You’ve answered the basic questions, agreed on your wedding budget, and the next step is to find your perfect wedding venue — which is no easy feat. From your wedding date, theme, colors, invitations and more, the majority of your decisions will ultimately hinge on your choice of wedding venue. So, we at Bridal Spectacular put together a few tips to consider when shopping for the perfect Las Vegas spot to say your “I dos.”
What is Your Budget & Guest Count?
Hopefully by the time you start looking at wedding venues, you have determined what budget you have to work with. Today’s weddings can range anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000+, so knowing what you have to work with up front will help you tremendously.
Once your budget is determined, you will need to know about how many guests you anticipate having. The guest count is not only used to ensure the venue space can accommodate everyone, but it is also used to determine the majority of your wedding venue cost. Most venues charge per person for the catering, any alcohol and cake. So if you think you are going to have about 100 guests and a venue charges $120 per person for catering and an open bar of beer and wine, then just that portion of the wedding will cost you $12,000.
What Type of Venue Are You Looking For?
This may seem like an easy question to answer, but you may actually be surprised how difficult it can be to decide with so many venue options available in Las Vegas. You can look at the more traditional venues, such as a hotel, country club or golf course. These are great options because they generally provide set packages and are very experienced with weddings. Or, you can try to find one of the non-traditional venues out there, such as art galleries, museums, theaters, restaurants and warehouses. The non-traditional options are also a great choice because they often offer their couples more flexibility.
Both types of venues, traditional and non-traditional, are perfect choices for a wedding depending on what you are looking for and what your needs are — which takes us to our next question.
What do You Want From Your Wedding Venue?
Now that you know what fits in your budget and have thought about the types of venues you are looking for, you next need to determine what your priorities and needs are for your venue. To help, create a spreadsheet that lists the important points for you, which will help you to keep track of the pros and cons of each venue as you do your research. Some points to consider are:
- How many guests can the venue hold?
- Will there be a wedding coordinator provided?
- Does the venue allow you to have both your ceremony and reception at the same location?
- Does the venue have options for both an indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception?
- Are there different capacities for different rooms?
- Will there be onsite accommodations for your guests or will you need to provide transportation to your wedding?
- How does the pricing structure work? Is it based on room hire, price per head, minimum spend or are there set packages?
- Confirm exactly what is included for the price and what you’re getting for your money. (Are flowers, décor, DJ, photographer, lighting, etc. included?)
- Is the catering in-house or is there an approved caterers list?
- Do you have a choice of which vendors you can use? Does the venue have a preferred vendors list, do they allow you to use your own vendors and is there an extra charge to use your own?
- Are there any sample menus you can look at and how do their menu tastings work?
- Do you have options with the catering: plated dinners, buffet, food stations, or passed?
- Will you need to rent any extra lighting, microphones or other equipment?
- Is there plenty of outdoor space?
- How easy is will it be for you guests to park if they need to?
- What chairs and tableware will you use? (If they’re not to your taste, you might want to consider bringing in your own if allowed.)
- How many servers will be provided? There’s nothing worse than slow service!
- What are your bar options and can you see a bar price list?
- Can you supply your own beverages and will there be a corkage charge?
- When can you get in and out of the venue to give access to your vendors on the day of the wedding?
- Are there any particular restrictions, such as the use of confetti, sparklers or candles?
Stay tuned next week for part 2 of finding your perfect wedding venue where we will cover wedding themes, site visits and contracts. In the meantime, please visit http://www.bridalspectacular.com or follow us on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest for more wedding planning tips and information.
And, be sure to save-the-date to attend our Autumn Bridal Show August 15 and 16 at Cashman Center where you will be able to gain even more wedding ideas and inspiration!