What to Look for in a Wedding Venue
wedding venue isn’t easy! It’s as simple as that! If you’ve gone through the planning process, I’m sure you’re more than aware of this. As someone that’s been directly involved in the wedding industry, I’ve witnessed first-hand all the variables that go into crafting your dream wedding. From parking to lighting to the reception area, there’s simply a lot to it! Throughout this blog post, I’ll walk you through some key questions and points you should be keeping in mind before booking your wedding!
To give you some quick background on myself, my name is Ian Ramirez. I’m the venue director at
Madera Estates and have been with the Madera team for 3 years now! For those unfamiliar with Madera Estates , we are a Spanish and European inspired luxury wedding and event venue located in Conroe, TX. Without a doubt, one of my favorite parts about the wedding industry is being able to take a couple’s vision and build a unique wedding out of it! Now that’s enough about me, let’s get into what you should be keeping in mind when booking your wedding!
What’s Your Vision?
With the amount of venues available in today’s market, there’s something for nearly every aesthetic. You’re going to want to be positive that the venue you choose aligns perfectly with the vision you have in mind! You want to feel connected with the space where the wedding will be held. Are you looking for more natural elements to incorporate? If that’s the case, you might want to explore having an outdoor venue. Or does your vision revolve more of in a modern setting? In any case, your theme should blend with your venue!
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting.
“Lighting can make everything look better.” This is no secret! We’ve all heard it said and even witnessed it first-hand. Think of lighting as a critical accessory to a venue. The right lighting set-up will illuminate all of those other elements that you’ve spent hours choosing! It will make the wedding cake look better, the ceremony more magnificent, and bring more of a glow to your guests! Not to mention, since this blog is posted on a photography blog, it will definitely make the photos that much more amazing! Just look at the ones throughout this article, shoutout Wil and Paige Ramsey!
Flexibility on Food and Drink
There’s a wide array of policies when it comes to venue policies on catering. Some venues have in-house caterers, while others have exclusive catering companies that you must choose from. Depending on how important the type of cuisine is to you, it might be wise to discuss catering options early on in the planning process. For those venues with in-house catering, it isn’t uncommon for them to also have minimums that you must spend on food and drink. This is something you’ll want to clarify in the beginning!
The Sound System!
Next up on your wedding venue checklist is the sound system. No matter if your wedding only has 50 guests or over 500, you’re going to want to be sure that the sound system is up to par. Everyone wants to clearly hear the “I do’s,” as well as have music at the reception that they can dance to! In essence, you’ll want a sound system that’s capable of doing the job both for the ceremony and reception. Before booking it, see if you can get a demonstration of what the sound system will be like if you were to book your big day there! A pro tip to keep in mind is to be mindful of the how the speakers are arranged in the reception area. Typically, it’s best to keep them at ear level (or even a little bit higher). This will ensure the sound is sufficiently distributed throughout the entire reception hall.
Ceremony and Reception at the Same Place?
The flexibility of the venue is yet another key factor that impacts other elements as well. There are a handful of advantages to holding both at the same venue that I’d like to discuss today.
More photos and less time wasted. With no commute, you’re not going to leave your guests waiting and can take your time getting plenty of photos with family and the wedding party! And while you’re getting these pics taken, the cocktail hour can begin to keep your guests occupied.
Improved Attendance. For any wedding with two seperate locations, you’ll have some guests that aren’t able to make it to both venues. You eliminate them having to choose one or the other by holding both at the same place
Save money on transportation. Another budget saver right here! If the venue has adequate facilities to hold both a ceremony and a reception, it might make sense to save a few bucks that could be spent elsewhere!
All in all, nearly all of our past couples always say the same thing about all-in-one venues. It makes the entire process easy! There’s no shuffling people from one site to the next, coordinating with vendors and so on! In the end, the logistics are simple.
Is the Location Convenient?
Are you planning to hold your wedding in your hometown or in another city? If it’s somewhere that’s easy for guests to travel to, there shouldn’t be any concerns here. However, for those that may be in a destination location, you’ll have to realize that some of the guests might not be able to attend. Additionally, going hand-in-hand with the topic of location, you’ll want to make sure parking won’t be an issue!
Don’t Forget About Your Budget.
This point might not be as fun as the ones above, but it’s still a major determining factor that must be in the back of your head throughout the entire planning process. As you probably already know, there’s a lot of vendors that’ll be involved in designing a wedding. If your venue isn’t an all-inclusive space, then get an idea of what everything else will cost before finalizing the venue.
The Perfect Venue For You!
Hopefully I haven’t scared you off with all of the elements that go into building your dream wedding. The secret behind a professional wedding venue is they should take all of this stress off your shoulders. From coordinating vendors to making sure there’s enough space for your entire guest list, you shouldn’t be worrying about logistics on your wedding day.
Thanks again to our friends at The Ramsey’s Photography for allowing me to hop on their blog for this piece! They recently photographed
a wedding at Madera (pictures featured throughout this article) and we look forward to working with them for future weddings! If you would ever like to learn more about our venue or schedule a free tour, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (936) 441-9337!
Ian Ramirez serves as the Venue Director of
. The architecturally-stunning and beauty that is Madera Estates, takes inspiration and visions from the historic town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, an artist’s haven and UNESCO World Heritage Site. An oasis of lush landscaping, guests are immediately transported from the piney woods of Southeastern Texas to the breathtaking and luscious highlands of Central Mexico.
In his spare time, Mr. Ramirez operates a private voice studio, sings as tenor soloist in The Woodlands United Methodist Church choir, and serves on the boards of Interfaith Young Professionals and the International Live Events Association Houston Chapter.
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