A Planner’s Perspective
Congratulations and best wishes on your engagement! This is an exciting time when you’ll be making a lot of decisions about how and where you’re going to celebrate one of the most significant days of your life. No dream wedding is complete without the perfect wedding venue. So what makes the venue “perfect” and how do you find it?
Finding the perfect venue involves some advance preparation and know-how on your part, so be prepared, be informed and be fun!
You’ve probably heard it many times “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Putting together your ideas in advance can help make the most of your time and keep you focused on what you really want. Here’s what you can do before you set out to find your perfect venue:
Set a date. Venues need to know your wedding date to confirm availability and pricing. If you’re flexible with your dates, that’s fine just know you can’t actually book a venue without a wedding date.
Know your budget and guest count. Focus on venues that can accommodate both or those that have room for your number of guests. You can always adjust the budget but the space is what it is.
Determine what is most important to you and your fiancé before searching for a venue. This may be location, view, catering flexibility, all-inclusive, style/theme, or all of the above! Looking for an all-inclusive option? Then you may be most interested in banquet halls and hotels. Do you have a unique menu in mind and want to bring your own alcohol? Your list should include city loft/warehouse-style venues. Interested in a particular theme? Take a look at barns, vineyards, yachts or historic mansions.
Organize the right resources. Chicago Wedding Venues and a savvy wedding planner can save you time and help you determine the type of venue that best fits your personality, budget and vision.
No one like surprises (not these kind anyways)! Before your heart is set on a venue get clear on expectations and make sure they’re spelled out in the contract. I can’t stress enough the importance of getting everything in writing. Venue managers won’t know what’s most important to you so be prepared to let them know and don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
Some key questions to ask: Is there a rental fee and what does it include? Do they have ceremony space? Is there a food & beverage minimum? Are there any restrictions? Any additional fees for ceremonies, set-up time, extra staff, liquor license and clean-up? Depending on the venue these may or may not be included.
Coordinate a venue tour party and bring your fiancé and those whose opinions you value. No matter how you go about finding your perfect wedding venue being prepared and enjoying the process makes it more worthwhile and can help you make better decisions.
About Gabriela of Beso Wedding & Events:
Gabriela has planned weddings and events of various styles and sizes and is familiar with the many types of venues Chicago has to offer to help you realize your wedding day vision including historic mansions, hotels, banquet halls, yachts, vineyards and other outdoor venues. Gabriela earned a degree in Human Resource Management from DePaul University in Chicago and attained wedding and event planning certification at The Wedding Planning Institute.
Gabriela’s passion for weddings and style savvy is the motivation behind the launch of Beso. Her philosophy is to provide engaged couples the professional guidance, excellent service and personal attention their wedding deserves so they can have a stress-free planning experience and unforgettable wedding day.
My top 5 recommended venues for a truly unique, amazing and unforgettable wedding celebration (and why I like them):
Cuneo Mansion and Gardens is THE venue for a truly elegant and magical wedding. Their gorgeous grounds and Old World elegance makes for a positively romantic wedding day.
Hotel Arista is eco-chic and brings sexy back to hotel weddings. The modern and neutral color scheme works fantastically with any design concept.
Meson Sabika’s pavilion is stunning with its beautiful draping and gorgeous chandeliers. Has the look and feel of a tented event but with all the modern conveniences.
Stan Mansion has a classic and sophisticated charm. This venue accommodates a high guest count yet maintains an intimate ambiance.
Nothing compares to an Odyssey Cruise where you can eat, drink and be married on water. You just can’t beat having the Chicago skyline as your backdrop and those awe-inspiring views as you sail across the shores at sunset. Navy Pier fireworks is the perfect ending to the evening and always makes for an unforgettable wedding day.