Venue 101 Part One – Choosing the Perfect Space
One might think that since James and I have done so many different types of weddings in so many different types of locations that we would know exactly what we want and where we want it. Well, that’s not entirely true. Let’s say that we have more of a ‘list of requirements” that a venue needs to meet in order for us to fall in love with it. This might take some research and searching!
Unique – We want somewhere different…we want someTHING different. We want our reception to be one-of-a-kind. We want our guests to mix, mingle, dance, play, eat, drink and be merry however they want. We plan to be less traditional and more unique when planning our timeline and layout, so a blank canvas with lots of options appeals to us.
On-Site Restrooms - If we have to rent bathrooms, I am not sure that I can “go” in a port-a-potty in my wedding gown. Luxury restroom trailers are an option – but also an added expense. Eros Luxury Restroom Trailers would be my go-to if I needed to rent one of these.
All Inclusive Site Fee - Many venues charge a “site fee” or “rental fee.” It is important to know what is included with this fee. Do they provide tables and chairs, a tent, linens, china, glassware, flatware, temperature control, setup and teardown? Do they charge extra for an on-site ceremony? Do they have a rain plan for outdoor ceremony or reception? These are all things that couples must consider – not only in terms of budget – but also in terms of planning. The more moving parts you have, the more work it is going to be for you (or if you are smart – for your Wedding Planner!) To make it easy on whoever is handling rentals, be sure to call Rent-E-Vent or Scranton Rent All . They are both one stop shops for tents, tables, chairs, dancefloors and everything in between (literally)! If you are looking for more unique or vintage items, we recommend giving Chippy White Table a call.
On-Site Lodging - Of course we want everyone to have fun and be safe. The more guests that we can have stay on-site, the happier we will be! Nearby hotels for overflow are a possibility as well – but we need to make sure they provide shuttle service, or we will have to call our friends at Propst Transportation in Archbald, PA!
Private Multi-Day Event Space - We are looking for more of a “wedding weekend” than just your typical 5 hour reception. Ideally, we would like to have the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, after party and bon voyage brunch all in the same location.
Indoor & Outdoor Space - We are considering a date in Fall 2017. If you have ever been to Northeast PA in the fall, you have seen the breathtakingly beautiful foliage. Photos, photos photos! We also want guests to be able to play some lawn games like Horseshoes or Corn Hole. However, with the beautiful foliage comes unpredictable weather. If it is chilly or pouring rain, we need to have a place for our guests to stay warm and dry while still having a great time!
BYOC & BYOB (that’s Bring Your Own Caterer and Booze) - We have our heart set on a caterer….which we can’t reveal until we get to that portion of the blog series! What we will reveal is our rationale - we want to choose food and beverages that fit our style and budget. We do not want to be limited to the options and subject to the fixed pricing that an all inclusive venue offers – endless possibilities people! I’m certainly not knocking what full service venues do – it’s just not for us. Sure it would be easier to do everything in one place – but remember – budget and uniqueness are important to us (yes more moving parts, so think Wedding Planner again)! BYOB certainly relates directly to budget. Having worked in the industry for 18 years each, we KNOW how much the mark up is on alcohol. Go to the beer distributor and you might pay $30 for a case of beer – that’s $1.25 each. Go out to dinner and pay $1.25 for a bottle of beer? Not likely. Not only is it less expensive to purchase your own alcohol and hire a professional bartending service like DeMarco’s, but you can also REALLY customize what you have to offer! James and I are food, beer and wine lovers, so being able to have EXACTLY what we want to eat and drink at a price that we feel is reasonable is probably THE MOST important thing! ….and bathrooms….bathrooms are up there too.
Are we being unrealistic? I don’t believe so – but I also know that there will have to be some concessions. You can’t have your wedding cake and eat it too (well actually you can – that didn’t really make sense and was an awful example). Moving on…..
In all seriousness, we have some of the best advice anyone will ever give a couple when planning their wedding. You may not get exactly everything that you had dreamed of on your wedding day. There is a thing called real life that sometimes gets in the way. Remember that there is going to have to be give and take between both of you and you will need to make decisions together about what is most important for the big day. Don’t let “wedding dollars” take over “real dollars” and remember to stick to your budget.
But above all else – remember this:
The most important thing about your wedding day is the fact that it is the beginning of the rest of your lives together. Let your love for each other be the focus, and the day will be perfect – no matter what!