If you’ve ever planned or been part of planning an event, you know that the vision guides every choice along the way. You may have a specific theme in mind, a color scheme, or even just a certain vibe you’d like to achieve. While there are many ways to bring your dreams to fruition, hosting your special gathering at the right venue can make or break your dreams for the big day.
From the outside looking in, choosing a venue can seem stressful–not to mention expensive. The venue is often the priciest piece of the event planning puzzle, but it’s also the most important. Before you begin touring, and especially before you make a deposit, there are some essential questions to ask that will help guide your decision-making and hopefully alleviate some of your event anxiety.
When your venue meets your vision, the rest comes naturally.
First things first: you have to have a budget. You need to have an idea of how much money you’re willing (or not willing) to spend on the event and about how much can be allocated to the various elements involved in party planning (i.e., venue, food and drink, decor, favors, entertainment, etc.).
With the budget in mind, you can begin eliminating venues that don’t fit and narrowing down your options. Furthermore, many venues offer both hourly pricing as well as ‘packages’ for larger events, so you’ll also need to know what type of venue rental you’re most interested in. Those that make the cut then move on to the next phase of the selection process.
Now that your list includes only the venues that fit financially, the second most important question is whether or not they can accommodate your guest list. An establishment that’s easier on the bank account may not have the capacity to host all 250 of your closest friends and family.
On the same token, if a venue meets all of your other needs but accommodates a few fewer people than you’re planning to invite, you may consider compromising and cutting down your guest list. Nevertheless, knowing your event priorities and areas in which you’re willing to compromise will be helpful to your overall decision.
Once you’ve found a venue that suits your budget and number of guests, you’ll want to take inventory of what each offers. Some venues don’t even provide tables and chairs, while others include tables and chairs as well as linens. Where certain venues offer catering and therefore don’t allow outside catering, others allow any desired third-party catering service to be used. The list goes on and on.
Other things to take into consideration are the alcohol policy, hours of access, wait staff and bartending service, indoor and outdoor areas and accommodations, restrooms, dressing rooms, parking, audio and technology capabilities, seasonal amenities, and any ‘packages’ offered.
At this stage in the game, the remaining venues on your list are likely those that meet all of your functional needs. This, however, is where your vision comes into play. Will the venues you’re considering allow you to realize that vision and create the desired experience for your guests? Do they provide the visual you’re looking to achieve?
Location is one thing, but scenery is another matter. If you want a city backdrop, a suburban view isn’t going to cut it. Similarly, if you’re going for rustic charm, a venue ‘in town’ doesn’t really fit the bill. On a different note, the view from one side of a property may appear beautiful, while the other showcases an unattractive neighboring site, so you’ll want to be sure to consider the scenery from all angles. Setting the scene is half the battle.
Last but certainly not least is the unseen factor: the way a venue makes you feel. Nine times out of ten, you’ll know almost right away if a venue is ‘the one.’ You’ll feel something butterfly-adjacent, and you’ll just know–kind of like love at first sight.
If a venue has made it this far in your process and you get ‘that feeling’ as soon as you step foot on the property, chances are it’s meant to be. Trust your instincts and, above all, your vision.
Finding the perfect venue for your event doesn’t have to be a daunting task, but it does have to be a priority. Knowing what’s most important to you and what elements will contribute to your vision will guide your selection, and the strategies outlined here will help you enjoy both the practical and romantic aspects of the process in an organized way.
Mount Vernon Estate offers the most elegant and luxurious modern amenities with the serenely beautiful nature and history of Ashland County. Reach out today to find out what happens when venue meets vision.« Back to Blog