I am a wedding and portrait photographer who keeps things light, fun, and full of energy. I’m based out of Springfield, Illinois however I love traveling all over the midwest and beyond.
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Your finally engaged and now the planning can begin! YAY! One of the first steps after you choose a wedding date is to look at reception venues! Picking your venue will not only nail down your coveted date, but the location you choose will help to create the vision you have in your mind about the direction of your reception style. Many venues will start booking at least a year out so there is no time to waste once you have wrapped your head around the fact you are engaged! Do you want a classic and elegant hotel ballroom? Maybe a rustic barn or the rolling hills of a winery? A reception center with a gorgeous view? Or even a country club where you can have your party plus your ceremony? Knowing what path you are going down when you begin to walk into venues will help narrow down your choices quickly.
Also having an idea of the number of guests you are planning to invite is key too. If you are thinking you can get away with a smaller venue because not everyone of your invitees will say “Yes”, that is a big mistake and can lead to a headache later on when the RSVPs start rolling in. And don’t forget mom and dad may have their own versions of who’s getting an invitation. Have the conversation with everyone before viewing venues so you aren’t dealing with a difficult issue after your guests have received their invite. One other factor is knowing your total budget for the wedding day. All venues have different approaches to the services they offer. Is the reception venue “full service”? Meaning they offer an all inclusive service such as catering the meal in house, supplying simple centerpieces for your tables, plus linens? Or potentially with a venue you are simply renting the space from them. Then you will need to keep in mind you will have to potentially rent tables, chairs, and hire an outside caterer. Then don’t forget a florist, DJ or band, and of course photographer to capture all your moments. It all adds up! Plan for it so you aren’t in sticker shock on the first step of your journey towards the alter.
Creating a memorable experience for your guests is important since these are your closest and most valued people in your lives. Some guests may be traveling from home to celebrate with you and your fiancé. Don’t forget to ensure there are plenty of hotels and amenities within close proximity to your venue. If the spot you two fall in love with is out in the middle of the countryside, find out if the venue provides shuttles to the nearest hotel for the safety of your guests. Or maybe they even have on-site cabins guests can book so they can easily walk to their rooms following your big party! Again the little conviences you provide to your loved ones will mean so much!
And lastly, stay true to yourselves! Just because Pinterest is telling you what is the “Trend” for weddings this year doesn’t mean it’s for you. A wedding is meant to honor your new marriage, celebrate with family and friends, and show off your relationship. Choose a space that will represent who you two are as a couple and what makes you the most happy! Good Luck getting the venue of your dreams!
Family Farm Rochester, IL