wediquette :: venues

One of the foundational elements of every wedding event is the location. Get the foundation right, and everything else will follow. The wedding ceremony and wedding reception location will help emphasize the magic, character, and vigor of your wedding day. San Diego has amazing scenic and desirable locations for any type of wedding – high quality resorts, ocean and nautical, desert and mountain, tropical and botanical, and all types of religious venues.
In your minds eye, where do you picture the perfect spot to honor each other and celebrate? — A traditional church, by the water (ocean, waterfall), in a floral garden, in a scenic countryside, in the clouds (skydiving), in a sports venue (stadium), on a high vista view, or in an exotic ethnic atmosphere?
As you may have guessed, usually the location works with the style or theme of the wedding. If you want a Victorian style wedding, you might select a serene garden or countryside location. For a Tropical wedding you might want a boat, waterfall, or a beach location. In a Southwestern type wedding, you might select a scenic sunset desert or a colorful Hispanic / Spanish style location.

Elbow Room
Think comfort and elbow room; this will help facilitate a celebratory atmosphere. When you visit a potential wedding or reception location, picture where everyone will be situated and how you and your guests will feel. For the ceremony, there should be enough room for the bride and groom, the wedding party, the supporting cast (officiant, musicians), and the total number of guests you invited. For the reception, there should be ample space for the guests, the activities you have planned (dancing, band, activities), and the amenities (gift table, food tables, cake / dessert table).

Ambiance
Before choosing a location, you should attempt to visit the wedding and reception location at exactly the same time of day as your event, to make sure there are no surprises. If it’s a private venue, perhaps you can attend prior to its start. On rare occasions, your venue might be in a more public area allowing for viewing while an event is in progress. It is, though, inappropriate to “crash” another person’s private affair.
• Look at the lighting and shadows. Is it too light or too dark? If the weather is raining or overcast will that make a big difference in the lighting? If outdoors, what is the contingency for inclement weather?
• Look at the colors. Will your wedding colors and theme go with the room? If you add your own personal touches of candles or unique centerpieces will they coordinate with the room?
• Listen to the sound. Is there an echo or are sounds muted? With microphones, music, and speaking will everyone be able to hear well?
KEY QUESTION – Ask the location vendor what options they have for incorporating your own unique touches – color, special items (e.g. candles), and music.

Private or Public
Decide if you want absolute privacy, a public environment, or a combination of both. Having the general public in your area can be either fun or a nuisance, depending on how you view it.
KEY QUESTION – Ask the location vendor what the public vehicle and foot traffic is like during the time of your event. If you want privacy, ask if there are any controls of the public that they can facilitate. If you want the public involved, ask how you can include everyone!.

Transportation and Parking
Make it easy for you and your guests to get to and from the location. Plan how you and guests will get to, from, and between the wedding and reception sites. Everyone should be focused on you and your day, not anxious about getting lost or having their car towed. There should be close and safe parking where it’s legal to park. If parking is a problem, alternative solutions like shuttles, limos, and trolleys can be delightfully memorable.
KEY QUESTION – Ask the location vendor what transportation and parking alternatives are available.

Combination Sites
Couples can simplify the wedding planning process by choosing a location that offers both a wedding ceremony and wedding reception site. Not only will this make things easy on you, but it will also save time and money. Combining wedding ceremony and reception sites:
• Saves time and money
• Decreases planning and coordination issues
• Allows for a seamless transition from ceremony to celebration
• Eliminates driving and parking stressors for guests unfamiliar with the area

Guest Lodging
Venues that offer guest lodging may also offer discounts towards the venue cost. Your guests will enjoy the convenience of going to their rooms after the reception has concluded. By choosing a wedding location with lodging options, you will:
• Maximize the time that you have with your family and friends
• Add fun and excitement to your wedding weekend
• Ensure that your guests will arrive on time for your special day
• Allows a safe option for guests who drink a bit too much at the reception

May you find the location that matches your special theme and style, to make your wedding amazing.

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