You’ve selected your dates….now what?
So what is the next biggest thing you need to determine now that you have selected the dates for your events….
What is the most critical decision in your wedding planning?
We think, since it will most likely be the biggest expense and also the epicenter of all that will be your big day, the most critical decision you can make is about WHERE to have your wedding and reception….and it’s not just about location like you might have thought. So, what should be considering?
Choosing the correct venue for your reception is critical to how everything else will get planned, which vendors will be selected and how many vendors you will have to go searching for. It’s not just as simple as which venue is the prettiest or “it” to have your reception in. Lots of small details come into play on the day of your event that unfortunately sometimes get overlooked during selection. This is also where your journal from last post comes in handy. When you go to venues take notes of what you liked vs what you didn’t like. Take pictures so you can remember exactly what your notes refer to.
Here are some of the things that are an absolute must to consider before you choose a venue:
Despite most buildings meeting accessibility codes these days you would be surprised at how many places just don’t make the cut in terms of accommodating your guests that might have special needs. In my case I was unfortunately in a leg cast on the day of my wedding and given my track record of breaking bones had chosen a venue that had minimal stairs that I need to climb to get to the bridal suite or any other part where we might have wanted to take pictures. So take a look around, ask questions as to how guests with disabilities can be accommodated for your big day and if they can’t then you know that is not the venue for you.
The next biggest thing to consider we think is the sharing of space (common or not) with guests from another wedding. A lot of wedding venues these days have removeable walls they use to separate and divide the big halls into smaller halls to accommodate smaller gatherings/parties. The problem with those walls is generally they are not sound proof, meaning your music will be heard on the other side and vice-versa and let’s face it no-one needs to hear “Macarena” during sentimental speeches. If having a more private party is what you need or you know you will be having the bestest/loudest DJ, look for halls that have brick walls and actual separation between halls to ensure your day isn’t getting spoiled by someone else’s bad taste in music.
Similarly it gets frustrating to share common spaces sometimes, especially if your buffet is being served outside the hall in the common space. Ensure there is enough bathrooms and some basic means of separating the entrance hall as well as good signage to ensure your guests end up at the right party.
Finally, and more obviously so, the location of the hall is important. Make sure it’s easily accessible for your guests, if a lot of them are flying in, try to ensure it’s closer to their hotels beside the airport as they may or may not be familiar with the city. One mistake that we have seen too many of our clients make is not ensuring that the church/mosque etc. is in close proximity to the reception venue. Especially in GTA, it can take you almost an hour to get from a church that might be or example in Etobicoke to a venue that is in Vaughn. Please make sure your guests as well as yourself have sufficient time to travel between the two locations and to accommodate delays, picture taking etc.
Choosing on a location as the first main thing will also help narrow your search for your vendors. It’s much easier to ensure that your vendors arrive on time on your big day if they don’t have to deal with unexpected road delays/accidents. If they are also in the same vicinity it is easier to reach them while you are planning the wedding instead of running around all across the city, and for GTA we know that can mean seeing as little as only two vendors in the entire day because you had to run from one end to the other.
So in summary, just like when you are buying a house it’ all about LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
*Note: Series continuing in next post