Finding the perfect venue was the very first thing on my to-do list, but obviously that wasn’t the first thing I did haha. It was only because I wanted to get married to wherever Tom and I were moving to; And when we got engaged, we were still living in Houghton, MI and we couldn’t really go downstate and visit all the venues before booking them. So we put this on hold until we moved.
The other problem that we ran into was, do we get married in our hometown or to wherever we are moving? Now of course a lot of our family wanted us to get married in our hometown, but my issue with that is, none of the venues near are hometown wasn’t up to par with my expectations. It just really wasn’t what I was looking for.
This was actually really frustrating to me for I wanted to please everyone but at the end, it is MY day (well and Tom’s); And I just know that if I did do it in our hometown, I wouldn’t be happy and I would regret that chose. Plus it would be so hard trying to plan a wedding that is 6 hours away. YIKES!
So Tom and I decided that we are going to have it here, in Saint Joseph, MI. We are sacrificing the fact that everyone might not make it to our wedding. But to me, that’s fine, for those that really want to be there, those that matter, I know WILL make the effort to be there ♥
Any who, we started looking at the venues around our area in June and booked it about a month later.
We actually had 3 venues that we both liked to choose from.
#1 I felt was more for a beach wedding. Indoor venue. It is gorgeous, elegant and modern inside. It is literally a block from the beach. The venue is also right downtown where it gets really crowded during the summer season.
#2 is an indoor ballroom hall with vintage details – white walls, high ceilings and gold chandeliers. It’s in the downtown area, about 2 blocks away from the church.
#3 is right in the downtown area again. It’s an outside venue with cement pillars. It could be decorated for a beach wedding or other themes. But I also felt like it’s more for a “beach” wedding; and the fact that it’s outdoors concerns me a lot.
I’m sure you can guess which one we chose. Yup, #2! It’s indoor where there’s AC – our wedding is in August and I just know it’ll be hot and I’m not a fan of rain so if it rains, I’m safe haha. Also, I really loved the vintage details in that ballroom hall. It is just so pretty and perfect ♥
Now in our case, we have two venues. Our ceremony is going to be at the church and our reception at a museum ♥ So the first thing I actually did was go to the church and see what dates are available, then to the reception venue. (Oh and choosing which church to pick for us was easy, we are both Catholic and there’s only one Catholic church here so it was really our only choice. Good thing it’s pretty though hehe.) Any who, thank goodness they both have the date I wanted available for next year. (Click here to see our date)
Wedding Bells Series – YouTube
Here are some tips – all from my experience hehe
» What’s your wedding’s style/theme?
Is it going to be outdoors, rustic, traditional, whimsical, elegant? I feel like this is the most important thing. The venue sets the atmosphere of your wedding so know what you really want and go for it!
If you want a rustic, country wedding – have it outdoors or at a cute barn venue.
If you want a fairytale wedding – have it at a gorgeous garden, disneyland!?
If you want an elegant wedding – a ballroom hall is the way to go!
Don’t be afraid to mix styles ♥
My reception venue is a ballroom hall and I’m going for a traditional, elegant yet whimsical theme :)
» Big or Small?
Is your dream wedding small or big? Even though the day is about you, it’s also about your guests. Make sure it’s a roomy fit. You want to make sure that the room is large enough to accommodate the number of people on your guest list. Ask if you can take a peek of the space when another wedding is all set up – that’s what Tom and I did. It really helps you imagine what yours will look like and if there will be enough room.
» Set-Up & What comes with it.
This is probably common sense but it’s important to know what you are getting with your venue. Some venues sets up the place for you and some don’t. Some comes with tables and chairs, some don’t. Some comes with all the china, some don’t. So know what is included and how much work you are willing to do/want to take on.
» Food and Drinks
Some places provide their own caterer and bar, some don’t. Some let you bring your own alcohol, some don’t. Know these details for choosing your own caterer or bringing your own alcohol can save you money. The event coordinator of our venue gave me a list of caterers and such that have served at the venue before. It’s best to get someone who knows their way around the place/someone who has worked with the event coordinator :)