Welcome back blog followers! We apologize that we have been off the grid for a few months. Between planning all of our 2016 & 2017 clients’ weddings plus our own, we have not found much time for writing! However, we are so glad to be back and hope you will enjoy our continuation of the Venue 101 series as you join us on our quest for the perfect wedding venue!
OK – for starters – we should let you know that we have decided on a date! We were originally planning for Fall 2017 but decided to go with Summer 2017 instead. James and I were engaged on 1/7/16 and we will be tying the knot on 7/1/17! There were 2 main reason for the change:
- As event planners, the end of September is a very busy time for us. We decided that we might be less likely to book another event on 4th of July weekend (and already we were wrong – we had to turn away someone already – UGH – Murphy’s Law).
- We can’t wait to get married so the sooner the better!
- The more we thought about it – we might be “wedding-ed out” by the end of September – not that we EVER get tired of weddings, but that is a lot of anticipation to handle!
Next up, let’s review our wedding venue “wish list” from our last post. Remember that we are looking for a unique, private, multi-day event space. We want an indoor/outdoor space that has on-site restrooms and on-site lodging. We also would like a wedding venue that includes all the “extras” in their rental fee as well as allows us to select our own caterer and supply our own alcohol (to be served by a licensed and insured bartender, of course). NOW you remember – jeez we are picky!
So over the past 7 months, James and I have had the pleasure of visiting quite a few different wedding venues! It is MAJORLY important that you physically visit a venue prior to booking. A picture is worth a thousand words – but it can also be photo shopped! Also, you want to be sure that the owners/staff have the personality and experience to make your day perfect. It is important that you feel comfortable with the people who will be handling your wedding!
I can’t say that there was one wedding venue that we toured that met ALL of our criteria however, we did LOVE all of them! OH THE PAIN OF DECIDING WHERE TO CLEBRATE THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE! So – how do you decide? You make a chart of course! You can see my snapshot summary below =)
As you will see, Fiddle Lake Farm met all of our criteria, though we would still have to rent a tent for more than 150 guests. So we should book there, right??? Wait a minute – what about our budget? Even though it is “all inclusive,” is it more economical than renting equipment at another venue? Is the lodging affordable for our guests and is there enough? Do we have the time to source our own caterer and bartenders and worry about purchasing our alcohol? Just because a venue stacked up on the wish list, we still need to make sure that it financially makes sense for us to book there…thus the oh-so-important budget. We also need to be sure that we have the time to plan a party on a blank canvas – or budget for a wedding planner! This is why the next step in choosing a wedding venue is to THOROUGHLY assess the costs involved. Make a “mini” budget worksheet for each place and be sure to include estimates for rentals, food, alcohol, etc. etc. Only then can you REALLY compare apples to apples and make the right decision.
Choosing a venue is not black and white. There are many factors to consider – some that we might have even forgotten to mention. Luckily, as wedding planners, we know what questions to ask and what to watch out for. We know what factors to consider when calculating costs and we make sure to examine all aspects in order to make an informed decision that fits our expectations and budget.
So – I’m sure you are dying to know – which venue did we choose? Stay tuned!
|Unique||On-Site Bathrooms||On-Site Lodging||Indoor/Outdoor||Private||Multi-Day||BYOC||BYOB||All-Inclusive Site Fee|
|Fiddle Lake Farm||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (up to 150 guests – then you need to rent a tent)|
|The Barn at Glistening Pond||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The Farm at Cottrell Lake||Yes||Coming in 2017||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Creekside Grove||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes (but you must pay extra)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Stone Hedge||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes (excluding ceremony)|
|Genetti Manor||No||Yes||No||No (however there is outdoor ceremony space)||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Silver Birches (f.k.a. Erdhardt’s Waterfront)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes|
|The Settlers Inn||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No (you have to rent certain areas separately and rent a tent/tables/chairs)|
|Stone Bridge Inn||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No (you must rent a tent)|
|Fern Hall Inn||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes|
|The Mansion at Noble Lane||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (but you must pay extra/rent all guest rooms)||Yes||No||Yes|
|The Historic Watres Lodge and Barn||Yes||Yes (but you should rent extra)||Yes (not much)||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|