If you are reading this blog you are probably engaged, married or just plain wedding obsessed like us! In this post we will tackle the oh so daunting task of choosing the right venue… dun dun dun! Our Director of Sales for State Room, Diane Sayers, will be sharing her tips and reminding us all to *KISS*
Most brides have a vision of what their wedding will look like long before the ring makes an appearance.  Tap into this thought process when choosing your venue.  Don’t overwhelm yourself gathering excessive amounts of information and visiting so many places that you no longer recall the first few that you’ve seen.  You will only be wasting your valuable time.  Remember KISS – Keep It Simple Sweetie.  Create a small bullet point list of a few criteria that are most important to you in an event space and then begin your research by first looking online.  This can be done early morning in your pajamas and over coffee.  Getting a feel for a place while in a relaxed mode will help you select places that are closer to your vision.
Use friends and family as references too.  Check out the places you’ve heard great things about.  Some criteria may include; a unique event space with amazing views; on-site catering and food preparation so the food is extremely fresh; a high level of service standards with synchronized meal service; a dedicated on-site event specialist to assist and guide you on all details of your event.  When you have your top 5 choices, phone or email the venue to get a range on pricing and to schedule a private viewing with a professional that can answer all your questions.
The view at the State Room never ceases to WOW guests
At this point, many couples still have no clue what the budget for their wedding will be.  The best way to estimate and anticipate your spend is to use a range between $100 – $250 a person.  At the low end, this will provide you at least 4 passed hors d’oeuves, a plated salad, beef entrée with plated dessert and tableside coffee and tea service.  At the higher end, you can add a full open bar, wine service, and late night snacks, depending upon guest count.
Images Courtesy of Longwood Events
If you’re a couple who is also trying to purchase a home, secure your MBA or both, consider a shoulder night for your event where you can essentially host the exact same occasion at a reduced booking amount with a reduced venue fee.  Flexibility is always key when looking to save money.  The more flexible you are, the more opportunity to find savings.  And since there are only 52 weeks in the calendar year, the number of available Saturdays is also around 52.  Dates disappear quickly.
Couples who take advantage of a Friday evening event may also find their vendors to be more flexible as well.
During these scheduled viewings, you will begin to innately determine which place will provide the right feel for your wedding day. Ideas will begin to take shape, details will fall into place. Before you ask for an agreement, however, request a simple cost estimate from your professional.  This should include an overall estimate on food and beverage along with any additional spend relative to the venue, an onsite ceremony, additional time in the room and any enhanced items or upgrades you spoke of during your appointment.  Ask that the standard administrative fee, gratuity and applicable taxes are calculated into your estimate so you have a workable number from which to begin.  Then request your agreement and review all content before signing. The more informed you are throughout the process, the more relaxed you will be as you approach your wedding day.
Diane Sayers, Director of Sales for State Room


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