Searching for a venue can be just as hard as finalizing the guest list. It is one of the first things you should do, even before deciding on a date as you may fall head over heels for a spot that isn’t available on your date. Being flexible can work in your favor. Your venue will be a large chunk of your overall budget and can work in your favor for saving money or against you. How can you find the best deal while looking for the perfect spot to say “I do”?
Trim Your Guest List
If you missed yesterday’s post, scroll down and read about trimming the list. The smaller the space generally the less it will cost. Keep in mind when searching that the space should have ample room for every person you invite, not just those that you think will RSVP as an attending guest. Don’t invite more than the space will hold. The last thing you want to worry about leading up to the wedding day is being over the maximum and not having enough room.
Book Non-Peak Days or Hours
Fridays and Sundays are becoming more prevalent days for weddings. Both are budget relieving since the demand isn’t there. Consider holding your wedding on a Friday, not only will the space be cheaper but other vendors will be as well.
If you’re open to a British-style wedding hold your ceremony in the morning and have a brunch. Booking the earlier, shorter day block will save you lots and you’ll have all day to celebrate instead of just a few hours at the end.
Make the Venue Work for You
When deciding on the style of your wedding, find a venue that fits. If you want a rustic feel, look for a barn or cabin. Going for a modern look, try a local art gallery. The further off the space is from your vision the more money you will have to put towards décor. Generally speaking, a hotel ballroom is a blank canvas and requires more for décor.
Bring in Your Own Team
Will the venue require you to work with their in house catering, cake baker or florist? Can you bring in your own alcohol? If you have the freedom to bring in your own vendors you can shop around. Once you lock into the “house” staff you are locked into one set of options and pricing.
Combine the Ceremony & Reception Venue
Renting two spaces for a wedding, unless you are getting married in a church, can add up. Consider holding your ceremony at the same location as your reception. Is there an outdoor garden that could be utilized, another room or even the same room? Can the staff flip the room after the ceremony and set up the reception?
A few other good questions to ask while searching:
•·Does the space have adequate bathroom facilities?
•·What is the cancellation policy?
•·Are there any hidden costs, read your contract carefully!
•·What are the overtime charges?
•·Who will be onsite that day and what are their duties?
•·What is the parking like? Do you need to inform your guests to carpool?
•·Are there limitations in décor?
•·What is the back up plan in case of rain?
•·What is included in the price; are tables, chairs and linens included?
The more research you do, the more money you’ll save. I remember having a full on breakdown one morning after finding the “perfect” place for our wedding. I was in love but it was so far out of our budget there just wasn’t anyway to make it work. My poor Husband didn’t know what to do with me other than to say that the right place was out there. It was, it was cheaper and we just had to look a little longer.