Your Beautiful Place:  Choosing the Wedding Venue of your Dreams

“When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with you wherever you go!” 

Alexandra Stoddard.

Chances are you have visited a place so beautiful that it is forever etched in your memory. You can still recall the details… the lighting, the scenery, the sounds around you and the emotions it stirred inside you. In the same way, you will carry the beautiful setting of your wedding with you for years to come, not only etched in your memory, but professionally photographed for posterity. Your wedding day is a day that is one of the most memorable days of your life.   What sights, sounds, and feelings will you carry with you from that day? The venue for your event will be the backdrop for all the other details of your magical day! Choosing your beautiful place is one of the most important wedding decisions you will make!! 

 

Not sure where to begin? Here are some tips for discovering the venue of your dreams.

Do your homework!

  • Before you start looking for your venue, you need to determine your:
  • Style…will your wedding be formal or informal, Traditional or non-traditional?
  • Budget… be realistic!
  • Guest Count… the number of guests determines the size of the venue you need.
  • Approximate date.. Which comes first? The venue or the date? It ultimately depends  on what is most important to you…getting married on a particular date/season or nabbing the venue of  your dreams. The majority of couples choose the venue first _ once you have the location, the date will follow based on availability.  If you select the date first, you limit your venue options.
  • Location…Decide how far you are willing to travel in order to find the venue of your dreams.

Then it is time to zero in on your beautiful place.. The earlier the better!

Begin your search!

Have you attended a wedding in a beautiful place? Are there notable venues in your area? If so, start there. Then go to your favorite electronic gadget and peruse the Internet.  Online wedding websites and other online searches will assist you in finding the perfect venue that matches your wedding style and formality. From there, further narrow your search by scoping out the websites of your favorites.  Look for photos of actual weddings that have been held there. Some websites list pricing and package information directly on their site. All sites list contact information for gathering more details. Reach out to your favorites.

Reach out!

   Contact the venues you are interested in with some basic questions:

  • What is the location?  Is it relatively easy for your guests to get to? Is it convenient to an airport for out of town guests? Is there lodging nearby?
  • Is it available on or around the date you have chosen?
  • How many people will it comfortably accommodate?
  • What are the price ranges for the venue?
  • Does it offer various packages that match the amount of effort you personally want  to put into your wedding?  (Venue rental only? Catering available?  All inclusive packages?)

 This initial communication can also be beneficial in determining the responsiveness, friendliness, and helpfulness of the venue staff.  Receiving a friendly email in a timely manner is an encouraging sign. (Keep in mind that venues are likely quite busy with events on weekends.) Most venues will send you more information about their services along with a list of packages and pricing to look over.

Narrow down!

  Carefully look over the information sent to you by your favorite venues.  Here are some questions to ask yourself about each one:

  • Can I really afford the venue? Eliminate venues that you can’t afford.  Not only is it a waste of your time to tour the location, but if you really love it, it can be disappointing when reality kicks in. 
  • Is its location convenient for your guests? 
  • Is it available?  And if not, is your date flexible?

Ready.  Set. Tour!

Next step? Pay a visit to your favorites. Contact the venue to set up a day and time for your visit.  There is nothing like actually laying your eyes on the space to confirm that this is the right place for you!!

Things to look for:

  • As you tour, observe the ambience.  Does the venue offer the look, style and feel you desire? A romantic vineyard? An elegant barn? A Southern mansion? An intimate garden?
  • How much effort will you have to put into the venue to make it the perfect backdrop for your special day?
  • Lighting? Will you have to add lighting to illuminate the space to your liking and for the photos of your dreams?
  • Does the venue have adequate space and a comfortable traffic flow for your guests?
  • Are there separate areas for the bride and groom to get dressed for the wedding?
  • What are the restroom facilities like? (Not a glamorous question, but an important one, as each of your guests will most likely visit there!)
  • Is there ample parking with parking attendants to assist your guests?

Things to ask about:

  • What staffing and services are included in the venue price/package?
  • What equipment is provided? Are there tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware, flatware, stemware? Is there sound equipment?
  • Does the venue set up and take down tables and chairs?
  • Who is responsible for clean-up?
  • Are there restrictions on decor?
  • Does the venue have a back-up plan for inclement weather?
  • Load in/Load out? When will you be able to bring in and take out your personal items? Is there a plan in place for that?
  • How many events are allowed on the same day?
  • Are there food and beverage minimums?
  • Are there limitations on alcohol?
  • Are there additional fees on top of the base price? Service charges? Taxes?
  • What about deposits? Do they offer payment plans?
  • How much work are you willing to put into readying the venue? Work will vary from venue to venue.  Consider lighting, set up, a back-up plan. Will you be responsible for hauling tables and chairs in and out? Stringing up lighting? Coming up with a plan for inclement weather?  If you are not willing or available to put in the elbow grease, choose a venue that already has your desired lighting and equipment elements in place, offers set-up and take down, as well as a back-up plan for inclement weather.

Think it over!  

     Think about the venues you have seen and compare their appeal, their packages, their pricing and your general overall feeling when you left the property. Chances are, you will have a gut feeling about which beautiful place is right for you! Don’t delay! You don’t want to miss out on holding your date! When you are ready, contact the venue to reserve your beautiful place and set up a time to go over details and…

Sign on the dotted line!

 

Celebrate! 

      Pop the bubbly!! This major wedding decision is done and the venue of your dreams is secured! With this behind you, you are ready to begin adding all the intricate details that will make your beautiful place one that you will carry with you for years to come!

 

    We would love for you to make our beautiful place YOUR beautiful place!  Victoria Belle Mansion & Vintage White Barn is the perfect setting for the wedding of your dreams! The mansion and barn are nestled on three gorgeous acres that boast water features, a vineyard, and immaculate landscaping. The mansion, built in 1897, boasts an antebellum style with its Greek Revival architecture.  The estate offers several choices for hosting your nuptials, from the mansion to a beautifully framed gazebo, a covered veranda with views of a picturesque waterfall, an elegant vintage white barn, and a tree-lined natural setting that we call The Cedars. The grounds, mansion, and barn can accommodate between 50 and 300 guests, and 4 packages are available to suit your preferences, from a cozy private elopement to a grand lavish bash! Call today to set up your tour! Call us at 706-637-4933 or e-mail us at vickie@victoriabelleweddings.com 

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