Wedding Wednesday: Choosing A Venue

Photo Credit: SHAHRP Photography

So, now that we are past the "ohmygod we're getting married!" stage, the real work has officially begun. But, on the bright side we have our venue(s)! For those of you who have never been part of an Indian wedding--we don't really have a wedding day. It's more of a wedding week. or month. So, not only do we have to choose a wedding venue, but also a reception venue, and pre-wedding celebration venues. Can you tell we like to party??

Finding the perfect venues did seem like a daunting task, but it wasn't impossible! While there were several factors involved in finalizing our venues, these are the five most important things we kept in mind during our search that could make or break our decision (especially 1-3).

1. BUDGET
Obviously! It's important to set a budget for each aspect of the wedding BEFORE falling in love with the perfect venue or dream dress that is much too expensive. Looking at the numbers beforehand and making sure they are realistic helps filter out the options that are just not possible. 

2. SIZE
It's no secret that Indian weddings have a lot of guests. I mean, we like to party and we do it with a lot of people. So, after creating our initial guest list and getting an accurate idea of who would actually attend, we started searching for venues that had a large enough capacity. Since our wedding is in December, one of the struggles we faced was finding an indoor venue that could hold our guests. Living in California, we have access to so many beautiful outdoor venues; but with the unpredictable December weather, we were limited to indoor spaces. The irony is painful, I know. 

3. OUTSIDE CATERING
Since we want to serve Indian food at our wedding, finding a venue that allowed outside catering was a must. We found gorgeous indoor venues that had a large guest capacity but didn't allow outside catering--which was disappointing and slightly discouraging. We also had to keep an eye on the cost of having an outside caterer in addition to the venue cost itself. (more on hidden wedding costs in a later post).  

A snap from the venue-finalizing meeting!

4. CONVENIENCE
By convenience, I mean for us as the family planning the event as well as for the guests attending. An important factor we took into consideration here was the time frame of our wedding. Since we are getting married during the holidays, we wanted to choose a space that wouldn't fall prey to holiday traffic on the 405. I also wanted to make sure that the venue was close enough to home to easily be able to schedule and attend vendor meetings during the planning process. Another major factor was our guests. We wanted to ensure the highest level of comfort for our guests in terms of traveling to and from wedding events, spending time at our house, and having general amenities like restaurants, attractions, and grocery stores easily accessible. Fortunately, we were able to find a place that fit all our needs :)

5. STYLE
As a couple that loves themes, we knew we needed spaces that allow us to truly transform the area into what we are imagining. Thinking about the colors, the style, and the overall vibe that we want to create was an important step before finalizing our venues.   

It's such a relief that we have a venue. It makes the whole "getting married" thing feel even more real! Plus, all the other pieces are slowly starting to fall into place. I know there is still a long way to go, but it's coming together!

I'd love to hear any questions, comments, or advice from you on venue picking. Feel free to share in the comments below!   

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