5 Tips For Choosing the Wedding Venue of your Dreams | Connecticut Wedding Photographers Lauryn Alisa Photography
Did you just get engaged? I’m sure you’re still on cloud nine, and your head is probably swimming with all the decisions that have to be made. While there’s no pressure to do anything right now if you don’t want to (there’s something to be said about a long engagement!) chances are, you’re eager to start planning your perfect wedding day. Keep in mind, the date of your wedding might have to move based on the availability of the venue, so booking early is definitely a smart move!
Decades ago, there were really only a few options for wedding venues. Most people got married in a church and had their reception in a hotel banquet room or reception hall. These days, you can get as creative as you want, and there are literally no rules around where you should have your ceremony and reception. I personally love a unique venue, and when you think about it, it’s the biggest way couples can show off their personality and style! If you’re looking for the perfect New England wedding venue, one that captures who you are as a couple, here are five tips to help you narrow down your choices:
Even though you might not know what kind of centerpieces, flowers, or even which colors you’re going to use for your decor, you can still tell whether a venue matches your style. For example, if you have a more minimal, clean style, you probably aren’t going to be drawn to an ornate chapel. When you visit each venue, take a moment to really think about how the space makes you feel when you’re standing in it. If you’re instantly thinking of ways to “fix it up” so it fits your style better, it’s probably not the venue for you. Keep looking, your perfect wedding venue is out there!
You need to have enough room to accomodate all of your guests, and you don’t want to cut it too close. If you plan on inviting 275 guests, and the venue only holds 250, as much as you may love it, you’re going to want to keep looking. If you plan on inviting 250 and the venue can only accomodate 250, you can technically sign that contract, but know that it might get a little tight (and hot) once everyone starts mingling and dancing! I’ve known people that have booked a venue that’s technically too small because they assume some of the people they invite won’t be able to make it, but in my opinion, that’s a little nerve-wracking. Plus, it’s just one more thing you shouldn’t have to be worrying about before your wedding!
The Fine Print
Ask the wedding venue what is included in the rental package. Some venues include food and even beverages in the rental cost and some do not. Some require you to pay extra for security staff or they may have a minimum guest count you have to meet based on the night of the week or season of the year. Think about your needs and ask lots of questions before signing anything to make sure you’re not going to have any regrets or hidden fees later on. You also want to make sure you can have the wedding you want, and not be obligated to play by the venue’s rules if you had something else in mind.
You’re going to need tables, chairs, linens, plates, glasses, a dance floor… the list goes on and on. It’s always great when a wedding venue can provide these items so you don’t have to rent (or worse, buy) them yourself. If the venue can include even some of these items, you won’t have to worry about transporting them, setting them up, tearing them down, and returning them after the wedding. If you have to pay a little extra for the use of the extra items, it may be worth it. Some venues even offer centerpieces and other decor items, like signage and cake stands. Wouldn’t it be nice to check all of those things off your list in one go?
Finally, you’ll want to ask the venue whether they have any relationships with other vendors. For example, some venues have a recommended vendor list they can share with you that can make the planning process so much easier. Certain venues may also prefer to work specifically with their chosen vendors. This isn’t super common, but it does happen. You’ll want to find out their policy and decide if it’s something you can live with. If they do allow you to bring in your own choice of vendors, make sure you are clear on their policies and communicate them to everyone you hire. The last thing you want is to be fined because your DJ went too late or your hired bartender isn’t on their approved list.
Planning your wedding gets so much easier once your wedding venue is locked in, but that doesn’t mean it’s something you should rush into! The ideal New England wedding venue is one that fits your personality and your specific wedding day needs. There are so many amazing wedding venues in the area, and I’m always happy to give my personal recommendations. And of course, once you have your venue picked and your date set, if you’re looking for a Connecticut wedding photographer, contact me and lets chat! I would be so honored to document the first day of the rest of your life!