Post # 1
We’re about 16 months out and I’m itching to book, and I’m also so tremendously busy that I can’t justify making many more appointments to view spaces (particularly when so many of them are nearly unaffordable anyway).
We’ve found one place that we could afford. The coordinator was lovely, the place gets great reviews, the location is perfect, etc. The space has meaning to us because during business hours it’s used for a cause that we both feel strongly about. It’s a BYOB venue so we could save on that, too, and its list of caterers deliberately includes affordable options. Better yet, I felt instantly comfortable there, “at home,” if you will. Perfect, right?
But I keep having this niggling doubt. Everybody in the reviews talks about how it’s so beautiful, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by its beauty. And in the professional photos available online of weddings there, it just looks drab.
I’m tempted to book it because, hey, then I’ll have a venue! (And it fills up fast, so dragging my feet probably isn’t wise.) I know the day will be special no matter what, and the guests will love the venue, because it’s classic and (like I said above) very well located. But I keep asking myself – should the venue be one of those things, like the dress, where you feel ABSOLUTELY no doubts?
Bees, if you booked a place that you thought was mostly perfect, with a few significant flaws, did you end up loving your decision? Or did you hold out until you found the absolutely “perfect” place?
Post # 3
I saw pics of my venue and knew that was it right away. We visited and booked the next day.
It depends what you’re looking for I guess. I had a a few crazy wants that the venue delivered on.
Post # 4
We did just know, but we spent a long time trying to talk ourselves out of it because it was out of our budget. But we couldn’t get over how much we loved it, and we didn’t find anywhere else that we really liked. It sounds like your venue has a lot of great ‘pros’- the BYOB thing is awesome! That is what is really breaking the bank for us- super high alcohol markup. I still have doubts about that!
Your wedding is a ways out, so you probably have some time to look around. The venue is a big part of the day so you want to be totally happy with it, but just remember that the decor can be altered so that you are overwhelmed by it’s beauty. But take a weekend and visit several venues back to back. It really helps compare and contrast because you don’t have time to forget what the last one was like and how you felt there.
Post # 5
I did know right from the moment we saw it, but honestly I don’t know if this is the case for most people. Do people typically ‘just know’ when it comes to venues?
Post # 6
@calendula: We’re date twins! If the location is good and the venue is meaningful, I’d go for it. With the money you save by supplying your own alcohol and a cheaper caterer, you could likely make the venue less drab with nicer decor.
My venue has flaws because it’s my backyard and therefore lacks a lot of standard venue ammenities like parking or a big kitchen for caterers. But like you, I feel comfortable there and I can’t see myself at any other venue. We’re pretty much taking what we save by not booking a venue and spending more on decor and a tent (and maybe some nicer port-a-potties).
Post # 7
I searched and searched and looked at about 100 (no exaguration) on line and hated them all, thought I was never going to find one. Then I saw one that I liked and one that I LOVED so we went to see them both. We both liked the first one but it wasn’t really big enough but as soon as we both walked in the one we had loved online we knew it was the one. It was exactly what we were looking for. My advice is if you don’t love it, keep looking, don’t settle
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
We had 3 places that would have worked equally well in different ways. One ruled itself out by booking our date before we could. Another ended up being located in the midst of a huge, city-wide, traffic hell event planned for our date, so it got ruled out. And that left one, which was amazing (and happened to be my favorite of the 3!). I’d say that if it meets your criteria and budget, then book it. Then hire a photographer who can capture the venue at its best and a decerator who can help you turn it from “nice” to “Wow.”
Post # 9
We found ours last night (a bar/restaurant) but they said they don’t do events. Yes, we just “knew” it was right. The Fiance isn’t even that into wedding planning but he LOVED the place. So that’s how I knew.
I’m guessing if we came at them with a big enough price tag they would consider it though. Boo.
Post # 10
We went on tours with our wedding planner, and she’s actually the one who directed us to our venue… it wasn’t even on our radar before we started working with her. My fiance walked in and said “this is it” within 2 minutes. I really do love it, and while there are a few minor things I’d change, I think we found the perfect place.
Post # 11
I looked at pics and I knew mine was amazing…I went to see it in person and fell in love with it. There was only one other venue I was considering anyway. The only downside of this one was that it was a little more expensive than the other
Your wedding is far enough out I imagine you can keep looking for a few more months before you decide. I had gone through almost every venue imaginable (online anyway) before I decided. It took me about 2 months to look through and decide on venues.
Post # 12
I imagined what my pictures would look like! Also try walking through it alone without a rep or anyone with you. It’s hard to focus on details when people are trying to sell you something
Of course that was once the logistical stuff worked, like size, budget, contract, etc.
Post # 13
I knew right away once we visited. We booked the next morning.
Post # 14
We did fall in love with a place – giddy, head over heels in fact – but that venue had other plans for us, and wanted to charge for too many things that we wer told were “included” during our first meeting. Suddenly, tables, chairs, plates, platters for the caterer (!) were on our dollar.
It was adding up to thousands of dollars extra! So we “broke up” with it before we even really started. :/
We were a small wedding and we think they wanted to try and have us “make up” for some of their financial losses for hosting a smaller group that day.
It was a LOT of heartache for us and temporarily put some strain on our wedding planning, but it helped us to be more practical in our search.
We think we found the right place now – we’re not head over heels in love with it, but we like it very much! It’s also offering the best bang for our buck in multiple ways, so we are very happy with that as well.
If you’re worried, ask more questions! One we found particularly revealing was “Can we bring in our own homebrew to serve our guests?” (FI thinks he’ll have time to brew some up, hah).
The answers helped tell us a lot about who and how someone runs they actual event. We got answers from “Hmm, uhm, maybe we can call them favors and try to get away with that” (pfft, just say no), to “Yeah! No problem!” It showed us how much the venues wanted to work with us up front, which was important!
Post # 15
I looked at TONS online, but we only went to about 5 in person. When we saw our venues, we knew. The place we chose for our ceremony is all brick with beamed ceilings. The scenery outside will be great for photos, and it was only $350 for six hours! The reception venue is less than a mile away, and it’s also perfect. A local brewery with a separate entrance just for our area, specialty beer on tap, and $500 for unlimited time. They were perfect and right within budget. We’re super happy with them.
If you have a feeling that this isn’t quite the place, keep looking. We looked at one that had a beautiful mountain in the background. We ran into the same thing as you. People talked about how beautiful and how great it was, but we weren’t wowwed. We kept looking and found our venues. I say stick with your gut and continue looking!
Post # 16
- Wedding: March 2013 - Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
When we drove up the driveway of our venue, my Darling Husband and I knew that it was where we wanted to get married. Meeting the event coordinator and touring the venue just helped to solidify our opinion.