A wedding is one of the most memorable times in an individual’s life!
Whether you have 50 guests or 250 guests, choosing a location where this huge celebration can take place is no easy task. It’s expensive, it sets the tone and the process can be overwhelming.
You don’t want to break the bank, but a once in a lifetime celebration deserves an awesome venue. On average, bride and grooms’ look at 12-15 different venues before they’re ready to pull the trigger and say ‘I do’ to that dream venue. Here are 10 things that every bride and groom should consider before they make the big decision!
1. There is no perfect venue
The first thing you need to remember is that, there is no perfect wedding venue. We’ve all seen the glamorous magazine-worthy wedding celebrations in a dreamy room, but in many cases, they were meticulously staged and don’t really meet reality. The perfect venue for your wedding celebration is out there, but keep in mind, you rarely find something that will meet 100% of your expectations.
Having a beautiful location is wonderful, but having a responsive venue staff to work with goes a very long way in the days leading up to your wedding and on the big day. Magnolia Meadows prides itself in being a premier greater Houston wedding venue and puts a very high priority on communication and responsiveness.
As you’re searching, keep in mind that the venue doesn’t have to be perfect for your wedding to be perfect.
There are oceans of wonderful ideas and lots of venues competing for your business. It’s essential to find the correct blend of visual aesthetics and staff responsiveness that meets your budget.
2. To be all-inclusive or not to be
Venues come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Finding a venue with various all-inclusive packages can seem very attractive. You pay one fee to one business and you’re done. However, they do have a tendency to seem a little off the shelf. You get the flank steak or chipper chicken and your choice of two DJ’s that should have been left behind in the 90’s. Yikes.
An à la carte approach can seem a little daunting. The stress of having to find a wedding planner, caterer, cake maker, DJ, etc., vet them and negotiate, can seem very overwhelming. Staying up late at night pinning ideas and Google searching for each part of the team isn’t a fun job. Magnolia Meadows has taken an interesting approach to solving this problem. Vetting and establishing good relationships with premier vendors that meet our standards of integrity and service, allows us to present a list of very qualified candidates to each of our customers. Building your dream team is easy and painless.
3. Bargain night or premium weekend
One thing to keep in mind as you begin your search is that most venues discount weekdays over their premium weekend slots—although it might not be specifically listed on their website. For instance, Magnolia Meadows is about 20% cheaper on Friday and Sunday, than if you had your event on Saturday. They also offer even larger discounts for events that are closer than four months out. If most of your guests are in town, weekday weddings can be much more achievable logistically than events with lots of out of town guests that need extra time for travel.
4. Inside, outside or both, oh, my
You’ve always dreamed about having an outside wedding at sunset. The unforgettable atmosphere of an outside celebration can almost make time stand still. But unpredictable weather change can add a level of stress that makes the whole decision process a complete nightmare. Some venues offer both inside and outside options, but they might double book a wedding inside and outside on the same day or charge a premium for you to have access to both.
Magnolia Meadows never double books events. Having the ability to do an outside wedding and quickly move everything in-doors gives you the peace of mind and flexibility to know you can handle anything your big day might throw at you.
5. Church or Venue? Split the difference.
If you’ve always had the idea that you’d get married in a church, sometimes selling yourself or your family on the idea of a venue can be difficult. If you want to serve alcohol at the reception, keep in mind that most churches simply won’t allow it. But paying for two venues, one for the ceremony and the other for the reception can get expensive fast. Magnolia Meadows easily accomplishes that country church look and feel, but can easily transition into a party space where the celebration can take off!
6. References and reviews
It’s important to know what other people are saying about their experience at the venue. A venue might have been around for a decade or more, but are they still providing the same level of service and value or better as when they first opened? You’re going to run across a bad review now and again, trust me, there’s going to be a least one inebriated guest review that’s not worth a hill of jellybeans. Listen to the tone of how the staff responds to bad reviews and if they’re trying to solve problems or just get revenge. It can tell you a lot about their approach to working with their clients and help you make a decision if you should work with them or not.
7. Location, location, location
The location of the venue is very important and something that needs to be thought through carefully. Will a majority of your guest’s be local or are they from out of town? Are there accommodations nearby to facilitate your out of town guests?
Having a relatively accessible venue is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. But to get a truly amazing experience without the sounds of city noises and sirens, you’ll need to find a well-situated venue.
Security can also be a concern. Some venues are in a less than desirable part of town and a random ‘wedding crasher’ or a theft in the parking lot can easily spoil the celebration.
8. Easy décor or nightmare makeover
Décor can be a detail that’s easily overlooked. While one venue might be slightly cheaper than the other, how much will you need to spend on decorations? Your entire budget could be blown trying to take a drab venue and turn it into something remotely close to what you’re wanting. Most modern venues do a pretty good job of creating a fun, exciting environment for your celebration. Magnolia Meadows was designed to provide a space where a bride and groom could easily create a beautiful experience without spending a small fortune.
9. The coordinator is key
A wedding coordinator might be the single most important person you have at your wedding, excluding your soon to be spouse of course. Being able to run interference for that pesky relative that just won’t leave you a lone or solving a massive crisis right in the middle of the ceremony. Little or big issues might happen, but the coordinator often takes care of it and you never even know it happened. The last thing you want to do is become a stressed out mess during one of the happiest seasons of your life. A good wedding coordinator is worth their weight in gold.
10. Have fun!
It seems so simple, right?! Have fun! Stress is a natural part of the process, but letting the joy of what’s happening overwhelm you is as well! Take everything one day at a time and think about the awesome gift you have waiting at the finish line!
Getting married in the Houston area?
We’d love to give you a tour of our wedding venue and grounds! Magnolia Meadows serves Magnolia, Tomball, Hockley, Pinehurt, Spring, The Woodlands, Katy and much more! Get in contact today!
Feel free to leave a comment below and share some of your wisdom and experience about finding the perfect wedding venue!