Thursday, April 10, 2008

Choosing a Wedding Venue

Choosing your wedding venue is often the first big step in the planning process. Without a place in mind (and a wedding dress!), it's hard to visualize what your big day will look like or even to come up with a guest list if you don't know how many you'll be able to hold. Here are 13 questions to ask when touring potential venues--you'll need the answers to make your final venue decision, and so you won't have any surprises along the way.

1. Can you bring in your own vendors?
2. What is the maximum number of guests the venue can hold?
3. What is the earliest your florist and other vendors can start setting up, and when must everything be taken down?
4. Is the site handicapped-accessible?
5. How many bathrooms are there?
6. Can the provide electricity for your band or DJ? Remember to get the specific voltage they provide--your musicians will need to know. Also, check to see what the price is for using the venue's electricity.
7. Will there be any renovations or landscaping around the time of the wedding? If there are flowers planted at your ceremony site, will they be the same color at your wedding?
8. How many other weddings may take place on my wedding day?
9. What do the basic linens, tables, chairs, and china look like, and what are my upgrade options?
10. How is alcohol priced, and am I allowed to bring my own in to serve?
11. What is the overtime policy?
12. Are there any additional charges I should know about? Valet, cake cutting fees, etc...
13. What are the sound ordinances? For instance, in Orlando, FL, outdoor receptions must end at 10pm because of city sound ordinances.

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Top 10 Advice on finding the DRESS!

  • Number One Rule: Be open minded! What you think reminds you of your grandmother's dress on the hanger, may in fact be the dress of your dreams.
  • Bring someone that knows your style better than their own. I'm sure the groom doesn't want to see you in something that your bestfriend would wear on her wedding day
  • DON'T PURCHASE YOUR DRESS ONLINE! You miss out on the whole experience.
  • Don't worry what the groom will think. If he loves you, he will love what you pick.
  • Have fun! Remember that you have been dreaming of this day since you were five. Don't let the decision put a cloud over your head
  • If you hate the little bow on the dress, ask the consultant if you can order it Chances are you can. Keep in mind (contrary to what the magazines always say) there might be a charge for it. It won't lower the cost of the dress.
  • Price vs. Love: If you love the dress, GO FOR IT! Don't settle for less on what your wearing for your big day. You can always take some of the budget from the centerpieces and so on. No one will know and we won't tell.
  • Research designers online and make a scrap book of styles that you like. Do keep in mind, that it may all change when you start trying on.
  • Save the group shopping for the mall. This should be a personal experience that you should only share with one or two.
  • When you find it, you find it. Don't second guess yourself or you will pick your second favorite.