Choosing the wedding venue is one of the first decisions that must be made when planning a wedding. Whether the happy couple desires a small, intimate ceremony or a large, extravagant affair, the venue can be the most important factor.
Does the bride or groom have a personal tie to a specific spot? If so, the choice may be easy. Sentimental locations can be anywhere and they can be meaningful for any number of reasons. However, the happy couple should still review the area before booking to make sure that there are no structural problems. Make sure the space is accessible those who might have mobility problems and that it is large enough to seat the expected number of guests.
Sizing Up the Venue
The expected number of guests is a key concern when choosing venue. Inquire about the number of seats available before viewing a location. Nothing is more heartbreaking to a bride than to fall in love with a perfect spot only to find that it can only hold half of the guests on the list.
While a spot that is too small can cause great discomfort, a spot that is too large may feel empty with a small crowd. Ideally, couples should look for a venue that has about 10 percent more seats than the numbers included with invitations to allow for unexpected guests.
The Outdoor Wedding
Many brides and grooms desire to host their wedding surrounded by nature. There are plenty of options for outdoor weddings, from traditional to more creative. Resorts have outdoor and indoor facilities for both ceremonies and receptions. Public parks, country clubs, and private homes with large backyards are viable options. Animal lovers might inquire about a zoo wedding, while nature lovers should check with their local botanical garden.
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While there is no end to the number of outdoor wedding venues that are available, couples should take certain considerations into mind. The time of year can make all the difference between a beautiful ceremony and a disastrous day. Try to plan around the rainy season, but also think about other distractions. These can include extreme heat, insects, or wind. A good idea is to reserve an area that has indoor facilities nearby so that the wedding can be moved swiftly, just in case Mother Nature has different plans in mind.
Price Points and Ease of Service
The cost of renting the venue is an important factor for every budget-conscious couple. While it is rare to find a venue that is free of charge, there are many low-cost options available. A couple that attends religious services regularly may find that the use of their chapel is discounted for their ceremony.
Ease of service should certainly be kept in mind when deciding upon the wedding venue. Couples should think about the location of both the ceremony and the reception. They should consider how important it is that these events be near each other. Likewise, the bride and groom should inquire about how early decorations can be placed, whether the venue is available for a rehearsal the day before the wedding, and how much time after the ceremony they have to remove decorations and clean the space.
The Wedding Date
The date chosen for the wedding is arguably the ultimate deciding factor. A couple with a specific date in mind may narrow down their choices before they even start looking. Flexibility in the wedding date provides many more options, but a particularly meaningful day can be much more important to some couples.
Once the venue is decided upon, it is time to book. Some couples wonder how far in advance they should reserve the spot for their ceremony. The fact is, there is no time that is too early. As soon as the couple is certain of their choice and have a date in mind, they should make the proper arrangements. However, if a couple feels for any reason that they may need to move the time or location, they should ask about the policy on refunding deposits. After this task is complete, the couple can then move on to planning the rest of the ceremony as well as the rest of their joyous new life together.