It's one of the most exciting times in your life, you are engaged, and planning a wedding with your soul mate. One of the first things you will want to accomplish in the early-goings of the process is search for a venue, and get it booked at least twelve months in advance of the day of the wedding. This stage may appear incredibly daunting for the inexperienced as you may not know what to look for in finding the right fit for you. Fortunately, the New Orleans area has a plethora of venues and locations to peruse. The difficult part is doing the research and legwork involved in the selection. We have some tips that will surely help you choose the venue that acts as the foundation of your perfect wedding.
Your first objective should be to compile a list of potential venues from friends and family member's referrals. Do a search on Google for wedding oriented venues in the New Orleans area. The venue does not necessarily have to service weddings primarily, but these venues are better prepared to meet the demands of a wedding such as special accommodations and full handicap access. Your wedding is about the marriage of two individuals together into a unit, but it is also about the guests you invite. If your guests are uncomfortable, your wedding will be severely lacking. It's your responsibility to make your guests feel welcome. Having a rough number of guests you will be inviting is key at this stage because it will help you determine what size venue you will need to book. Browse pictures of the venues that catch your eye, pay special consideration to the seasons apparent in each picture. If you are having a winter wedding try to match pictures in order to get a better mental image of the venue during your big day. Also, if it is an outdoor wedding, make sure it has the proper shelters or backup facilities in case of emergency weather conditions. If you are playing it safe, and looking to book a wedding oriented venue, they will most assuredly have backup plans, and basic human necessities available such as heating and air conditioning, bathrooms, and parking spaces.
Once you have narrowed the list down a bit, start placing calls to set up interviews with event coordinators or venue supervisors. At this stage, you should have a walk through of the venue with a coordinator or supervisor. If this venue you have chosen describes themselves as full-service, ask them how much their packages cost for furniture and wedding supply rentals. Most venues offer their own in-house rentals, or if they do not, they will most likely have a preferred vendor list which they very strongly suggest you use, if not outright restrict you to from the start. Going forward, keep this coordinator's contact information at hand because this person should be the one you deal with in regards to planning the event. Stress to the coordinator that you want them and no one else to be there at the day of the wedding, problems and confusion can arise if another person steps in and is not properly briefed. It simply helps the process go so much more seamlessly if you are corresponding with one person. This coordinator should be diplomatic in order to handle any issues that could spawn the day of the wedding, they should be organized and on top of things. In other words, this coordinator should have your best interests in mind in regards to the wedding. If it seems as if they are not cooperative, suggest a different person to correspond with, or simply go with a different venue.
The last objective to cover is the cost aspect. At the end of your first interview with the coordinator, you should ask for a sample invoice to get an example of what exactly they will be charging you. Be thorough and ask questions if something does not make sense to you. You do not want to receive a balance, and see a charge for a special hidden package that they slipped in their when your eyes were closed. Get everything in writing, and sign a contract with the venue. Once you place a deposit, you can sleep that night knowing you have the best venue out there for you, as you've done all the necessary steps to acquire it. But your job isn't done yet, you still have floral arrangements and the entertainment for the reception! No one said planning a wedding was a piece of cake!