Out of Town Bride- Choosing a Wedding Venue
This post is by Whitney Press, Safari Stylist of DressSafari.com . Whitney was married in May 2011 at The National Hotel on Miami Beach. Her drop-dead-gorgeous wedding was featured on Southern Wedding’s Magazine’s Blog. Here she shares her tips for planning a wedding outside of where you live…
Whether you are having a destination wedding or planning a soiree in your childhood hometown, getting married in a city that you don’t call home has a unique set of challenges when it comes to picking a venue. Here is our guide to keeping calm, organized and finding the perfect space!
Cast a wide net (at first). Every city has hidden gems, so don’t forget to look beyond your usual hotels and country clubs. Local museums and galleries, vineyards, public buildings and parks can all make spectacular wedding venues. When I was looking at venues for my wedding in Miami, there was even a parking deck that hosted chic events on the top floor which had a spectacular view! (pictured above!)
Do your research. For each potential venue, do some initial research and find out key factors like the general price range and capacity. A spreadsheet will help you organize your options and keep the address and contact information handy.
Look beyond the venue website and brochure. Some venues have great brochures, but when you visit in person the space falls short of your expectations. On the flip side, a space that wasn’t photographed well may be hiding real potential. A trick I like to use is searching for other weddings that were held at the venue on local photographer’s websites. This way you can see how the space looks when it is all decked out for a wedding.
Narrow it down. Is there a certain neighborhood that appeals to you? Do you want a space that can host the ceremony as well? Select 8-10 venues with potential and call to check availability and schedule a visit for the next time you will be in town.
Squeeze it in. Although it is exhausting, try to schedule all of your initial visits during one trip. Even though this may seem like a lot, it is better to have too many options than not enough after your site visits. Plus, this way you will have the fresh impressions of each in your mind and be able to make better comparisons.
Decision time. When it comes down to it, the venue dictates the style of your entire wedding. Go with your gut – if you aren’t confident about any of your options keep looking and don’t get discouraged. Don’t underestimate the importance of a great venue contact that is responsive and has experience working with out of town brides!A parking deck makes an unexpected wedding venue 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach Florida Photograph via NYTimes.com