"Choosing a Venue"
Choosing the Perfect Venue- Finding the perfect wedding and reception location is a major factor in setting the tone and feel of your wedding day. This is the first day of your own Happily Ever After Story.' Your story already has begun with "Once upon a time, two people fell in love". Your wedding day is a celebration of your love story and that event and will forever reside in your memory! It is imperative that you find the wedding location that helps you tell your story to your guests....
Location, location, location... That which is true of any success story is also true of your wedding, choosing the right location can be a major factor in determining whether your wedding is a boom or a bust. Whatever your personal style is, chances are that there is a wedding location that is right for you that reflects who you are and where you're going in life. Many engaged couples already have a preconceived idea of the setting and style they want to reflect to their wedding guests, including the backdrop for the event, the reception location. Take a moment and reflect on your "Dream Wedding". Are you in a english garden filled with flowers, parasols, and lemonade? Hay bales, Mason Jars, vintage country lace, rough hewn wood, ribbons and burlap? or a ballroom with shimmering candlelight from chandeliers and orchestra music for your with guests seated around enjoying their waiter tended meal? The goal is to have your ceremony, reception , and your venue, reflect the personal style of you as a couple...
When choosing a place to host your wedding. consider it a backdrop, like a movie set. The more atmosphere your location has, the less you have to spend on decorations and flowers. If your venue has gardens and pretty rooms, you will spend less on bringing drapery and floral trying to dress up a plain room. Photographers love texture and light, so places with stone or wood or gardens and statues don't need much dressing up to make them beautiful. Water makes a great background too, whether fountains or poolside or lakeside, there is just something wonderful about water.
When selecting a public location,(parks, gardens, museums etc.) keep in mind it is 'public', If privacy is an issue for you. Many places like beach side or in public gardens may not provide the privacy you want, and you may wind up with "guests" that weren't are your list. Hecklers, miscreants and gawkers are common elements that can make your day less than perfect.
If your wedding can be seen from the highway, honking horns of anonymous well wishers can be an unwelcome addition to the soundtrack of your nuptials. Other traffic noises such as sirens, 18 wheelers, and neighborhood kids can also be a factor. Be sure to ask your prospective vendor about things like this. You do not want to discover on your wedding day that your venue is across the street from railroad tracks, or in the flight pattern of aircraft!
How loud is your reception? Many couples are opting for a full out bass filled Party for their reception. Be sure to check with your venue about city noise ordinances, as well as venue policy about how loud you can get, and what time restrictions have to be adhered to for celebratory events. Having the cops show up uninvited is never a good way to end your party.
Parking... Make sure that your venue has plans in place to deal with the flood of incoming vehicles to your event. For outside weddings, it is best to make sure that your wedding photos are automobile free! Many venues (us included) offer valet parking, or shuttle service to and from a remote parking area so that the natural beauty is not overshadowed by a parking lot. (We prefer to shuttle in folks with a horse and carriage).
You, or your planner, should run a checklist with the venue to make sure what is provided. Some locations are limited to the number of chairs and tables they have available, some offer linen service, some do not. Choosing a venue with 'in house' services can avoid many wedding day surprises (no forks) because the vendors know what the venue supplies. Many brides wind up over paying multiple vendors for the same services... Example would be where the venue offers free linens in the package, but the caterer bills you for the same service. A great wedding planner will be aware of these things and can save you more money than what you pay them.
If it is your dream to have an outdoor wedding, there are many options, and many venues have multiple spots for your ceremony. Couples that enjoy nature often use the outdoors as part of their wedding planning. There are so many colors that can be brought into the wedding palate for free!Take advantage of the natural and gardened flora that a venue has to offer. Ask your venue representative what plants are in bloom during around your wedding day, and in what proximity to your ceremony the plants are. You could save a ton of money on floral and decor just by letting Mother Nature decorate for you! As a side note, Mother Nature is not always giving. Be sure you, and your venue, have a "Plan B" in the event she is not kind! Although Alabama weather can be a bit unpredictable, you generally know as your event approaches whether or not you will need a tent, tarp, or an ark!
For those working on your wedding a year in advance, visit the venue on the week of your wedding, a year in advance. Find out for yourself what sights, smells, and atmosphere is there at your selected time. Ask the venue representative what plans they have between now and your wedding, and to be kept in on the loop of such changes. A sudden change in wall colors, or gardening changes can affect your decorating choices. It is better to be armed with knowledge than to try to react the day of your wedding!
When you visit a venue, keep in mind you are often looking at the "bare bones" of the facility, and this is not how it will feel after your decorator has brought your dreams to life. Most venues are based off of a neutral palate to allow for enhancements from your decor. A little fabric, flowers, ribbon or "bling" can go a long way to bringing an otherwise bland setting to life. The most important tools you have at this point are your questions. Schedule an appointment with your venue and/or wedding coordinator to ask questions about the setting, decor, fees,services, restrictions,perks, limitations, or new ideas that they may have about your day.
All that being said, Call to schedule a visit to The Sterling Castle and let us introduce you to a place where magical moments are born!