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Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Picking a Venue

 The three of us, Sabryna, dad, & MOB {me} had some SERIOUS and I mean SERIOUS talks about venues. {There may or may not have been some tears shed}. Dad thought we should save money and do the reception at our neighborhood club house. S thought “no way in H-E-double toothpicks” is that happening. MOB thought “Let’s do what S wants it’s her day.” Needless to say, as it usually goes at our house, ultimately the girls always win. And WIN we did. Especially when we found and put the deposit down on the perfect venue for S + B’s wedding.
 S + B at the alter. Photography Credit, Jennefer Wilson
The venue was the highest priority on Sabryna’s list. Because of this we knew that we would be spending the largest chunk of money on this part. Knowing this going in helps soften the blow. If you don’t know what I mean by softening the blow, then you may not have seen the price tag on securing a wedding venue. Tred lightly because you’ll have to sign a contract and you better know what you are getting into. I’ve compiled a list of things I feel are good for any MOB to know so you can be more informed. {So hurry now, let’s get to work, these venues can book up to a year in advance!}
When picking a venue take into consideration these questions which ultimately could save you thousands of dollars: 
What is the Cost of the venue and is there any way to get a discount? Most facilities will discount their venue if you rent it on a week night, Monday-Thursday. The weekends could be twice as much. If your daughter doesn’t mind getting married on a week night this could save you thousands.
Do you have to use their caterer’s, decorators, and coordinators? If this is the case the price tag is going to go up considerably. Although it alleviates a lot of planning on your part and streamlines things I found it not to be a money saving option. You also will have less control of the over entire process. I’m too much of a type A personality for anything like this. However, if you are looking for someone to just “do it all” then this would be a match made in heaven.
How far is the venue from the Bride and Groom’s homes? This is so important. People may not think about this at first, but you will pretty much be moving over what seems like your home to decorate for the day. The closer the venue the better. If something is forgotten you don’t want to waste the time to have to run back in hours of traffic. Plain and simple, you will not have the time to do that on the big day. Besides, more guests will attend the closer the venue is to them.
Is there free parking? If they don’t have free parking then the cost of the venue will go up, as you will have to pay for each car that arrives.
The bridge to from the Reception Hall to the Ceremony area at Poetry Springs.
{Decor by MOB. All photography by Jennefer Wilson.}
Is there a separate ceremony area on site? Not having to rent a chapel and worrying about travel from the ceremony to the reception is money in the bank.
The outside ceremony area at Poetry Springs 
{Decor by MOB, Florals by R Love Floral}
How does the ceiling look? Faux ceilings are pricey and time consuming to put up. If you find a facility with a beautiful ceiling built in then it is a win win. Automatically this will easily save up to $500 {depending on the size of your facility}.
The Bride and her Bridal Party. Notice the beautifully decorated ceiling.
Is there a kitchen? Is there a wet bar? Having a prep kitchen area is a must for whoever caters the wedding. If you plan on saving money by having friends cater remember that this will be very beneficial to you. Doing this could save you upwards of $2000. It is worth paying for this type of venue.
Wet Bar area & Huge Catering Kitchen inside Poetry Springs.
Is there a Bridal Suite? The Bride and her Bridal party will need an area shut off from everything else. So will the MOB. If you have a bridal suite with areas to get ready in for the Bride and her wedding party it is a time and money saver. She can have her friends, or better yet a friend’s mom, help with make up and hair. {This is what we did and it was fantastic}.
Inside the Bridal Suite at Poetry Springs.
{S and MOB taking time to get ready before the ceremony}
Is there a Groom’s Room? The Groom and his party need a space too. Somewhere to eat pizza and hang out while waiting for all those girls getting ready.
The Groom’s Suite at Poetry Springs.
{Brady and His Groomsmen}
Are the grounds beautiful enough for outdoor photography? If your photographer only needs to come to one site for photos this will save you money.
The beautiful forest grounds at Poetry Springs
{The Wedding Party}
Does the inside have a “blank slate”? If the architecture is beautiful, yet flexible enough to make come alive with your own with decor, then you’ve found a winner. Remember you don’t want purple carpet on the floors with red decor.
Bridal party and family tables provided by Poetry Springs. 
{Decor by MOB, Florals by R Love Floral}
Do chairs and tables come with the venue rental? If the venue add’s this feature in for free then it’s money in your pocket! {Seriously, that’s straight money}.
Tables and Chairs included in the rental at Poetry Springs.
{Decor by MOB, Florals by R Love Floral}
Is there room for a dance floor? Ultimately if you don’t have to clean up and clear out tables for dancing the flow will work better for the evening. Having space for a dance floor is an added bonus as well as an area for a band or DJ with a built in speaker system. This assures that the program can continue without interruption while your guests enjoy their dinner.
Dance floor at Poetry Springs. 
{S + B have their first dance}
Okay, now that THAT is over… consider this….
Make a search of possible venues in your immediate area. Go and visit all of them. If you don’t go then you won’t know…seriously it sucks, but you’ve got to do the research. Most likely you will need to call and set up and appointment for a tour. We found out the hard way that most facilities aren’t open and staffed all day long. {Dang, I guess the world doesn’t revolve around us}.
Finding your ultimate event center is kind of like searching for a good fitting shoe. After trying on a few you will know which is the perfect fit. Write a list of pros and cons if the decision becomes hard to make. The most important advice I can give is to really consider all extra costs you may have to put into making a venue that is less expensive what you ultimately want it to be. {Like Dad says, you can slap some “lipstick” on a pig, but in the end it is still a pig}.
For us, When we walked into the Poetry Springs Wedding Event Center we instantly fell in love. Sabryna knew and when I say that she KNEW, I mean she KNEW that this was the place. The very next day we brought dad and he put down the deposit. {Dad may have shed a tear or two when writing the check}. With this step finalized we were ready to move forward with the next HUGE decision that needed to be made. The Wedding Dress.
The venue that we chose can be found here.
Read other articles in this series:
Planning Your Daughters Wedding: Where to Begin
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Details
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Bridal Party
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Wedding Dress
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Picking A Venue
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: Preventing Bridezilla
Planning Your Daughter’s Wedding: The Wedding Cake
Visit the Bride’s website here.
Florals by R Love Floral.
Stunning photography by Jennefer Wilson.
Please follow along as I will be posting and updating my blog with each and every area of planning for my daughter’s big day! I will be posting tutorials, money saving ideas, and tips that made this day extra special. Thanks for reading and following along!

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