After a lengthy, months-long search, I finally found my perfect wedding venue. I researched and researched some more until I found the perfect combination of romance, magic, customer service and budget-friendliness.
My advice to anyone looking for a venue without the help of a wedding planner (like myself) is…
I really can’t stress this one enough. Wedding blogs, Google searches, Twitter, bridal mags, and recommendations from family, friends and co-workers lay the foundation for your search. Sometimes it takes seeing a few different styles and price points to figure out what it is you’re really looking for. And trust me, you’ll want to narrow your search as much as possible since many venue event coordinators only work during the week, which can make for a lot of back and forth (and flexibility on your part) to arrange tours.
Don’t worry about what the rest of the world did or is doing for their wedding - think about what works for you. It’s easy to get swept up in the societal pressures that accompany weddings but you should never let those restrictions guide your decisions. This is a day for you and your partner, after all, so make it yours. If you want purple leopard print napkins, hey, who are we to judge!
My wedding is already costing more than I had anticipated, which usually happens, and you have to be prepared for the fact that there are lots of hidden costs that you never even thought of. Minimum food and drink spends, gratuity and taxes, chair and tent rentals, cake cutting and corking fees, and on and on. This is where your research skills come into play again, as you search for the best items at the best price. Realize though that there’s a 99% chance that you will come in over your original budget.
It’s an incredible journey to plan your wedding so relax and have fun with it! There’s a certain amount of stress associated with planning, of course, but never let that overshadow your joy and excitement. Use that energy to brainstorm ideas and don’t feel like you have to accomplish everything in one week, or even one month.