How to Choose your Dream Wedding Venue
The best and worst part of selecting a wedding venue are ‒ you guessed it ‒ the options. Sure, it's great to have choices, but picking one of anything has been an ordeal since childhood. Plus, you get this experience for almost every decision regarding your wedding; from the cake to the flowers and so on. Lucky for you, former brides are happy to loan out their experiences and knowledge ‒ to hopefully make the choices less challenging.
Availability and Capacity
These two choices are easy! First, determine if a venue is even available for your date. If so, you should then inquire about the guest capacity. If a venue can hold a max of 100 people, and you know there will be a minimum of 120 attending your wedding, don’t bother getting your hopes up. Chances are you aren’t going to start cutting the guest list down, so rule out any venue that can’t hold the entire party. You have to start somewhere, and these two are a no brainer.
Stick to your Budget
This key piece of advice is commonly tossed at brides and grooms, but it is for a good cause. Not only will having a set budget keep you from spending past your ability, but it will narrow the decision for you. Sure, investing an extra thousand may not seem huge when you are standing beneath a vaulted ceiling only previously managed in your dreams ‒ but you will survive without it. We promise, these tiny aspects will not be the things you remember about your big day. In fact, you are more likely to regret it, and wish you had saved for those pricey plane tickets to your honeymoon destination.
“What is Included?”
This is a question you should ask every single wedding venue you visit. Increasingly, venues are beginning to call themselves “full-service” or “all-inclusive”. These terms sound fantastic, but can vary place to place. This means, it is up to you to discern which location offers the biggest bang for your buck. Any venue that claims one of these titles should, at a minimum, offer an event planner, rentals, and preferred vendors. Many venues also offer upgrades, for better quality rentals and in-house entertainment. This is a larger portion of the decision making process, and there is never a better time to write a physical list of pros and cons.
There are a few amenities that are not necessarily common at venues, but are especially appreciated and preferred by couples. One of the first being publicly accessible restrooms. If a venue does not have restrooms available for guest use on the property, then it must be provided by the couple. This can be a rather pricey convenience, whether you choose a traditional porta potty, or the favored luxury restroom trailer. Couples should also inquire about dressing quarters. An area limited to the wedding party for day-of preparations, and to keep the bride and groom separate, is a prized amenity. It will allow a secluded place to relax, get ready for the ceremony, leave personal items, and take photographs.
Parking and Transportation
You might think that ample parking is a given, but as you begin visiting wedding venues, you will learn this is not always the case. For this reason, make sure to inquire about available parking, or post and pre-wedding transportation. Often, transportation will vary based on a venues location. Unfortunately, affordable lift services typically avoid rural mountain ranges. Ask yourself ‒ is the venue easy to access for guests? Is it close to a local airport? Is there nearby lodging and accommodations? If the answer to these questions are no, you may be setting your guests up for a tough time.
At Pine Lake Ranch, we are passionate about the experience of all of our guests. Our venue services and amenities make for a convenient day, and can be completely tailored to your unique preference. View our wedding packages online, or contact us to speak to a coordinator personally. From entertainment to the caterer, and bartending to security, we pay attention to even the finest of details.