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How to Choose a Wedding Venue

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The venue is quite possibly the most important — and most expensive — part of your wedding budget. If you know what to ask, you’ll be able to celebrate your big day at a location that reflects your priorities. (When my son was planning his wedding, his rule was “no mirrors and no chandeliers.” That could be exactly what you’re looking for!) Know exactly what you want and it will all turn out fine in the end.

A bride-to-be asks…
“My fiancé and I are a bit overwhelmed. We’re trying to put together a list of questions when we visit venues, but we need a jump start. Got advice?”

The Wedding Guru says…
The first question you want to ask is about how many guests the location can accommodate. This is especially important if you’re not having an “average-sized” wedding (a large wedding involves about 200 or more guests; a small one is 150 or less). Sometimes couples with a short guest list don’t take into consideration how odd it can look to have a small group in a huge space. However, you don’t necessarily have to eliminate spaces you like simply because they’re too large.

You’ll want to ask if the venue has the ability to cordon off a part of the space in a visually appealing way.

And when dealing with a particularly long guest list, also ask about accommodating the number of cars that need parking.

Here’s the most important part: once you’re ready to commit, get everything in writing! Don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. As nice as the venue representative is, this is not the time for accepting someone’s word and sealing the deal with a handshake! Any legitimate venue owner will want a contract to protect you (and to protect them as well). I feel so strongly about this, that I will go so far as to say that if the venue owner does not want to give you a contract enumerating all the details you have agreed to, walk out!

Got more questions? Write to me at judy@hvmag.com!

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