Picking a wedding venue can be a stressful and tough decision, and may seem overwhelming, but this is the first step to planning your big day. When choosing a venue there are multiple things you want to think about and questions you want to be asking. To ensure that you are thinking about the right details, we have put together a quick list to reference when looking at venues.
1. Bridal/Groom Area
Keep an eye open for a bridal room and groom’s room for getting ready. If there is a bridal area, you’ll want to be sure that you are hidden away, but also confirm that there is an easy route to the ceremony; be sure to ask your tour host what the route to the ceremony would look like. This space, although not required, is a wonderful plus on your big day. Having an area to change into your dress onsite, relax before the ceremony, as well as have a little pre-ceremony drink is great!
A venue with multiple ceremony options, and large enough (or small enough) space for your guest count, will be an ideal option. Be sure to ask about all the different areas at the venue where ceremonies can be held. Seeing all the options available is better than wondering about a space you didn’t see after you have already left. Another thing to think about when looking, is knowing if the venue has a backup plan for weather – Is there a tent available? Do they have a space to move the ceremony indoors? If so, is it large enough for your guest count? These are all good questions to have just in case any unfortunate or unpredictable weather occurs.
3. Cocktail Hour
Finding a venue that has a cocktail hour or bar space built in, is obviously great! However, if not, creating a cocktail space is easy to do with some high boy tables and a bar offering some refreshing beverages.
The reception area is where you and your guests will spend a majority of your time during your event. Whether you are wondering about time for set up and decorating, or how late into the evening you and your guests can dance the night away, asking about access to the reception space and having this information will help with making a choice as you compare venues. When looking at a reception space, remember that it needs to have a large enough area for dinner and dancing, but you might also want to check that there are outlets for a DJ or band to use, possible heating and air-conditioning (weather permitting), and easy restroom access. Lastly, keep in mind that although spaces may seem bare, they can be completely transformed with linens, candles, florals and additional decorations.
In conclusion, picking a venue is the first big step towards planning your wedding. Enjoy as much of the planning process as you can, and don’t forget to soak up every minute of your big day!
About the Author – Milestone Events Group is Northern California’s largest event management company providing site selection services to over 15 locations throughout Napa and Sonoma. Milestone helps clients simplify their site selection process by providing clarity, predictability and ultimately confidence for clients who work with them to evaluate wineries, ranch’s, and other locations for their private events. After the site selection process is complete, Milestone is also available should the client select to help produce their event in a stress reduced and highly professional manner.