Planning a wedding involves a number of decisions, but the biggest one you’ll face is deciding where to host the big day. Choosing a wedding location, specifically coming up with wedding venue ideas and deciding between indoor wedding venues or outdoor wedding is key to your sanity. The sooner you decide on your wedding location, the better.
Is an Indoor Wedding Venue the Right Choice?
A major appeal to an indoor wedding venue is you don’t have to worry about the weather once your guests have arrived, unless of course tornadoes or hurricanes frequent your part of the world. Indoor wedding venues can range from barns to meeting halls to ski lodges to country clubs to reception halls and hotel ballrooms. Each of these may offer a “bundle” of amenities and allow for varying degrees of customization, which usually impact the cost. Some of these sites may have staff to help coordinate your wedding, and provide the necessary tables, chairs, bars, lights, dance floors and even the linens, dishes, glasses and flatware.
As you consider venues for weddings, an indoor site has its own quirks so ask plenty of questions and make sure you have inspected all the furnishings to ensure they will be functional and attractive for your guests. If you’re not satisfied with the provided items, such as chair style, chair covers and/or the size or shape of the tables, these items can be rented and brought in. But remember, you will in effect be paying twice for these items. But if having the right style of chairs or linen colors adds to the beauty of your special day, it may be worth the extra expense.
Setup and breakdown can be challenging in certain indoor venues. If your rental agreement only allows you access for a few hours before and after your reception this may influence the amount of decorating you can reasonably accomplish. Determine if there are any groups using the space before and after your event or other groups using the property at the same time, as you may have to work around these users.
You should also consider the number of guests you anticipate and make sure the indoor venue can accommodate your requirements for parking, restrooms and of course seating space, dancing area and stand up cocktail areas.
Does an Outdoor Setting Make the Grade?
The possibilities for outdoor sites are almost endless, especially if you live in a particularly picturesque part of the country. You may choose an outdoor site that has special meaning to you or your fiancé, such as a lake where you spent summers growing up, the backyard of your childhood home or a family property. Of course, there are many inns, museums, golf courses, farms and parks which welcome weddings, and some of these may have very attractive packages for outdoor weddings.
Naturally, an outdoor site will be subject to the weather. In general, a full-service rental company will have solutions to prepare for most any condition. Tents can be remarkably good at keeping your guests cool in the summer heat and warm on a chilly night. Sidewalls can be used to shelter guests from the wind, rain, snow and hot sun.
Perhaps the best part of an outdoor wedding is the opportunity to add your special touch. You’ll have choices over the tent size and style, type of lighting, shape of tables, style of chairs, and linens. And you’ll be able to add special touches such as paper lanterns, trees and plants to transform an otherwise “blank canvas.” Tent décor can run from very simple to rustic to very cosmopolitan chic. Bridal websites and blogs are loaded with inspirations for your special day, and if you can dream it, your rental provider can usually find a way to do it.