tips & advice
Select the Perfect Wedding Venue
Things to consider when looking for that perfect location
• There’s no place like home… Will your wedding be near your
family and friends, where you live or met? If not in your current home
town, enlist the help of family or friends to do a site visit to take
photos and report back to you-reducing repeated trips back home
• Life’s a beach... Or a City, or Country side-Where do you
feel most comfortable and at home? Weddings in the city are typically
more formal and more expensive. Parking is at a premium and may not be
included. If you are interested in a country side wedding, you may need a
tent for your reception. If you are planning a summer wedding in New
England, ask about mosquitoes and black flies. Weddings at the seaside
look wonderful in magazines but rarely are you allowed to do more than
have photos taken directly on the beach.
• Contemporary, historic, indoors or out. History lovers may
rent a museum or historic home. If you are planning an outdoor
reception, find out if the tent is included (not usually) and if you can
rent heaters for cool evenings.
• Ceremony If you are planning a church wedding, keep travel to the reception site at a minimum
• I love my job I love my job…..Does the sales person or
coordinator give off good vibes? Do they love their job or are you just
another couple in love to them? Select a venue with staff that is happy
and excited to work with you in planning your special day.
• Celebrity Chef- For in-house, ask how long the chef has been
with the venue and for other places they have worked. Most venues have a
list of preferred or required caterers. This is good. They know the ins
and outs of catering on-site and have an established reputation. A good
restaurant does not necessarily make a good caterer.
• Wedding Planner or On-site coordinator-Many venues have an
on-site coordinator available throughout the planning process. Many
wedding planners will price their services to include the entire
planning process or day-of –coordinating-only.
• Let’s get this party started! -If the venue is in a neighborhood with nearby residences there may be a restriction on how late the music can play.
• All-inclusive packages- three-course meal, one-hour open
bar, cake, etc. Make a spreadsheet so that you are comparing similar
offerings for each venue.
• Their vendors or yours? Most venues will have a required caterer but will allow you to select your own florist, photographer etc.
• Complimentary tastings –For those couples who have reserved
or are close to reserving venues will often provide you and your fiancé
with a sampling of their food. Definitely require this before booking.
• Service Counts-When planning your budget plan on spending an
average $100+ per person outside of Boston and $200+ per person in the
Boston Metro Area for food, beverage, staffing and facility fees. Do
realize that a three course meal, champagne toast and excellent service
come with a price. If you must reduce expenses, it is better to reduce
the number of guests that you invite rather than scrimp on costs that
could result in a disaster.
• References-Ask for the names, email addresses and phone
numbers of couples who have recently had their reception there. Also do a
With these tips you and your fiancé are off to a wonderful adventure in planning your wedding!
Susan Sambrano, President, Elegant Venues®, LLC