FAQ's Answered by a Wedding Planner: Venues

Monday I began a series titled "FAQ's Answered by a Wedding Planner." If you did not see that post about wedding flowers, click here. Today we will be discussing venues and 5 common questions I am asked.

1. Should my ceremony venue be the same as the reception venue?

In an ideal world, yes. However, some religious ceremonies must be held in a place of worship. This means you will have two venues. If you are able, have the ceremony and reception in the same place. If that is not feasible, here are two suggestions.

First, make sure the venues are as close together as possible. Guests do not want to drive 45 minutes to arrive at your reception. Second, especially if you have a high number of out-of-town guests, include a map to your reception venue. I know we live in a world with GPS, but this will help some guests who may not use a GPS (grandma, great aunt, etc).

2. In order to save money, we are going to get married at a private residence (i.e., a family member's or a friend's property). What are your suggestions?

To be completely honest, that idea will probably not save you a lot of money. If anything, it may cost you more! Sure, you may not have to pay for a wedding venue, but there are some trade-offs. You will need to bring in things most people do not think about if they get married at a venue. Air conditioning units and/or industrial fans, tents, furniture rentals, and restroom trailers just to name a few. 

To further elaborate, your friend or family member may not want your guests to use their bathrooms; this can be for a number of reasons, such as possible plumbing issues. This means you will need to rent a restroom trailer that will need electricity and a water connection. While it is doable, it can be a hassle and adds up financially. I have done private residence weddings with bathroom trailers.

If you are set on a private residence wedding, I would highly recommend hiring a wedding planner to help you navigate that process.

3. I have chosen my reception venue, but I do not want to use their catering. What can I do?

That is a tough one. Venues that offer on-site catering may not allow you to use other catering options. If your venue does allow an outside caterer, there is typically a fee. I would always suggest you consider catering options when looking at reception venues.

4. What are the pros and cons of having a Friday evening wedding? All Saturdays at the venue I want are booked for my wedding month.

One pro of having a Friday evening wedding is that you can leave for your honeymoon on a Saturday; typically it is cheaper to fly on a Saturday than a Sunday (depending upon your destination of course).

One possible con of having a Friday evening wedding is it may inconvenience guests. If you have a large number of out-of-town guests, they will need to travel on either sometime Thursday or Friday morning. This can be difficult for people who work or have children in school. Another possible con may be Friday rush hour traffic. I would suggest to have a ceremony start-time of 6:30 or even 7 pm to try to avoid that as much as possible.

If you decide you cannot do a Friday evening wedding, maybe try for a day-time Saturday wedding. Not all venues will allow this, but it is worth asking!

5. The venues we are looking at cannot accommodate wheelchairs. What can we do?

If you have guests that are physically challenged, it is important to make sure your venue is accessible for them as well. Many venues offer wheelchair ramps, but sometimes it can be an issue to accommodate wheelchairs if you are having an outdoor wedding. One way to get around this potential problem is to consider renting flooring. Most event rental companies have dance floors you can rent. If you are set on an outdoor only venue, this would be my recommendation.

I hope y'all enjoyed this blog post! If you have other questions, please leave them in the comments below. If you are in need of a Baton Rouge or New Orleans wedding planner, click over to our contact page!