You have said "Yes!" and now the fun starts. It's a very exciting time, planning your wedding. Some grooms-to-be want to be involved in just about every aspect of the planning, but others like to be involved in some areas and not in others. Choosing your wedding venue should involve both you and your future groom along with your parents.
Once you decide what time of the year your wedding will be, then it is down to the month. I say the month as you may have your heart set on a particular venue, you set your date and your special venue is not available. So in the beginning you need to be a little flexible.
Firstly make a list of the venues you feel would be right for your wedding reception, then make appointments to see the event co-ordinator at each venue.
Start by making a list of what you would like to be available for you and your guests. Things like the reception area for when your guests first arrive, the size of the room, dance floor, area for the music, room for a band or DJ, the bar area.
The menu choices that each venue can offer. Get prices for full a la carte menu, set menu, choice of two or three options for each course, buffet with service or completely a self serve buffet. Canapes served with drinks when guests first arrive at the wedding reception. If you have any special type menus that you would like, special foods etc then add these to your list and ask if they could be made available.
The food served at your wedding reception is very important so make sure you have all your questions ready. You will need to ascertain what extra costs there are, like table settings, cloths, napkins, centerpieces, special chair covers. How many waiting staff a venue will allow for the number of guests you expect and how the cost if you require extra.
Are you able to provide your own music, live band, DJ ? Do they have background music? Can you choose or provide your own tapes?
A very important question you should ask is, the time the venue will be available to you. It would be really bad for your guests to get indigestion through hurrying up because the venue has another booking after you. This can happen if you have a morning or early afternoon wedding and remember it is traditional for the bride to be late, up to a half an hour to the ceremony but this can have a snow-ball effect, so always allow for this where timing is concerned.
Don't forget to check out the special venues. There are wedding reception venues that will provide everything for you. Starting with accommodation for the wedding party, a special chapel for the ceremony, wonderful areas for the photo shoot. They also can provide make-up, hair stylists and beauty therapists. Although with the make-up and hair stylists, make sure you have trial runs beforehand. You will find some of them also have connection with wedding specialty florists who will take care of everything in the floral department for you.
Specialty venues like these can often be good value, not only do you get all of the above but also the wedding feast, drinks and they will even organize your cake. If you are short of time or don't fancy going from place to place to book all the different venues then start by checking out these specialty venues. With events like weddings and corporate functions and people being so busy, there are more of these specialty venues popping up.
Get your planning underway, start a notebook and jot down all your questions, make your wishlist, if there is a bridal expo in or near your area, make sure you get along to it, as the wedding reception venues and caterers will be there for you to check out. Then make a list of the venues you are interested in knowing more about, make your appointments with the co-ordinators and go have fun planning your wedding. Good wedding planning will take the stress out of your special day.