Choosing a wedding venue in Cleveland is an important step in planning your wedding. But what are the main things to consider when looking for your perfect spot?
Your wedding budget will have a big impact on everything, from how many guests you invite to the type of venue you choose. It’s important to be realistic about your non-negotiables and select the venue that will let you spend your money wisely on other key vendors like photographers, videographers, and bands.
To help you keep costs down, consider choosing a venue that is already beautiful in its own right and doesn’t require too much decor. For example, a greenhouse, garden, or forest setting might provide you with an ideal fairytale-inspired atmosphere that doesn’t require a lot of extra flowers and decorations.
Other cost-saving factors include considering how you’ll transport your guests to and from the venue. Are you planning to use a limousine or horse-drawn carriage? These can add up and make or break your overall wedding costs. If you’re planning a destination wedding, remember to factor in travel costs and hotel stays for your guests too.
The location can be an important factor in choosing your venue. For example, if you want to hold your wedding outdoors, it is best to start looking at venues in the area that offer this service. This will ensure that you have options and can find the perfect venue for your special day.
Another thing to consider is the accessibility of the venue for your guests. Will they be able to get there easily, especially if you have out-of-town guests? It is also important to think about whether there are hotels or other accommodations nearby that your guests might be able to stay in.
Make sure you visit the venue in person and check it out for yourself! It is not uncommon for a space to look different in photos than it does in person. During your site visits, you should also ask lots of questions and get to know the staff. You want to be able to trust the people you are working with on your big day. They need to understand your vision and be able to help bring it to life.
The venue is the backbone of your wedding, so it should perfectly set the stage for your dream day. Having a firm idea of your style and vision before beginning the venue search can help narrow down your options and ensure that you find the perfect spot.
You’ll also want to consider how much space you need. Having a rough guest list in mind before you start looking can save you from getting too attached to a venue that isn’t large enough for your number of guests. It’s also helpful to know how many guests you’ll be expecting before booking since venues often require deposits based on an estimated guest count.
Once you’ve nailed down your budget and criteria, visit a few select locations in person. Venues look different in photos than they do in person, so it’s important to see how each one suits your needs.
Wedding lights have a huge impact on the overall ambiance of a space. Where and how they’re placed can create a romantic feel, a modern feel, or a more dramatic and moody setting. When choosing wedding lighting, look at the existing lighting and what areas of the venue you’d like to highlight or accent with up-lights and pin spots (or Gobo lights).
The color of the lighting can also be a big factor in determining the ambiance. Complementary colors (colors that are opposite on the color wheel) can create a beautiful effect. Neutral tones, such as rose or amber, can add a soft romantic glow and resemble candlelight.
When you visit a venue, take the time to walk around and envision your wedding day. Ask plenty of questions and pay attention to your interactions with the staff. This will give you a sense of whether or not the staff is receptive to your vision and if they’re someone with whom you’d enjoy working closely with.
There are so many ways to have a wedding, and each couple has their own priorities. For some, a gorgeous outdoor setting and in-house catering might be top of mind, while others might want a pet-friendly venue with accommodations for out-of-town guests.
Regardless of what your priority might be, the right venue can bring all of those things to life. One of the best ways to find a venue that meets your needs is to schedule in-person site visits. While visiting venues might cut into your planning time, it’s a crucial part of the process. Venues often look different in photos than they do in person, so you need to see them for yourself to know if they’re the right fit.
You also need to ask about the capacity of the venue. You don’t need to have a firm guest count in place before selecting a venue, but you should have a rough estimate so that you don’t end up selecting a space that won’t comfortably accommodate all of your guests.
It’s important to choose a venue that allows you to decorate the space how you like rather than requiring you to stick with a specific wedding package. Sheils recommends talking to your chosen venue before finalizing the contract about their load-in and out policies and what they’re willing to provide as decor items.
Sheils explains that choosing a venue that doesn’t limit your decor options can save you time and money in the long run. If you want to keep things simple, she says, choose a venue with neutral colors that work well with any color palette.
Decorative basics include ceremony aisle markers, the altar backdrop, and centerpieces, as well as tablecloths (if you need them). For a rustic fairytale wedding, Sheils recommends incorporating horse-related elements, such as a bike for your first ride together or a horse-drawn carriage at the end of the night. Sheils adds that gilded accents also look magical, especially when they reflect your wedding style, whether you’re aiming for glamourous or bohemian. For example, a gold bike works beautifully with a rustic wedding, while silver is ideal for a glamorous event.
The venue itself is a huge part of your wedding aesthetic, but you also need to consider the extras. For example, if you want to style your wedding with fairytale elements like string lights and flowers, be sure to find out if the venue allows these decorations. Some venues may offer them at an additional cost or as a part of the rental fee.
Inquire about any catering restrictions the venue may have, such as an in-house caterer or a preferred list of caterers. It’s important to know these restrictions upfront so that you can select a caterer who meets them. It’s also helpful to communicate with potential catering providers about any dietary restrictions or other special requests you have for your guests.
After you’ve done a thorough site visit, it’s time to make a decision. Ask yourself which venue gives you the most “feel-good” vibes and if it meets your criteria for the perfect fairytale wedding. If it does, then it’s time to reserve your date! The sooner you reserve your date, the more time your friends and family will have to plan for your big day.
The last but not least factor to consider when choosing your venue is how many people you want to invite. This will impact everything from the maximum capacity of your wedding to how far your guests have to travel between your ceremony and reception sites. If you have a lot of out-of-towners, be sure to check with local hotels about available rooms and whether there are any nearby freeways or highways that can ease your guest’s commute.
Once you’ve decided on a number, it’s important to stick to it and avoid falling in love with a venue that may be too small or overbooked. Instead, Easton suggests starting your search with a range of dates that work and then finding the perfect venue based on availability. This will give you more options for planning the perfect fairytale wedding of your dreams. For a more rustic look, decorate your forest venue with string lights and lanterns (just be sure to use battery-operated ones to prevent any fire hazards). For a truly magical feel, add flowers, such as pampas grass or long-stemmed hydrangeas, to the tablescapes and centerpieces. And don’t forget the tableware-gold, silver, or rose gold serveware looks great with a fairytale wedding theme.