Nowadays, there is a veritable smorgasbord of wedding venues to get hitched. From chapels to churches, wineries to mansions and just about everything you can imagine in between, never has there been more choice on places to say “I do.”
But just as there are so many venue choices, so too are the varying options as to what is included with that venue booking. Taking a few things into consideration might make all the difference in your wedding budget and stress levels.
We start with the “all inclusive” or what some may simply call the wedding chapel venue. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are religious facilities, some are not, yet they all have one thing in common. Most of the key items like entertainment, catering, the wedding cake, ceremony music, minister and sometimes photography, photo booths and more are included in their packages. Often times they even offer a day of coordinator and will help you plan your day. Sounds perfect right? For many busy brides today, it is.
So what’s the downside? Flexibility and creativity can take a back seat or are sometimes not even along for the ride. The real success here is that most things are fairly standardized and on a more specific timeline which may not allow for a great deal of customization of the venue or event. Additionally, you may have a favorite caterer, entertainer or cake artist that you would like to use. Some venues will not permit outside catering or will charge a fee for outside catering. So be sure to ask what restrictions or fees are associated with this.
Choosing a venue that permits total a la carte is a whole different matter. In these cases, the only thing you rent that day from the venue, is the venue. There MAY be a facility person you can go to if there is a problem. You may also need to rent all the tables, chairs, linen, etc. You will need to choose all of your wedding merchants and, in these cases, hire a wedding coordinator to help you put all of this together, which we highly recommend. With good planning, costs can be similar to the all inclusive venue but watch your budget closely. When everything is separated, dollars can seem smaller than they are but suddenly add up to a nasty surprise which is never fun.
The upside, you have complete control and customization ability to have the wedding you want to create. This can be the ticket to the wedding of your dreams, unencumbered by can’t do’s. But remember, planning is everything to a stress free day so choose the venue that will work best with your love or hate of stress and pressure. You will be rewarded!
By Jenny George