Written by Harmony Walton, The Bridal Bar. To all of our newly engaged friends, did you catch our recent story about what to do before you say I do? Check it out here: 5 Top Wedding Tips For Recently Engaged Couples.
First things first, you’ll want to find your wedding location. Whether in your backyard or far, far away, we’ve got five tips to help you find your dream wedding venue with ease!
1. Determine if this is a destination wedding: Narrowing the location or locations you’re considering will help streamline your search. Think about what you envision for your big day, if those closest to you will be able to travel, will you need a passport, and if you want to get married at home or away before you begin your wedding location search. If you opt to stay local, limit your scope by view, curfew, and type of venue, and if you’re getting married in a church or house of worship, look for reception venues no more than 20-30 minutes from the ceremony site (your guests will thank you for it). If you’re planning a destination wedding, don’t count out an amazing domestic location for ease of planning, like at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Southern California.
2. Figure out your guest count: If a wedding location has a venue that’s too small for your guest count, you’ll be able to cross it off that long starting list. If a venue is very large, and your budget or guest count is not, the spot may not be the perfect fit. It can be costly to fill a space, shrink an area or make a large venue seem intimate if the property doesn’t have tools in-house to make it happen (like partitions in a ballroom to make the room smaller). So be sure to ask how they can help Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia has multiple wedding venues of varying sizes that can tailor to a large or small wedding.
3. Take a look at what your venue has to offer: Are guest accommodations important to your event? Do you want your ceremony and reception at the same place? Indoor or outdoor or both, like our beautiful Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort? How late do you want to dance; is curfew a concern? Are you interested in working with an off-site caterer, or is the ease of one-stop-shopping in a hotel more appealing? Think about what matters most to you so that when you shop, you find a place that checks all your boxes and no surprises pop up once the wedding planning is underway.
4. Know how to compare wedding venues: When on your search, be sure to compare apples to apples and ask all the right questions in order to do so. Does a private estate seem more cost effective because the price is lower than a hotel? Perhaps it’s because a hotel comes inclusive with so much more (like tables and chairs, staff, and food and beverage). So you’ll want to add those missing elements into a blank canvas space and now compare budgets to see once all is paid for, which really is the better choice for your budget. Hotel weddings can be a huge value, even when at a luxury property like Omni William Penn Hotel.
5. Know what your catering manager will do: Did you know that your venue’s catering manager is not your wedding planner? Depending on your event, you may have a need for both (we recommend it!). A catering manager will work hard to ensure everything related to the property goes smoothly and as ordered, whereas a wedding planner will oversee all other areas – right down to making sure your makeup artist arrives on time. Both are invaluable!
Whether big or small, local or destination, traditional or casual, first determine what is important to you as a couple… then go from there!
Still needing a bit of wedding inspiration? Check out photos from real Omni weddings on Omni’s Storybook Weddings Pinterest Board.
Harmony Walton is the founder of The Bridal Bar and host of Bridal Bar Radio on iHeartRadio. Harmony also expanded the brand into her passion of destination weddings with Jet Fete, a destination weddings and honeymoons blogsite dedicated exclusively to weddings abroad and romance travel. Her company has been recognized around the world as a trendsetter in weddings and featured in 100+ media outlets, including The Associated Press, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, and many more.