotel, we don’t have to worry about transportation for out of town guests or in town guests driving home if they’ve had too much to drink.
- A lot of things are included in their wedding packages – all the food, drinks, choice of chairs and linens, candles and vases for centerpieces, wedding cake, complementary suite for the night before and after the wedding, and DOC/event manager.
- The ballroom where our reception will be in is nicely updated from the renovation, but I wish it could accomodate more guests if we happen to go over our estimated 100. They have another ballroom that can be configured to hold anywhere from 75 to over 500 people that we could use (if it’s not booked by that time), but it wasn’t part of the renovation project so the decor just reminds me of 80’s art deco gone bad.
- The patio where our ceremony will be held at overlooks the lake, but the angles are a little odd so you only have 2 options for set up. 1) Facing the lake which also includes the building that houses the movie theater and gym in the view, so those would be in the background of your photos. 2) Facing the trees to the side of the lake, which is what we’re doing.
- The wedding cake is included in our package from a preferred vendor, but I initially wanted to bring in a cake from someone else until I found out they charge a $3.50 per serving “cutting fee” if it’s from an outside vendor.
- It’s a bit on the pricey side, but after 2 months of researching and comparing costs of other venues, this one offered the best conveniences and ammenities so we think it’s worth it.
Post # 7
We booked our venue mainly because the space was a perfect size for us and it was at a restaurant we enjoy eating at. A couple of other plus’ are that its in a central location, not too many rules regarding decor, noise, etc., and the coordinator is incredibly helpful and responsive.
What I dislike about it.. There’s no designated outdoor space! We’ll have use of the shared patio and they’ll book one half of it for our guests to use throughout the night. That’s about it actually! We did well in our search.
Post # 8
I LOVE my venue! It was definitely on the pricier side though, so obviously I wish it was cheaper. Other than that, I wish that they didnt require a 2 night minimum for guests to stay the inn. I also wish that it wasnt an additional $10 per person to do a plated meal rather than a buffet. But, I love it so much I am willing to overlook these minor things
Post # 9
I love everything but one thing…… The carpet!!!!! So we are recarpeting the whole place white That day. Can’t stand it.
Post # 10
Not sure if this counts, but our venue is our backyard:
Pros: It’s free. We get to enjoy any landscaping we do to the backyard long after the wedding. Zero vendor restrictions (case in point, we hired a food truck for catering). Can decorate it however we please. Can have our dog participate in the wedding. Extremely meaningful to FI and I.
Cons: Neighborhood quiet hours begin at 10, so no late-night partying. Guests have to walk 10 minutes from a nearby parking lot to the house. Looks like a fairly normal backyard, with no extremely unique views or settings. No venue coordinator to rely on. We are responsible for sourcing a lot of basics like chair and tables.
Post # 11
Our venue is a ballroom that is the top floor of a restaurant I love. I LOVE my venue. It has amazing food, which is why we picked it. The prices were very reasonable, and the space really matches the theme and is beautiful. Tables, chairs, and linens were all included (and something I didn’t want to deal with). Plus the coordinator has been amazing- so accomendating, creative, and sweet.
Really the only down falls are extremely minor. There are only windows on one wall of the space. I would have prefered more natural light, but it’s an evening reception anyways so it will eventually get dark. It is off a very busy highway and my fiance’s family is used to driving country roads, so it will be a bit of challenge for them. There also isn’t a lot of areas for beautiful staged photos other than a small pond (which has the highway right behind it), and a beautiful grand staircase leading up to our reception. However, we are having the ceremony at a church, and going to a park after for photos, so we by the time we get to the reception venue we will mostly just be interested in unstaged shots of the reception events anyways. Also- the ballroom can be expanded, or divided into smaller pieces, but we have an awkward number of people. Probably a little tight without the expansion and a little empty with it. We are just going for the larger space and trying to think of things to fill it.
Post # 12
I love that my venue is a botanic garden, so we’ll be surrounded by flowers, trees, wildlife, and wonderful scents. I love that the person who founded it was obsessed with ancient Rome, so there are tons of Greek/Roman style statues, the turtle fountains are named Castor and Pollux, all of the buildings have poetic Latin sayings on them. I love that our reception will be in a greenhouse, so it feels like you’re outside but we’re protected in case of rain.<br />
I don’t like that there’s nowhere to get ready there and that it’s a bit further away from Boston than we wanted. I also wish they provided chairs, but that’s a tiny detail.<br />
Overall, my venue is really my dream venue. I had it in mind YEARS before FI proposed. I was so happy when he loved it just as much as I do!
Post # 13
- Wedding: July 2014 - Willow Ridge Manor - Morrison Colorado
I think that you can easily solve your “dislike” have you considered having first looks at another location? That way you can get some of the outdoor shots that you want.
I ended up having to give up my favorite venue due to costs. It was a beautiful mountainside venue in a 100 year old barn overlooking a lake *sigh*
My current venue, I LOVE the outdoor space it is beautiful and overlooks a valley with large red rock formations, it is awesome. We have decided to host both the ceremony and reception outside. We are the first couple to do this! The thing that I don’t like is the manor house that sits on the property, it looks really beautiful and southern from the outside but the inside was decorated in the 90’s to look Victorian and it’s an epic fail, it just looks dated. I am only using the indoor space for the cocktail hour while the outdoor space is being flipped. Another thing that I don’t like about my venue (right now) is that they indicate that they provide all of the tables, but apparently they don’t have enough since some of them are broken and so they are trying to charge me to rent them. Ugh I am less than a month away from my wedding and arguing over table payments is the last thing I want to deal with. Wish me luck that I am able to negotiate.
Post # 14
- Wedding: March 2015 - City Winery New York, NY
I love our venue – it is a winery in Manhattan. It fits us perfectly! Unfortunately, the windows look directly out at the busy street that serves as a main entry into the Holland Tunnel and across the street is a Grainger tool store. The windows don’t play a huge role in the events, so we’re paying to have them draped. Would have preferred to use the money elsewhere, but I’m glad the lame view will be covered.
Post # 15
ballerina-bride: I love everything about our venue…except that there will be the last of the afternoon sun during the ceremony. The rationale is that the ceremony is only about 30 min long and the reception is inside in the a/c.