You’ve said, “Yes!” You spend the next several days (weeks?) looking at your engagement ring. In all kinds of light. Staring at your engagement ring. Trying (hah!) not look at it.
OMG! What comes next?
Here come the details.
Even before you set the date, decide the level of formality you wish to achieve, the size of your bridal party, and the size of your guest list. These decisions will have a big effect on your budget.
Next, establish a firm budget.
And right after….
The First Vendor Contact
Your first vendor contact should be your wedding venue
. Certainly, there are many wedding details that can be changed, but you are just plain stuck without a venue. You’ll want to have a good idea of the following elements of your wedding before you speak with a coordinator at a venue.
1. Is your wedding is going to be formal or casual?
2. Are you planning an indoor or an outdoor wedding?
3. Your budget for the venue.
A wonderful place to start narrowing in on a location is at www.herecomestheguide.com/
. There you can view lots of venues without getting in your car. Most have 360° tours, can list the number of guests it can serve, and bunches of other details.
In my experience in planning weddings miracleevents.com/
your wedding will run smoother and cost less if the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception are all in one place
. If they are geographically spread out, all of a sudden tactical planning issues pop up. Walking? Buses? Limousines? There? And back? High heels? Wheelchairs?
This is especially important if you are having many out-of-town guests. They may not have rental cars, or if they do, they don’t want to be driving from one place to another when they aren’t exactly sure where they are going. Others may not want to drive because they will want to have a bit of bubbly, or more!
Some venues have limited or no parking, especially historical spots.
Signing a Contract with Your Wedding Venue
The price of the location isn’t always the price of the location
. Huh? Yes, you may be quoted a number. But what does the number include? It’s not automatic that tables, chairs, china, flatware, glassware are included. If they’re not, renting them separately can run into a bit of a large check. If the location contract doesn’t state what’s included, other than the location for a certain day for a certain number of hours, ask, and make sure you will get what you are expecting to get.
A couple of other venue considerations are to find out in advance if alcoholic beverages are allowed and whether ethnic caterers are allowed.
Is the price negotiable? It could well be, especially at larger hotels. If not in dollars, then perhaps in extras provided.
Extras You May Want to Look For
The size of Bride’s Rooms varies greatly. You’d be surprised at how quickly one bride, one wedding gown, various bridesmaids, hair and make-up people, photographer, videographer, and the overly curious quickly fill up what appeared to be a large space when empty.
A really great extra, is a nicely decorated, quiet room for the newly- married couple to spend a few moments alone after the ceremony and before the cocktail hour. You’ve just been married and it’s a lot to take in. Whether you want to talk, sit quietly together, babble, laugh, or just put your feet up, the availability of a spot for the two of you can be an just the thing.