1. Which is most important to you - the date or the venue? - No guarantee the venue you would like will be available on your date, if you are not planning a year or two in advance. And many venues charge more for the primo days - Saturdays or Holidays. So, the more flexible you are on the day, the better deal and better chance you will be able to book that perfect place.
2. Venue - Indoors vs Outdoor - Outdoor receptions are becoming very popular. Brides either romantically envision a beautiful outdoor party - with perfect sunny weather and beautiful starlit night, or choose to have a backyard affair to help on costs. Which would be great, IF Mother Nature wasn't so fickle.
Indoor receptions you have a controlled climate (so what if its windy/cold/rainy outside?), but prices can vary, and every venue does have its own set of dos and don'ts.
If you DO opt for an outdoor affair, please review our tips on Outdoor Weddings.
3. More on the Venues:
size DOES matter - Meet with the venues and check to see if the place is the right size. Putting 200 people in a room is one thing - putting 200 in a room with cake table, buffet, bar, dance floor, Head table, DJ area etc is another. And along the same line - putting 100 into a large grand ballroom that could hold 300 is just as bad. Too much space and 'mingling' of guests tend to be cut way back, with people staying within their own circle so to speak.
Barn Receptions - Becoming an extremely popular setting are Barns. You can even find many that are set up for weddings. Things to consider with a Barn venue are :
1. Is it enclosed or an open "pole barn"?
2. Does it have heat? AC?
3. What kind of floor? (Some have sawdust or dirt) Sawdust, hay, etc can cause problems with those who have respiratory problems.
4. Electricity - will the venue allow for a band or DJ and special lights?
Now that you have your Date and Venue, lets move on.
4. Book your Caterer and DJ - Do not think you "have plenty of time" for this. Caterers and DJs fill in dates fast, often only booking one event per day.
Caterers: First you must decide - Buffet? Sit down/ Served meal? Appetizers/finger foods only? There is not 'right or wrong' here - the choice is yours. But do think of your guests (and the fact you will be in white) as to what foods you will serve. Also:
1. check with the venue - some do not allow outside caterers in.
2. Ask how they keep the food hot/cold.
3. Do they supply plates, utensils etc
4. Do they serve it or just drop off they food?
Now for the DJ: The DJ can make or break your reception, so choose wisely. Things to look for in a DJ service are:
1. What kind of music do they have? - Most have every genre.
2. Do they supply dance floor lighting? Up lighting? Video Screens? Your name in lights? Bubbles? - Not all have all the 'bells and whistles'. And just how fancy you want your affair is your choice.
3. Do the offers MC services? - Will they make all announcements such as cake cutting, bouquet toss etc?
4. What is their "style" ? What do they wear, how do they make announcements, interact with your guest etc. You will not want one that is in a tux and formal if you are wanting your guests to "let their hair down" nor would you want a ball cap wearing 'Club style' DJ at a wedding reception doing the Yo Yo Yo into the mic with older adults as guests. How much DO they talk on mic during a reception? ( some tend to be too chatty, others not enough)
5. How is the music selected? - Do you have control over what gets played? What doesn't get played?
6. Can they do requests that day?
7. Do they offer day of Coordination? - Will they keep things running smooth for you?
After you get Date - Venue - Caterer - DJ locked in - then you can worry about making it all pretty. The florists can do both your bouquet and centerpieces or a party rental place that specializes in wedding decor can transform any place into something special.
Just remember - not everyone will remember where it was held, how pretty the centerpieces where, or even what the food was like - but they all will remember how much fun they had. So, whether its a fancy affair in a grand Ballroom with filet mignon , or a simple backyard reception with BBQ - the DJ will be your most important decision.
For more information on 2 Wolves DJ Service visit our website: www.2wolves.com