“First Appointments” with wedding reception venues are so important! As I mentioned in our first blog post, not only do I plan weddings professionally at Capriotti’s, but I’m a soon-to-be-Bride planning my own wedding. This has certainly helped me in helping the couples we meet – trust me, I can relate! Check out this short video I posted to YouTube where I let you know how to get the most out of your First Appointments.
One of the first major decisions you’ll make together is where to have your Wedding & Reception. These events will produce some of the most cherished memories of your life, moments shared with family, friends and each other – the most important people in your lives. A wedding is one of life’s major “purchases” – each dollar & each minute can be spent just once. Of course you want value – but the results have to be nothing less than – breathtaking!
I’m sure you have some places in mind. Check them out – do some research! Look at the Homepages, Facebook and Pinterest. Each venue will feature on their pages what they feel are their strengths. Then compare that to reviews on Facebook, Google or sites dedicated to Weddings, such as Wedding Wire or The Knot. Read the reviews carefully – notice the types of words people use to describe their experiences. The words that are used over and over begin to offer a good idea how people view that venue. Do the words used describe excellence – or do they give you the “just OK” vibe? Now it’s “show and tell” time! Do the pictures “show” what the words “tell”? This is a great way to help decide whether a wedding venue can match your vision. Now it’s time to schedule a time to tour the facility and have the “First Appointment.”
Aside from what I discussed in the video, other general observations can be made. Are Weddings the primary function of that venue or are they a “side” business? What is included in the Wedding packages – for example, is there a bridal room and is there an added fee for it’s use? Does the venue help with the table/room/display set-ups – or will you need to do it yourself or hire an outside vendor? How is the food and are there tasting appointments so you can sample the menu selections? Who will you be working with – and how will you stay in touch through the planning or if you have questions? In other words – how “personal” does it feel? Does it feel like your reception will be customized to your vision or will your day will have to match theirs? How much staff will be on hand – this is a key! At Capriotti’s Weddings, we guarantee 1 server for every 10-12 guests. Have you ever been at a Wedding where half the room is eating and the other half waiting – then half the room ready to dance while the others were just served – inadequate staffing can disrupt your entire schedule.
Finally – DON’T ASSUME! Ask! Most venues have special packages for Fridays or Sundays or off-peak months. Last year we had a Wedding Focus Group where one bride told us she selected another venue because she assumed she couldn’t afford ours. She later learned otherwise from a friend who was engaged – don’t be in the “had I known then what I know now” boat. The more informed you are, the happier you’ll be wherever your “Happily Ever After” begins!
If you have any questions or issues you’d like to see addressed in future posts, just leave a comment! Finally, here are some great planning tools that can help you choose your venue, plan your budget, and select the vendors for services you need. Talk with you soon!