One of the first tasks you’ll need to accomplish after saying “yes!” is to decide where you and your partner want to get married.
If you’re wondering how to pick a wedding venue, though, you’re not alone. Finding the perfect wedding venue to fit your budget, your schedule, and your wedding style can be a daunting task. But our team at Complete Weddings + Events Fort Myers have compiled a list of tips to choosing the perfect Wedding Venue in Fort Myers, FL making hopefully a bit easier!
Choosing the Wedding Venue in Fort Myers, FL
First things first…a few things to consider…
- Once you have a taken time soak in the fact that you are engaged, sit down with your fiancé, and create a list of what you both want in your ideal wedding venue. What kind of event do you want to host? Will it have a theme? Something rustic and natural, elegant and sophisticated, a garden wedding, or something out of the ordinary? Establish non-negotiables, as well as location details or amenities that are less important to you.
- During this conversation, create a budget for how much you are willing to spend on a wedding venue. Keep in mind that some venues include in-house catering and equipment rentals (chairs, tables, linens, etc.) in their package pricing, while others do not. This will, of course, affect the overall dollar amount of what you could spend on a venue. (Do yourself a favor and don’t even consider venues way out of your budget! Chances are if you do, you will fall in love with the property and won’t be able to afford it, we promise finding the perfect venue within your budget is possible!) These conversations will get you off to a good start on how to choose your wedding venue.
Narrow down dates.
- Decide which time of year you’d like to get married, as this will affect your venue research. Some wedding venues are better for winter events while others were made for warmer months. Let’s face it an outdoor wedding in Florida in July may not be the most practical.
- Select a few wedding dates, in order of preference, that you might want for your wedding day. It would be tragic to fall in love with a place only to discover it’s booked every weekend of your desired month, so either start this process early or surrender to variability. Truly decide what is more important to you, the exact date you want (maybe it’s a parent/grandparents’ anniversary as well or the date you first met) or your venue.
Needed Venue criteria.
- Draft a guest list to determine how big of a venue you’ll need. Making sure that your wedding guests have enough room to mingle, dine, and dance during your reception is a top priority (and don’t forget about saving space for other elements of your reception set-up, including decor, extra lighting, a cake table, your DJ, Photo Booth, favors table, etc.).
Visit some venues.
- Now that you’ve thoughtfully determined what kind of wedding you’d like, which season and/or dates you have in mind, and how large a venue you’ll need, it’s time to put all of that good research to work. Contact your top venue choices and schedule a time to visit and take a tour.
Must-have items to bring on your day of touring include:
- a camera (let’s face it, your cellphone)
- a list of important questions (see below)
- something to jot down notes on
Other things to consider when choosing a Wedding Venue in Fort Myers, FL…
- If at all possible, try to visit the venue at the time you plan to get married. This is especially important for outdoor weddings, where seasonal weather can either make or break your wedding day. Take note of where the sun is at your desired ceremony time to ensure that you and your guests will be comfortable—you don’t want any squinty eyes in your wedding photos.
- While visiting indoor venues, take note of the shape of the room. A strange shape may interrupt the flow of the party, especially if you have a large number of guests. Again, note if there is enough space for tables, chairs, a dance floor, food and drinks, a cocktail hour (if applicable), and for your wedding band or DJ.
Before you get swept up in the beauty of a venue, don’t forget to ask the big questions. Keep the following in mind while touring every venue and it will help you with choosing the perfect wedding venue:
Questions to Ask While Touring Wedding Venues in Fort Myers, FL
More than just getting basic tips for choosing the perfect wedding venue there are also questions you should be thinking about asking on your Wedding Venue in Fort Myers tours…
- If you’re touring a primarily outdoor venue, ask about a rain plan. Most venues have a plan B if Mother Nature decides to wash out your wedding day, and you’ll want to know, see, and be happy with the back-up option. You might find that you don’t like the alternate indoor space, which might be a deal-breaker. Because in Florida while we plan for the best, rain is always possible.
- Is there an in-house caterer? Can you bring in a catering company of your choosing, or is there an exclusive list of caterers? Keep in mind that there may be additional fees for using someone not on their preferred list
- What is the parking situation?
- Is there a reception package and what does it include?
- Will there be another wedding or event before or after yours? Several Beach resorts in the area host multiple weddings a weekend and sometimes multiple in a day.
- A place for the couple to change and relax? Can the wedding party get ready here on the morning of the wedding?
- Do they have an open flame policy? (i.e. can you light tall candles indoors, shoot off fireworks, or arrange a sparkler exit?)
Think about your guest experience.
While it is your day, think about how miserable you guests will be if you choose an outdoor venue in Florida in the middle of the summer, without some sort of way for them to stay cool. You should choose your venue with the guest experience in mind. How will there flow from ceremony to cocktail hour, to reception be? Will they be comfortable, will there be some sort of refreshment provided?
Truly think about what is included.
A venue that is just space itself may seem like the more budget-friendly way to go vs. one that is more expensive than includes a lot more. But you will need to really so your research because booking all of your décor, rentals, and vendors a la carte may be way more expensive in the long run! Generally, an all-inclusive or partially inclusive venue can save you some money. Also going through one vendor for multiple services can also save you money as they generally offer package discounts.
We hope this blog on Tips to choosing the perfect wedding venue helped get you started! Our team at Complete Weddings + Events Fort Myers is always here to help answer any questions you may have, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Complete Weddings + Events, Fort Myers’ leading provider of event and wedding photography, videography, lighting, DJ services & photo booth rental.
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