The Wedding Planner Magazine

Hampton-Roads 2-1

A magazine highlighting the premiere wedding professionals in Charlottesville, Virginia and surrounding areas. Includes interviews, real weddings and numerous articles written by local and professional wedding planners.

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14 THEWEDDINGPLANNERMAG.COM By Jennifer Cregar, Mahi Mah's T he wedding venue is one of the first decisions to make after your decision to say "yes!" Your venue decision is the central element upon which so many other aspects of your wedding are decid- ed. To avoid regret or difficult choices midway through the planning process, and especially to avoid disappointment the day of, it's best to work through your venue decision carefully and deliberately. The cor- rectly-chosen venue will make so many of the other decisions easy and fun, and eliminate potential complications. To help guide your venue search, we've broken it down into the following elements: Earth: Location You may want to channel Goldilocks when you look at a venue lo- cation. Is it too big or too small for what you have in mind? Too small, and no one will be comfortable. Too large, and you'll be spending extra money to fill the space. You want to find something that's just right for the number of guests who'll be attending your wedding, and that offers close proximity of hotels if you'll have lots of out of town attendees. You also want to make sure that the venue fits in with your aesthetic vision - a starkly modern venue isn't the right choice if you're planning a flowery, romantic day, and a rustic barn-type venue won't fit if you're planning on a more formal, elegant affair. Wind: Weather What time of year are you getting married? Are you planning to be indoors or outdoors? Is the venue temperature controlled, or will you need to rent additional cooling machines or heaters? The impact of weather on your day could require back-up plans or even back-up sites in case of rain, lightening, extreme heat, or other oddities of nature. If you need to compensate for an under-prepared venue with any of these things, the costs can quickly add up, and the potential for dis- comfort for you and your guests could overshadow your party. Water: Logistical Flow Does the Venue "flow" well? Can you envision the kind of layout that you want? Are there any specific restrictions? Making your guests feel comfortable is extremely important; if the logistics don't work it can cause unnecessary frustration for all those involved. It may not be the most romantic consideration, but parking is an often-underrated but important part of your decision. Will you need to plan for a valet service for things to work smoothly? Is the parking situation safe and easily understood? This detail should be carefully thought through and made explicitly clear to your guests to avoid confusion on the day. What is included with the venue? Will there be additional fees for tables, chairs, linens and other rentals? These costs add up quick- ly. All-inclusive venue rentals can seem a bit more expensive at the beginning, but if your venue doesn't include these items, make sure to price them out to see if you'll really wind up saving money. One of the biggest logistics is catering, so if your venue offers onsite catering, make sure that you're excited about that option. If they offer an approved or recommended list of caterers, you'll want to work through recommendations and reviews to come up with a few options and meet with them to see who can provide you with the tastiest food for your budget and numbers. Fire: Personal Passion While there are certainly pragmatic issues galore involved in choos- ing your venue, be sure to trust your instincts when you're visiting a potential site. Do you feel a connection with the venue team? Can you visualize yourself getting married there? The right location will spark something in you, and that vision of the day will sustain you through all the rest of the planning until it becomes your beautiful reality! Your Wedding Venue PLAN YOUR WEDDING First Things First Tara Liebeck Photography Echard Wheeler Photography Luke and Ashley Photography

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