Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Venue Search...Part I

One of my dear, dear friends and amazing wedding and life photographer Whitney Keeler emailed me one night to tell me that one of her brides needed help...and quickly.  That's what I'm here for!  Megan called me a couple hours later and and it was clear that her number one need, and first priority was to find a ceremony & reception venue for her May 2011 wedding.  Megan was pretty flexible as to whether she would get married on-site somewhere, outside in a park, or in a church...she just knew she was on a pretty tight budget and the two dates she had in mind were not negotiable.  And so the search began...

- A lot of venues have a minimum on food & beverage (mainly on a Friday & Saturday evening) BEFORE service charge and tax.  Make sure you ask your venue if this is the case.

- There may be a facility charge or room rental fee.  Make sure you check to see if that's included in the menu pricing or if it's a separate charge.  Also ask about whether tables (verify what shape and size), linens (verify what colors), and chairs are included.

- It's always a GREAT idea if you can go in person so see the space.  This gives you a feel for the layout, size, decor, and general feel of the venue and the space.  If you are out of town or cannot go, send someone you trust in your place and have them take pictures to send to you.

- A lot of wedding packages come with a "dessert" item.  Most venues will work with you to create a package that better suits your needs and will even adjust prices accordingly.  However, inquire if there's a cake cutting charge if you bring in your own wedding cake.

- If it's a place that typically requires a membership (i.e. Ann Arbor City Club), you will probably have to buy a guest membership to use their facility or they may charge you a higher rental rate for being a non-member. 

The venues that Megan and I discussed included Weber's, Detroit Yacht Club, The Inn at St. John, Concordia University, and the Gandy Dancer.  Each venue has it's pro's & con's, it comes down to what is the best fit for the couple getting married.  Megan really wants an "Ann Arbor" wedding so we will do our best to give that to her....

We are close to choosing a venue...stay tuned!!!!

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