Congratulations! You are engaged!! All eyes are on you as you embark on the most memorable journey of your life. You have the ring. You have the man. Now you have to plan a wedding? WHERE does one start?! A photographer is obviously a huge priority :) A wedding venue is just as important. Here are a few things to consider in helping you pick the perfect venue for your wedding!
- SEASON– Consider the season in which you are getting married. There are busy seasons for weddings and venues usually start booking at least 1 year in advance. Also, the season in which you get married could affect if your venue is suitable for outdoor or indoor use. Seasons also will determine what your weather will be. Make sure to have a back up plan for outdoor weddings incase of rain or nasty weather. The season will also lend towards different color pallets. For instance, a Fall wedding might be pretty with burnt oranges, yellows and reds. The season is a very important factor.
- DAY– Often time venues will book up quickly on Saturdays. It is the most popular of wedding days and sometimes can even cost you more. Check your favorite venues for Friday and Sunday dates. You might get a better deal and be able to book the month of your choice!
- END TIME– On that note! Be considerate of your guests when planning your reception end time. If you decide to have a wedding on a Sunday, remember most folks have to work early the next day.
- SUNSET TIME– Many brides love the golden hour of the day. It is a photographers favorite, too! When picking your venue consider the time of day you want to get married and where the sun will be. The sun is your best friend on wedding day, so know where it will be during outdoor ceremonies. Will the sun be in your guests eyes? Will it be setting behind a hill? It is important to know where the light will be during the ceremony! Photographers are usually really great to help you decide on what time the ceremony should be to maximize the awesomeness of your photos!
- WEATHER– You can never make an accurate forecast for your wedding day! I’m just going to put that out there. Having a back up plan is always a good idea. Make sure your venue has options for weather issues that could arise.
- LIGHTING– When you look through our photography you will notice that light plays a huge role in the look and feel of the images. We prefer natural light over artificial light any day. It is beautiful and flattering in all situations. If you are getting married indoors, having large windows will really allow for light to fill the room. Cathedrals and churches with very little natural light will force us to use flash or artificial lighting to bring the room to life. You should consider what time of day is best for the kind of feel and photography you want for your wedding day.
- PREPARATION ROOM– Often times the venue will have a place for the bride and groom to get ready. When looking for a good preparation room you want to consider a good space to fit all of your lovely ladies. Again, we always love a preparation room with nice natural light windows. This is a great place to have your hair and make up done! It is a huge advantage and far less stressful to have your hair, makeup and wedding party on site to get ready for the big day. Sometimes the “bridal” room is a great place to just hang out right before the wedding. Brides do not always choose to get ready in this room. Having a good space to wait comfortably is important and will give you a sense of calm.
- TIME– How much time will the venue allow for you to be there? Often times the venue will give you a set limit of time. You will need to determine what is important as far as time. From our experience, we find that receptions typically last 3-5 hours depending on the meal. Coursed meals typically need 4-5 hours and Buffet style meals typically need 3-4 hours. And then you will also need to consider your preparation time and where that will be. Whether it is on the same site as the wedding or at a separate venue will determine how much time you need the wedding venue for. It is a huge plus to be able to get ready at the wedding venue, but its not a deal breaker. :)
- DISTANCE– There are really two scenarios on a wedding day. There ceremony and reception are at the same place or they are separate. If you decide to have separate venues, please consider more than enough time for folks to get from one place to another. If it takes 3o minutes on a normal day, give them 1.5 hours to get to the reception. Why? This will give you time to do some portraits with your handsome new husband. It also gives everyone plenty of time to not be in a rush and arrive safely to your celebration.
- CATERING/ SETUP– Do they help with catering? Some require that you use their caterer. Food is a big part of your reception! And set up and tear down is a BIG responsibility! Some brides are comfortable trusting their families to setup an tear down and others wish for a hired staff to supervise that job.
- GOOD VIBES– Every decision you make in the wedding experience has a ‘feeling’. After you get over the pricing and logistics you are left with a gut feeling. Follow that feeling because it is usually right!
Good luck! It always works out in the end!
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