We have written several blogs about great venues that we’ve played at (compliments to our brides and grooms for their great selection in venues.)  We know that selecting a wedding venue can be an enduring process. Because we’ve worked with many newlyweds through their planning process, we have become quite aware of many of the points that they consider. We’d like to share them with those who are now in the planning phase.

The Drake Hotel

Click To Visit The Drake Hotel Website

1. Geographical Location

Location is so important.  Imagine preparing for a few hundred guests just to see only half of them arrive.  Of course, good friends and family wouldn’t/shouldn’t skip out on your big day.  However, you are likely to receive more declines to your invites if the location is a long drive, or even a costly out-of-state trip.

But aside from the obvious, there are other factors to keep in mind.  We have performed at venues that were incorrectly mapped (even in this digital age of GPS.)  Because we always arrive extra early, we did not personally have a problem, but several guests did.  I have seen cases where people completely missed a ceremony.  Be sure to check directions, and keep the distance and money in mind as well if that might be important to your guests.

Ewing Manor Weddings

Click To Visit The Ewing Manor Website

2. Be Aware Of Venue Charges For Overtime Or Guests Who Did Not RSVP

It is common courtesy for guests to reply to your wedding invitations, but not everyone does.  On top of that, some of those who don’t RSVP may still show up.  Most venues are relying on an exact count, and catering likely will as well.  If you are planning a large wedding, and have 30 people show up that you weren’t expecting, don’t be surprised if you end up getting an extra bill in the mail.  Contact your guests that don’t RSVP and find out if they are going or not, so that you don’t have to deal with that surprise bill.

Read about our Ewing Manor wedding here!

Ritz Carlton Wedding

Click To Visit The Ritz Carlton Website

3. Is The Venue Prepared For Adverse Weather?

This is probably the problem we see most often.  If you are planning an outdoor wedding, have a rain plan and make sure that a switch can be made in a timely manner if you need to move indoors or to a tent.

It’s not all about rain.  On those summer days, you might want to be sure to have plenty of shade for your guests.  Or if you are near a lake or an area that might have a high mosquito concentration, see what steps the venue might be able to take.  Or at the very least, perhaps have some spray repellent ready for your guests, or ask them to bring their own.  They will have a much better time if they are not getting eaten alive throughout the day and night.

Read about our Ritz Carlton wedding here!

Starline Factory wedding

Click To Visit The Starline Factory Website

4. Lock In Your Event Date And Ensure There Are No Conflicting Events

It is YOUR big day.  But in all fairness, it is likely the big day for someone else as well.  If you’ve found the venue you love, or the entertainment  that you love (ahem,) lock it in!  If you are not 100% positive you might be able to secure the date with a refundable deposit.  Every organization has their own protocol.  Once you do commit, get a signed contract.  Furthermore, you might want to ensure that they do not have any conflicting events going on the same day.

By conflicting, I am not referring only to the time that you need the venue, but more importantly include the time that your catering team, entertainment, or video crew might need the venue to provide their proper setup.  Be clear with the venues on this, because they like to make money be booking as many events as possible.

Be aware of other events that might be going on at the same time. Some places may have poor sound insulation from room to room. You probably don’t want to hear the party of someone else that is occurring simultaneously.

Read about our Starline Factory wedding here!

geneva national resort wedding

Click To Visit The Geneva National Resort Website

5. The Taste Test

Food and beverages are often the largest part of a wedding budget. If the venue provides their own meals, be sure to sample their menu options before providing that deposit I was just referring to.  Aside from the quality of the food, get information on the presentation and how it will be served.  You might also want to taste the wine and beer that is offered, and be specific on the hard alcohol selections as that can add to the cost quickly.

Read about our Geneva National Country Club wedding here!

In Conclusion…

With all that in mind, remember to take notes, take pictures, and talk it over with the other important people who are helping to plan your event. If there is anything we can do to help you with your planning, give us a call at 815.245.3623 or use the contact form at the bottom of this page.




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