Choosing Your Wedding Reception Venue

Happy Monday! This week is going to be all about venues! How to find one, what to ask, and some of my favorite and unique venues here in San Diego!  Now I know that from the moment you get engaged you are bombarded with the question “when and where,” but, before you go out and book the first venue you see just so you can answer that question, I suggest you keep a few guidelines in mind.

  1. ROOM SIZE – First and foremost, be sure the space you are looking at is the correct size for the number of guests you are anticipating. Now that doesn’t mean you need to have an exact guest count when searching for your venue, but you should know whether it will be closer to 50 people, 125 people, 300 people etc. This is important as you don’t want to cut your guest list because the space you booked isn’t large enough. On the contrary, you don’t want to put 50 people in a room that is meant for (500) because it is going to feel extremely empty. If you are having a hard time visualizing the space, ask the catering manager/venue manager for pictures of the space set up for a wedding with your number of guests. This way you can visualize the room with all the tables, dance floor, etc and decide if it is what you are looking for.
  2. BUDGET – Before you go out and book you venue, be sure you have a budget. Setting this and sticking to it is imperative and will set the tone for how you budget the rest of your wedding.
  3. VISIT THE VENUE AT THE TIME/DAY OF YOUR WEDDING – The most common time to get married is Saturday night, but few people actually search for their wedding venue at this time. One you find a venue you like, I encourage you to check it out at the time and day of the week you will be getting married. Is it a lot busier on Saturdays? Is there parking at that time of day? How is the lighting at night? Are there a lot of other parties going on at the same time that will disturb your wedding? This is just a short list of things that may change. Be sure to check it out yourself!
  4. WEDDING STYLE AND THEME – Before you book a venue, decide on a style and theme for your wedding. Are you looking for something modern, vintage, rustic, outdoors, elegant, beachy, etc. There are endless wedding venues out there, and so knowing this going to drastically narrow down your choices. It is also going to help ensure that your wedding theme is carried throughout your wedding, and will prevent you from having to bring in extra décor. For example, if you book an elegant European Hotel and then decide on a nautical theme, your venue and theme will not mesh well, and you will have to try a lot harder to create that nautical theme than if you chose a venue on the beach.
  5. IS THE VENUE FULL SERVICE – By this I mean does it provide catering, tables, chairs, linen, etc. Many people get overwhelmed by the pricing of many full service venues, but once you rent everything individually at a non-full service venue the price is going to be comparable, if not more. Also, if the venue you are looking at is not full service, ask if they have required vendors. This can sometimes be costly, as you don’t have the option to shop around for the best deals, and are required to use the vendors they recommend.
  6. ASK QUESTIONS – I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to ask questions as you are touring a property. If you are not sure what to ask, bring your wedding planner with you; that is something they are experts at! Also, stay tuned and I will share a list of questions I bring with!

Owner of Always Flawless Productions
(619) 567-5111



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