Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Picking A Venue (and setting a realistic budget)

They say when you meet "the one," you just know. And that sounds idiotic when you're single or when you're in a relationship that isn't with the right person. You think that you will fall in love with someone, get engaged, and make it work.

And then one day, you meet the one: the person who you will spend forever with, the person who you love despite the fact that she can't cook and he can't care less about reality TV, the person who makes you want to learn to cook and learn to enjoy American Idol.

You just know.

The same thing happens with a wedding venue. When you find the right one, you just know.

And with my friend Erika, she had that feeling yesterday.


She had searched for a wedding venue online countless times, never finding exactly what she was looking for. Over the weekend, she did another search. And by some stroke of luck, a venue she had never seen popped up. A venue that was perfect.

I told her she had to call immediately to make an appointment. She did ... and they didn't answer, so she emailed. And very quickly she got a response -- and an appointment.

She went today and fell in love.


The place is everything she wants. There is an area for her ceremony and reception, her photos, for the couple's "first look." Everything she could possibly want was at the venue.
The price was reasonable for what she wants and when she wants (she's having a summer 2014 wedding, and, as you will learn if you haven't, summer prices are higher than winter). Of course, like every bride, she has to consider her budget.

Is this venue something she can afford? It is worth eating pasta a few nights a week to make the payments?

And, if you're like Erika, you look at the photos and think: This is the place. This is worth the sacrifices. This is worth tweaking a budget and making it work.
I'm not saying put yourself on a liquid diet to afford your venue. And I'm not saying empty your entire savings account either. But be realistic.


If I asked you, on the spot, how much a gallon of gas is currently, you would know. Average price of a gallon of milk, you'd know that too. But average price of a 100 person ceremony and reception, including wait staff and clean up ... chances are you wouldn't have an idea until you started going to venues. So of course, you have a budget in mind, but you can't really create a budget until you start looking around and figuring out the cost of things.

And that's with every aspect of a wedding.

I called to make an appointment to try on dresses and the woman asked me what my budget was. "Honestly," I said, "I have no idea. It's not that I don't have a budget, per say, it's that I have no concept of what a wedding dress costs so I really can't create a budget."

And that's the same mentality you need to have when setting a wedding budget. When you get engaged, you have no idea what a wedding will cost. You can make an imaginary budget, but until you actually meet with florists and photographers, you don't know how much it will cost you to have them at your wedding.

So maybe your venue will be a little out of your predetermined budget. Maybe it's a little more than you had hoped. But it doesn't mean you can't do it. Just means you need to sit down and figure out how to do it.

Because the truth is: you only get one wedding (at least, that's what most people strive for; Elizabeth Taylor had a different experience). You should do it right, do it the way you want, and have it at the venue that is "the one." Don't force yourself to have it somewhere else, just to save yourself a little bit of money. You will absolutely regret it in the end.

BRIDAL BABBLE: How did you know you found the right venue?


  1. The venue fit the budget, at the end of the day it was about us and our family and less about the venue. We have awesome memories and so did our family.