You’ve got the love of your life and a gorgeous rock on your finger to prove it. Next step? Booking the perfect venue to mark the start of your married life. But this should be as difficult as, say, finding your Mr. or Mrs. Right, right?
To that end, we called on the planner at the pulse of Southern California’s wedding market—Tessa Brand, owner of Tessa Lyn Events—to divulge her pointers for how to find your “I do” happy place.
Tessa, take it away!
1. Ask too many questions.
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you ask all the necessary questions because all negotiation power is diminished after the contract is finalized. Ask about curfew and noise ordinance. Ask about hidden costs like parking, power drops, or required security. Make sure you have the freedom to decorate as you wish.
Photo: Jimmy Bui
2. Look at logistics.
Convenience is key. Whether it’s enough restrooms for your guests, firm walkways from the ceremony to the reception, a short drive from the guest hotels to the venue, these are all considerations that are incredibly important when selecting your location. Your guest experience will be affected by logistics, so make it easy and comfortable for everyone.
Photo: Jillian Rose Photography
3. Consider your vendors.
Ultimately the success of your wedding will be attributed to the team you hire so you should choose a venue where you can bring in the vendor team you want to work with. Oftentimes venues will take kickbacks from vendors and therefore limit the client’s choices. If this is the case, you should keep hunting.
Photo: Next to Me Studios
4. Confirm a backup plan.
Because weather can be a gamble, make sure you like the backup plan. For the bride that has always envisioned her reception outdoors under the stars, a gloomy forecast can be heartbreaking. Always make sure you have a Plan B, whether that is building a tent or moving the celebration inside. Consider how your decor will change as well. (Read how James and Shara overcame their rainy wedding day in San Diego!)
Photo: Laurie Bailey Photography
5. Go with your gut.
Much like the feeling you get when you find your perfect wedding dress, you should be looking for a venue that makes you feel the same way. You can envision yourself walking down the aisle, imagine your photos with a particular background, and feel confident your guests will enjoy the location as much as you do.