Thursday, December 23, 2010

Outside the Ballroom: FAQ-Finding the Perfect Venue

Finding the perfect venue for your wedding can be tricky. You want it to reflect your personality and the theme you've chosen. Or if you love a venue that much it may determine the theme for you.

Before you chose a venue keep in mind the number of guests you plan on having. Lots of venues can accommodate a large guest list but some are geared toward smaller, more intimate events. You'll need to account for a dance floor, your DJ, a bar, eating area, etc. Everyone wants to have enough elbow room and plenty of space to show off their moves.

One of the most important things to do before choosing a venue is to do a site visit. It gives you a chance to picture where everything will go and make adjustments if necessary. When doing a site visit it's important to make note of things like columns around the room as they can obstruct your guests view. Also make sure there is plenty of seating for your guests. I've seen outdoor ceremonies where family was seated and friends had to stand in the back. It may work for some venues but I personally don't recommend asking people to stand during the entire ceremony.

Parks with gardens are one of my favorite types of venues but I don't feel comfortable with all the onlookers. The same goes for wedding on the beach. A lot of people don't mind the audience but that type of wedding is just not for me. Another thing about any type of outdoor wedding is weather. I attended a beach wedding last October and not only were there tons of beach goers but it was hot. Really hot. In a situation like that you should provide your guests with cold water and even a fan to keep cool with. Jess and Wade provided their guests with these super fun paper umbrellas to keep the sun off of them.

Timing is everything! If your having a sunset ceremony the beach would be a perfect place for the wedding. It's not too hot and you'll have a great view... just make sure you're on the right coast ;-) If you're not a big fan of the beach like me a lakeside wedding may be more appropriate for you. If you're having an indoor ceremony or reception during the day make sure there are plenty of windows to let in that natural light.

If you want a venue that's really outside the box head to local art galleries or restaurants and find out their policy for private events. Rix Lounge at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is an awesome restaurant that can be rented out for private parties like weddings. The Orlando Science Center is also a great venue to check out.

Don't forget to check out our "Outside the Ballroom" feature for some of our favorite venues! You can also check out the Knot database to find other awesome venues. You can search across the country or locally. And be sure to read this article, also from The Knot, about finding the perfect venue.

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