Choosing a venue for your wedding reception is undoubtedly the most important decision you'll make during the planning process. You also need to make it early on so you can start looking for local vendors to work with on all the other decor details. On top of all that, according to The Knot's 2016 Real Weddings survey, couples on average spend 45 percent of their entire wedding budget on the venue alone, which makes it the most expensive "item" on your budget list. So it's crucial to know exactly what you're getting before you and your husband-to-be make that deposit.
Believe it or not, shopping for seasonal options is not only something you should consider for your flowers—it applies very much for the venue as well. And for brides getting hitched in the spring, not taking advantage of the unique opportunities nature offers you this time of year would be unfortunate.
"The beauty of a spring wedding is that flowers are in bloom and there is no longer a chill in the air. Couples can take advantage of this special time of year by selecting wedding venues with outdoor spaces which highlight nature's beauty and allow the couple to take their wedding photos outside," says Anne Chertoff, a trend expert at WeddingWire. "They can trade snow and slush dirtying their clothes and shoes for green grass and colorful blooming flowers."
So where do you even begin? She suggests to first think about what kind of wedding you'd like to have. If you're dreaming of a romantic daytime celebration with an intimate vibe to it, then search for gardens (preferably those in bloom), or venues that have gardens. They are perfect for having the ceremony or cocktail hour.
"Couples should look for a venue that has an outdoor space so they can take advantage of the springtime weather. Small courtyards or lawns can also make beautiful backdrops for photos," adds Chertoff.
Of course, we all know that weather can be quite unpredictable so having a plan B in case of rain is crucial. See if the venue you select has an indoor or tented option in the event of spring showers.
"Always ask what the options are if an outdoor area gets rained out. Does the venue have umbrellas the valets can use to get guests in and out of cars without getting soaked? Find out if there is a bridal suite for the bride to get dressed in so she doesn't have to worry about rain getting on her as she arrives, and check to make sure there's an area for guests to gather in case they have to wait out passing showers," suggests Chertoff.
And even though many brides are terrified by the thought of rain happening on their big day, Chertoff says, you always have to see the glass half full and embrace the opportunity.
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"Incorporate the rain and shop for white umbrellas or umbrellas in the color of the wedding to make sure you and your guests don't get wet walking in and out of the venue. Plus, rain, umbrellas and rain boots can make for great wedding pictures. And remember, it's good luck if it does rain on your wedding day," she says.