Don't Say "I Do" to a Venue Until You Know What You Really Want!

If you are recently engaged, odds are you are chomping at the bit to check off some to-do's on your list.  Before you start looking at potential venues, set some time aside to discuss as a couple what type of environment you are looking for.  You should also focus on finding a venue appropriate to the demographic of guests that you plan to invite.  For example if you guest list has mostly young families with small children then venues with a lot of breakables such as a museum might be difficult.  Or if you are looking at an outdoor venue that has steep hills, narrow pathways, rocky terrain etc it would make it difficult for your elderly guests or those who would be better suited with paved walkways.

Keep in mind that if you have already booked a venue that has challenges; there are solutions! -  If the bathrooms are a long distance or there aren't enough onsite then consider renting portables. - If the ceremony site is a long distance from the reception site, or the terrain is challenging then consider renting a shuttle or a golf cart to assist elderly guests or those who would have a difficult time. - For ceremony sites in grassy areas, ask the venue if stepping stones would be permitted to make it easier for guests in heels to walk.  You can also utilize stepping stones or wooden platforms for the wedding party. - Venues that are a distance from town, provide a basket of necessities such as tylenol, hair spray, bandaids etc in the

Some questions to ask potential venues:

Does the venue match my style?

This is an obvious one: Your venue will immediately set the mood and tone for the reception. So if you're hoping for a laid-back evening, that grand ballroom with the gorgeous crystal chandeliers may not be the right place for you. Likewise, if you're planning a summer black-tie affair, make sure you've picked somewhere indoors where your guests can cool off. Tip for the Taking: Mismatched venues mean you'll end up having to overcompensate with your decor to make it feel cohesive. Read More Is there a noise ordinance we should be aware of? Our band  HAD to stop playing at 10:30 p.m. because of an arrangement the winery had made  with the neighbors. How late you can stay will affect the rest of your day, so  you should be aware of the limitations. Read More

Must I use vendors of your choosing?  Some venues will expect you to use their caterers and florists. Know that you can sometimes avoid this, but at a hefty cost.  Normally, you have to pay a fee to the house caterer for not using it, in addition to paying your own caterer. Read More

These are only a few of the questions that will help you be more prepared before setting out to tour venues, and will help you find the venue of your dreams!

Once you have secured your venue, considering including details about the venue on your wedding website or wedding invitation insert.  Information like "steep, or grassy terrain" or "Heels are not recommended" may be a lifesaver for your female guests!

To see a list of Northern California Venues in the "530" area click here.