Today I’m pleased to have a guest post from Weddings at Temple Square. When you’re planning your Salt Lake City wedding, be sure to follow these tips and check out the beautiful venues at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and Lion House downtown!
You’ve got the ring, set the date and whittled down your guest list. Now it’s time to make the next important decision — choosing where you and your fiancé will say, “I do!”
Your venue sets the tone for your wedding. It’s an important decision, and one you can’t make simply because the venue looks pretty from its website photos. There are several things to consider when you’re on the wedding venue hunt besides liking the aesthetics of the space.
Location, location, location. It’s important with real estate, and equally important with weddings. Do you want something close to where you live? If you and your fiancé call different states home, do you get married where one of you is from and hope the other’s family and friends can travel there? Or maybe a destination wedding has crossed your mind. Before beginning your venue search, decide what location will be best for the two of you as well as your guests.
Unless you have really nice (and well-off) parents, money matters. Don’t waste your time and get your hopes up looking at venues well out of your price range. Yes, you should have a venue you love, but there are plenty out there that match your style and won’t completely drain your wedding budget. Always keep a wedding venue’s price in mind, because it can include hidden costs you should think about, such as a specific catering company you have to use, cleanup and breakdown costs, or even cake-cutting fees. You’ll need plenty of your budget left over to spend on other necessary wedding items like your dress, cake, flowers, etc.
Transportation and Parking
Whether your guest list is 50 or 300, how your guests get to your venue is something to keep in mind. If they’re driving, there needs to be plenty of available parking, and you should find out if it’s paid or unpaid. If your out-of-town guests are staying in a hotel, consider if the venue is close enough for them to walk to, if public transportation is an option or if you’ll have to provide the transportation. Having to bus or shuttle people to and from your venue can get pricey so remember that as you search for the perfect place.
Your guest list is set, so your wedding venue better be able to easily fit everyone. Don’t ask during a site visit how many people the space will hold — ask how many people the space can comfortably fit. Just because a venue’s website says it will hold 200 people doesn’t mean that’s how many you should try and cram in there at once.
If you’re planning to have your ceremony and reception in one venue, make sure that venue has available spaces for each one. If there’s only one room for both, ask how they plan to flip the space to accommodate both. Do you and your guests have to leave the site for a couple of hours while the switch is happening, or do they provide another space for you and your guests to enjoy some drinks and refreshments during the flip? If the space is outside, do they have a rain plan? Also check to see if the venue has rooms for the bride, groom and wedding party to get ready.
Full service wedding venues typically provide everything you need wedding-wise, i.e. tables, chairs, linens, catering, etc. Venues that aren’t full service normally only provide the space and the rest is up to you to bring. A full service venue may be what you’re looking for since it means you’re not responsible for booking other vendors or providing all the needed items to fill and decorate the space. If a venue that isn’t full service is what you want, find out whether the venue has certain wedding vendors you’re required to use.
Most wedding venues come with a list of do’s and don’ts, so before making an on-site venue visit, check the venue’s website for any restrictions. If the venue doesn’t have a website or doesn’t clearly list their restrictions on their website, call and ask. Common ones include time, catering, music and photography restrictions.
Now that you know what to look for when hunting for your perfect wedding venue, it’s time to start planning details and buying supplies. To make the road to your special day as smooth as possible, download our wedding planning checklist to make sure you check off every need, want and to-do item your wedding entails.