Post # 1
My Fiance and I have yet to decide on a venue. At the end of the month we are going to my home state where we want to host the wedding. I have found quite a few venues that seem nice, and looked up pictures from other weddings hosted there. The thing is, I’m sort of wondering how we are eventually going to decide on a place. A lot of the venues seem to have somewhat similar total costs, but it’s also hard to tell when some are full-service hotels and some are venues where you rent everything separately. I have limited my list from about 30 places to 9 we are going to look at. The date is not all that important, and we are considering 2011 or 2012. All 9 of the places I have a high contenders seem like they would be just fine for a wedding, so how will we choose?
My question is, how did you ultimately decide on a venue? When you visited them did you just have a feeling? If there were a handful of places you were considering, what helped you decide- lowest price? closest to home? most options? being the sole wedding on the property?
Post # 3
For us, our venue had the best service, though not necessarily the best price. We toured it and I was impressed but not quite ready to settle. We went to our second meeting of the day, and the place smelled and the manager was telling us that for our budget we would have to basically settle on everything, whereas at the other location, they were telling us all the great things we could do in our very same budget. His lack of enthusiasm for anything but his fog machine and laser light show really made the first place stand out even more :).
I think it’s probably like buying a dress- you just have to weigh your options. Sometimes you’ll just know and sometimes it’s just practicality ;). Whatever you do, though, don’t settle!
Post # 4
We googled…a LOT – even Fiance became a little obsessed. We made some appointments at the ones we really liked to scope it out. We took Saturdays and drove around to check them out as well.
Not having your heart set on a date will help IMMENSELY.
The one we went with, wasn’t the cheapest, nor the most expensive, it was just the one that seemed to fit us both the best. IT worked within our price point, location was suitable when thinking about where guests were coming from, we knew we wanted everything in one location. You’ll just know…..
Post # 5
We had a really tight budget so that somewhat limited our contenders. That said, we didn’t go with the least expensive, and actually extended our budget a bit to have it at the places we did! We wanted a place that just felt right to us, that had beauty both inside and outside, that wasn’t so big we’d be bouncing around in it with our small little group.
For the ceremony location it was much tougher, because I had really wanted an outside wedding at first, BUT I wanted to make sure that there was an indoor option should the weather prove… interesting. I loved a lot of the local city parks, but being highly allergic to smoke, I was extremely worried about the fact that we wouldn’t be able to do more then ask people to move on if they started smoking right by our ceremony. I also very much wanted a room to be able to get dressed at that was onsite so that I wouldn’t have to worry about wrinkling my dress in a car ride. We looked at parking to make sure that there would be sufficient parking close to the venue for all our expected guests. Our ceremony only had about 35 people there including our wedding party, so as I mentioned above, we wanted a place that wasn’t going to emphasize how small the group was. When we saw Chapman Chapel, we all just fell in love with it instantly!
Our reception location was a change to our original plan. We HAD planned to have the reception in our backyard, but when our numbers went from 50 invited to 150 invited, we decided that we needed to look at a venue. For us, it was a simple matter of finding a location that would fit in an EXTREMELY small budget that would allow the number of people that we were potentially looking at, have parking, and allow outside catering. We ended up getting an amazing amount of bang for our buck at the place we found and it was so gorgeous that we decided to have our engagement photos taken there!
Post # 6
We were venue searching for months. Either we didn’t like the places (we wanted a garden and a lot of them were pretty cheesy “secret garden” type places, one even had fake grass and plants!), or they were too expensive for us.
Eventually we stumbled upon our venue b/c we were looking at a B&B that wasn’t our type (tropical), and the owner suggested a historic inn down the street. We walked up to it and both said that it was it, we were getting married there. Thank god it fit our budget!
Post # 7
Thanks, ladies! I guess we’ll just know.
I just don’t want my decision to be too much based on money. But I also am comparing a place I really love with less expensive places. If I have more free money, I can spend more on decorations/a dress/a photobooth/whatever I want. I’m still struggling with how to weigh the different aspects of places.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Anyone else can keep chiming in- I’d love to hear more!
Post # 8
I think it’s also important to search and read as many reviews as you can about the place you’re considering. If there’s too many negatives, I’d probably rethink it if it was a place I was considering. Of course some people are never happy with anything, so weigh the reviews based on any other research you’ve done before deciding. I think many vendors paint prettier pictures than they are able to deliver.
Other things we considered:
How long were we able to have it? (the space)
Did we need to get insurance since they had no liquor license and we were providing alcohol?
Was there adequate parking and close availability to hotels for Out of Town guests?
How was the decor? Freshly painted? Dingy lighting? Horrible bathrooms? Dated carpet?
Was the size of the space too big for the amout of guests expected or too small?
Was the location in a nice or decent area and safe and was there a nice view? Surrounding area nice and would it be easy to find?
Were refunds available if it needed to be cancelled or rescheduled? How flexible were they?
That’s all I can think of right now, but these were important to us since the weddings were both in areas where we didn’t live and were not familiar to us.
Post # 9
We narrowed it down to 6 and scheduled appointments for all of them in one weekend. So that we could remember how we felt. It sounds silly but we had a checklist of things that we wanted. We agreed that if all of our checks weren’t met we would toss those one’s to the side.
We eventually got down to 3 of them and then weighed out the other things on our lists. Fiance loved one of them so much. He talked about imagining me walking down the aisle and how that was the only place that made him think like that! That sealed the deal for me!