Monday, November 9, 2015

If you are married (remember back to that day), about to be married, or see yourself getting married someday...and you are the person trying to secure wedding reception space, then you are more than likely the bride to be. This is going to be one of the most cherished and memorable events that will ever happen in your life. It is supposed to happen only once in your life, so you want it to be perfect in every way.

Choosing the location for your reception should be governed by some very important factors. The most important factor is how it reflects your style and vision. The venue has to work with you. If that sounds confusing think of it this way, am I the formal type, do I love a European look, am I the Country Club type?  Each of these examples conjures up a list of possible locations. When I think formal I see a ballroom with a sparkling chandelier, white table cloths and white chair covers. When I envision a European look my mind wanders to wineries and the like located all around us and when I think country club I see green lawns, trees and a golf course surrounding a one story building with a view of it all.

These three different examples describe three distinctive styles.  Whatever your style, if you can clearly describe you can find it. This is when you want to have a wedding planner. Most venues have a small staff of professionals who are available to show you their space and review their policies. With a professional wedding planner by your side you will know what questions to ask and she can help you evaluate what each venue has to offer and why that is important to you and your wedding day. Let’s say you have three places in mind that would be in the running for your reception, so you call them all up and are wanting to get preliminary information. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait a day or two for a call back. That has been my experience. At times I find myself calling back two or three times before I reach the person I want to speak to about the event.

From here you will be looking for a face to face meeting to determine who gets to have the privilege of hosting your once in a lifetime celebration. You call up the first place, second place and finally the third place and you are greeted warmly. That is immediately followed up with tactical questions relating to Dates, Space, and Rates.
It may seem that all they care about are Dates, Space, and Rates, and that is true. That's what the reception place wants to talk with you about. Why? Because they have done so many wedding receptions, meetings, banquets and so on that they become more like the robotic conveyer belt at an automobile factory than the 'trustee and true beneficiary of someone's most cherished lunch or dinner'. It may be the last time all 4 of your generations will ever be together. It is the first time Aunts and Uncles have seen each other in a dozen years. It is the first and maybe last time both families will come together as one. And the banquet facility wants to focus on dates, space and rates. And when you tell them that you are calling two more places they tell you that they hope you call them back. They will not call you back and so here again is why you want to approach this decision with a wedding planner beside you. She will keep notes and send follow up communications to keep you in their minds should you decide to hold your reception there. A wedding planner can usually get the venue to put a temporary hold on space for you while you think and look further. The venue knows that a full time professional is working on the event and that professional will be easy to reach. That makes their job much easier.  

Because they all sound the same you may think that this is the way this is supposed to go. That is not how it is supposed to go and again here is where your wedding planner steps in and gets you the attention you deserve. Did you know you can have all the help and attention you need throughout the planning process? Or you can hire help when you need it as you take on each task. Either way, when you are searching for the location of your reception you should have a professional planner by your side. Who better to give you guidance than someone who has planned many weddings as their chosen profession? Think about the job you do and your competency level. Now make the jump in your mind to accept the idea that planning your wedding should not be left to amateurs without experience.

Got a question about planning your wedding? Ready to take charge and make a major change now? Drop me an email at I will respond to your questions. Next we will talk about developing your budget so that the “food and beverage minimums” don’t stop you from having the best wedding for your dollars.  

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