Tips from a New Orleans Wedding Planner: Choosing a Venue

Tips from a New Orleans Wedding Planner: Choosing a Venue

You’re engaged! You’ve told all of your family and friends, you’ve had an impromptu engagement party, so what’s the next step?! As much as brides hate to hear it, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty (which I personally enjoy – no surprise there coming from the New Orleans wedding planner!) and start making decisions. One of the most important pieces of the wedding planning puzzle is choosing a venue, which is not as simple as it sounds. There should be a thought process behind your decision… it’s not solely based on which venue is the most visually appealing, so here are a few tips on how to choose the perfect venue for you and your fiancee:

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  1. We’ll start with the most obvious one, the look and feel of your potential ceremony/reception space. Remember how you felt when you walked through the doors of each venue, because that is how your guests will feel as well. I tell every bride and groom to take lots of pictures and videos of each venue. Having a visual will help refresh your memory later on when you’re recapping each space. Trust me when I say, these site visits will start to run together, so the more notes the better! Another thing I highly suggest to each couple is to write down your “gut feelings” when touring each site. This will come in handy when you and your fiancee are stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to decide between your top two venues. Maybe one gave you a better overall “feeling” than the other? Good thing you took notes 😉
  2. My second tip for you is to ask about max capacity. Knowing how many guests your potential venue can hold will make your decision a lot easier when you find out only 2 of your 5 choices can accommodate all of your guests. Don’t stop the questions there though, make sure to ask if their max capacity is based on a reception style or seated dinner. This can make a HUGE different in numbers! Save yourself the time and call ahead to find out this information. You might not need to do a site visit if they can only hold half of your guest list.
  3. What’s a wedding reception without a great band or DJ? I haven’t heard of one yet…  Entertainment at a wedding reception is everything, it gets the party started and keeps it going! Wouldn’t it stink if your venue cut off your band an hour or two before the reception ends? I’ve heard that happen to someone before, so our third tip is on how to prevent that from happening. Be sure to ask the venue if there are any noise restrictions and if so, look into getting a permit to extend the hours that your band or DJ can play. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get the paperwork in order, because we all know how speedily our government can be 😉
  4. My final tip for all of you brides and grooms is to ask if there are any restrictions on the use of their venue space? Again, it may seem like a silly question, but some venues are very particular about what can and cannot be brought into their event space. Some venues don’t want candles inside, some won’t allow anything to be hung from the ceiling etc. So if you had your heart set on a beautiful design with candles everywhere and florals hanging from the ceiling, you would be highly disappointed to find out that your venue doesn’t allow for any of that. Just remember, there are no stupid questions, so ask away. The more information you know, the better!

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