how to choose a wedding venue
You're newly engaged. The excitement is high, the stress is low, but in the back of your mind you know you need to start planning, picking, and choosing. You already know that you want Classic Filmworks to film your wedding, you might already had a florist in mind. But the thing you really need to choose is your venue! Where will this thing take place!!?
A few things to think about.
1. Do you want everything done for you, all-inclusive style? Or do you like to do everything yourself?
We have worked at many all-inclusive style venues, including Wedgewood locations (Fallbrook, San Clemente, Aliso Viejo and Galway Downs). These venues are great because they have much of what you need already included in the package, with the options for add-ons. As videographers, we are not included in their packages, however we come recommended by the venue and they had out our literature to prospective couples. This helps the couples not become too overwhelmed with all the planning aspects, and it helps us! See our Wedgewood Wedding Venue playlist on your YouTube channel! https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFCjys7zWOzw5BElq_iIlQqco5oqdDSX2
We have also filmed events that were completely 100% custom. Planners and events designers create elaborate plans to turn sometimes empty warehouse style venues into something amazing! We did videography for a Bar Mitzvah recently where the event planner / designer created such a beautiful environment at JULEP Venue. We have also seen Luce Loft become mind bogglingly transformed!
2. What style is your wedding? Is outdoor or indoor more appropriate? Beach or mountains?
If you live in San Diego, except in 2023, you probably wouldn't think twice about an outdoor venue. This weather has definitely given us pause to think about rain contingencies! Aside from San Diego turning into Seattle, think about what you like. When I got married I wanted something outdoor for the ceremony and indoor for the reception. I liked the tropical vibe aspect, so I chose Bali Hai Restaurant on Harbor Island in San Diego. It was my perfect wedding! Someone looking for a wedding venue that is super elegant and sophisticated would probably vibe better with the Grand Del Mar. There are many beach venues for the beach lovers, and many outdoorsy beautiful wedding venues for those types of people - think Botannica (a trademark venue). Something unique maybe? Mount Woodson Castle is a fun wedding venue if you're looking for something just a little different. There are also winery weddings (see our winery wedding video playlist on YouTube). https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFCjys7zWOzz4is4jV06zyEHleuysdht3
3. How many guests do you expect?
Size matters! If you have a micro-wedding, an elopement or small destination style wedding you may not need as much space as the person inviting all the relatives and people from all over the globe. We have filmed small intimate weddings up to 500 people weddings. Determine what matters to you, and then you can narrow down the venues that might work and will not work.
Everyone hates the dreaded "B" word, but it is something that must be addressed eventually. Or initially! Starting out, you may not know that some venues cost $7000 and some cost $70,000. The pricing is all over the board, ranging from budget to lavish. If your dream venue just won't work with your budget, think about the things that draw you to that wedding venue. Why do you like it? Are some of the things you like about it things you might find at a different venue? What is the style? Can you create a vibe similar through decor?
5. Is your date more important or is the venue choice more important?
You might have a set date in mind. 2-3-23 might be the one! Or 1-2-34 (a REALLY long engagement). You might not care, but know the season that appeals most. Fall is a gorgeous time for a wedding, so is winter, and spring, and summer! What speaks to you? I got married in the spring, but would probably choose fall if I were getting married again. I love the colors, the leaves, and the lighting.
Think about these things, drop a comment, and enjoy my wedding film in honor of my anniversary month! Happy 11 years to me!
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Nikki Lopez contributes articles about wedding videography that are funny, fun, and useful to couples as well as other videographers. She hopes to educate and inspire.