As soon as we became engaged, we started looking for venues. I’d heard all of these horror stories about venues being booked a year and a half in advance. With a date set for 15 months, the clock was ticking.
The truth is we only visited two venues, booking the second one. I did much of my research before I even set foot in a space that I knew would not fit what we were looking for. Which leads me to the following tips for booking your perfect venue:
- Accommodations. Don’t force a venue to fit what you need. Having a large guest count? You’ll need, not only the space, but parking accommodations. Outdoor wedding? Will there be shade and/or heaters? Writing things off onto the “I’ll worry about that later” list only adds to your stress. Form a list of what you absolutely need and stick to it.
- Budget. Along with requiring the necessary accommodations, it must fit your budget. Do not visit a venue that is out of your price range. You’re setting yourself for undue frustration.
- Research. Do your research online first. We have an advantage that our parents did not have. My mother has recounted how she and my father visited various venues, feeling disillusioned at the end with the lack of resources. The internet has fixed that. So use it! The main reason we only visited two venues is because I did my research. I contacted venues for pricing ahead of time, I read reviews–I knew what questions to ask going in.
- Be prepared. When you visit a venue, don’t go empty-handed. Take something to write with and take many notes. Even if you only visit one space, you can’t possibly remember every detail and that detail may be the one that seals the deal.
- Communicate. Both with your partner, and with your vendors. Without low-balling, see what accommodations can be made in order to truly get what you want for your big day. See what’s truly important to your spouse and what their desired level of collaboration is. Communicating effectively is the only way to plan a wedding successfully.
Ultimately, we settled on The Hacienda in Orange County. We absolutely loved the [almost] all-inclusive packages that they offered and their premises were breathtaking opportunities for pictures. We also loved their Mexican theme which aligned with our culture. They were friendly and accommodating throughout the entire process. Because they are a smaller company, we really got that intimate feel from their services. I highly recommend you search for something similar, that comes including most services, it relieved a lot of my stress!