Now you know how to choose a venue that will accommodate all your guests and the needed service staff, let’s talk about how to use the space.
There are too many variables to cover here, so let’s start with what to consider when your wedding ceremony and reception are in the same location. How will the venue function?
Plan each part of your wedding to be in different rooms or areas on the property. It is possible to do everything in one place, but it is not ideal. You want your guests to enjoy the party not watch us move chairs, set tables and rearrange florals; we want to do all that out of sight of the guests whenever possible to preserve the magic for them and you.
Map out where each activity will take place, i.e. ceremony in the garden, cocktails by the pool, meal service & dancing in the ballroom. Look at each space to see what is there and what is available for your use within the venue contract. Use as much of what exists in each space as you can. Ask if things can be moved from space to space and what can be used outdoors and what can’t.
Once you know what you have, start a list of what you need. For example, the venue has ballroom chairs and tables included in their contract, but no outdoor seating. Ceremony chairs for the garden go on the list. Make a similar list of each space. When you have your lists complete, add the cost of those items to the venue fee. The total is what you will need to budget to have your wedding at this venue. Is it the best option for you?
Time to think about the people again. What is the distance and how will your guests move from place to place? Are there stairs or steep inclines? Is the path paved, carpeted or will they need to walk on grass or dirt? Do any guests have mobility challenges? Can the venue accommodate them?
Now comes the form to the function. You have evaluated the space, and it works for the kind of wedding you want. Does the look of the areas work? Do the colors feel right for what you want? If your answer is yes, then you found the spot! If not, can any of what does not work for you be changed, adjusted or hidden (could lighting mask the colors you don’t like?) Then it still might be the spot. If not, keep looking.
Best wishes for an enjoyable wedding planning experience and a long happy marriage, Gwen
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A little about Gwen: Where to Start was launched in 1991. My corporate experience taught me the management skills necessary get the best for my clients. My broadcasting and theater studies play a significant role in how I see weddings. I love getting to know my clients – finding out what makes them happy, what they love in life and about each other. I combine this knowledge with my experience to create your perfect wedding. I hope you will allow me the privilege of helping you create your perfect wedding.