Tips for Finding the Perfect Venue

No doubt about it, choosing a venue for your wedding is exciting.  After arriving at a date, it is one of the first decisions you will make on your wedding planning journey. But before you put down any deposits or form attachments to rustic-chic barns that don’t have electricity, there are a few things to consider. Here’s our best advice for choosing a wedding venue:

Estimate your guest list and budget. 

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Bowen Photography

You probably don’t have a firm grip on your guest list or budget just yet, but you’ll need to know roughly how many people you’re inviting and how much you can spend before you start drawing up your list of dream venues.  Both pieces of information are critical to keep you from wasting your time touring venues that are too small or outside of your budget.  Your guest list doesn’t need to be etched in stone at this point, but you should have a rough idea of how many people are on your list and how many are on your future spouses.  Be sure not to overlook parents….if they are chipping in part or all of the funds, they may have a handful of close friends they would like to include.

Consider the style of wedding you want to have. 

Whether it’s rustic, formal, boho, low-key, or a blow-out bash, the wedding style you and your partner envision will be a big factor in determining where you can host your celebration. Consider whether you want a traditional or non-traditional venue. There are plenty of venues that regularly play host to weddings — including barns and art galleries — but if you opt for a totally non-traditional venue that’s not equipped to host a party (say, an industrial warehouse space), you’ll be responsible for a lot more details. Wedding-ready venues often have tables, chairs, and linens available for your use and, quite often, a set-up and clean-up crew on hand. If you’re renting out a non-traditional space, remember to factor in all of those details and make sure they are in your budget.

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Bowen Photography

Slow down and consider the logistics. 

Once you have a list of possible wedding venues and begin to visit them, you may find yourself falling instantly in love with the aesthetics of a space. But be sure to slow down and consider the logistics of having a wedding at your dream wedding venue.  Don’t forget to think about available parking – is it on property? Is there a fee to park?  Does the venue have a liquor license? Is there a contingency plan in case of bad weather? Is there a required end time? All of these could adversely affect your budget if you aren’t prepared.

Think about how much control you’ll want to have over your wedding’s decor and details. 

Most venues are either full-service or not, meaning they either provide all tables, chairs, and linens…or they don’t. Find out what each venue provides, ask if the venue has any vendor restrictions, and decide whether or not you can be happy with those options.

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Photo Credit: Marry Jordan Photography

Consider your catering needs. 

Many of today’s couples are foodies and want to serve their guests a very specific menu. But not every venue will allow you to bring in your own caterer, and some may require you to choose from in-house catering menus. Discuss your catering needs before signing a contract to ensure that the venue matches your desires.  And be sure to schedule a tasting.

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Photo Credit: Foskett Creative

Visit your potential venue more than once.

Once you’ve whittled down your list of venue options to two or three frontrunners, go back and visit them again. Do they have the same charm? Do they fulfill all your logistical and stylistic requirements? Are they big enough, and will your party have a comfortable flow? If possible, visit the venue around the time of day you want to marry — if you originally saw the venue at 11 AM the first time you visited, you’ll want to see it again at the time you plan to start your wedding. Note whether or not the lighting and aesthetic of the space is the same. (This is also a good time to bring in your wedding planner if you’re working with one.)

Signing a contract.

Read the fine print!  Ask all of your questions before signing.  When you sign a contract, it is assumed that you read, and agreed to, every word.  It is also important to note that many vendors are not willing to modify their agreement so only ask if there is a clause that you simply can’t work with (i.e. the need for Kosher catering and there isn’t an option provided by the venue).

Once your contract is signed, you will undoubtedly want to show the venue to your family and wedding party.  An open house is the perfect opportunity for that. Remember that, while you have one wedding, your venue coordinator could potentially have over 50 events booked and several more pending so don’t just pop in!

Do you have questions regarding your venue contract?  We can help you sort out the details and let you know what you are signing before you sign.  Our hourly packages are designed for couples that need a little assistance with contracts. Email us for more info!

Now go celebrate and start your design board or call us and we will help you design one!

 

 

 

 

You’re Engaged! Now What??

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He popped the question and you’re now engaged! Congratulations! Your journey up the aisle is an exciting one that, generally, comes along just once in a lifetime.  However, some brides find the wedding planning process to be one of the most stressful periods in their lives.  We have some news for you – it doesn’t have to be!

Planning your wedding day is more magical than you can even imagine. Yes, there’s so much to do, however you decide how simple or detailed your wedding is.  Truth be told, you really only need three things to get married in Arizona: two people, a celebrant and the marriage license.

So now that you’re engaged, now what?

The first two tasks on your ‘to-do’ list are interchangeable because once you announce your news to the world, the first question they’re going to ask is, “When’s the big day?”  So do what is best for the two of you.

Your friends and family may want a say in the date (especially if babies are due or people are coming from other parts of the US, etc) so perform steps 1 or 2 in the order with which you’re most comfortable.

Also, keep in mind that there are plenty more steps.  Things like setting a date for an engagement party, choosing your bridal party and perhaps even insuring your engagement bling.  Below are the key steps that must first be done.

  1. Announce your big news

Facebook and Twitter may seem like the best communication mediums through which to announce your engagement to the world, but they’re also highly impersonal – and once you’ve done it, the entire world will know. It’s only polite to let your friends and family know first, especially if your significant other has gone down the traditional route of asking for your hand in marriage.

Take the time to reach out to your family and close friends before logging into your social media profiles, sending a mass email or making the traditional engagement announcement in the newspaper. After all, it is this tribe who will be most happy for you and your partner-to-be.

  1. Set a date

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The first question anyone asks is generally, “when?”.  It’s inevitable and, even if it changes due to venue availability or other factors, you’ll need a rough date in mind to begin talking to vendors. Take into account who is in your wedding party.  Is your maid of honor a teacher?  If so, fall or spring break may be easy for her because she won’t have to take vacation time and prepare for a substitute teacher.  Is your partner’s sister expecting a baby?  Planning around her due date will reduce stress for all involved while ensuring you’ve done all you can to be sure she can attend.  Forward thinking the tiny details alleviates so much stress down the road.

  1. Contact Stellar Event Management – Wedding & Event Planner

Screenshot 2017-06-16 19.29.42Stellar Event Management is a full-service wedding & event planner that can put you in touch with the right wedding suppliers.   From wedding dress designers and cake decorators to some of our most talented wedding photographers and florists, Stellar has an extensive and trusted network of suppliers right at your fingertips.

Our aim is to take the stress out of planning so that you can enjoy your engagement.  We specialize in planning exceptional weddings and events, taking particular care to ensure that each client experiences the ‘perfect day’, the ‘perfect way’.

  1. Discuss a budget

Sit down with your partner and anyone else that may be paying for or contributing to office-pen-calculator-computation-163032the cost of your wedding (Mom and Dad?) and begin to discuss what funds you have available.  Having a general idea of your total budget will help you and your planner design your decor and select vendors that will help you realize your dream.  Your budget does not need to be set in stone, yet, but having a ballpark range will help you take the next exciting step of picking a venue!

Stellar Event Management can assist in making your dream wedding come true.  We guarantee a day that is uniquely catered to your style and personality and no two events ever looking the same. Give us a call or drop us an email to schedule your free consultation.

 

The Story of Stellar Event Management

Kristin’s passion is working with couples that share that one special quality – a genuine desire to share their love with the people they love.ks pic web

After years of managing event venues, off-premise catering companies and planning corporate and fundraising events throughout AZ, Kristin Sanchez turned her attention to wedding planning.

Stellar Event Management was born out of Kristin’s love for design coupled with her Type-A personality and attention to detail. Seeing niches in the existing wedding and event planning market, Kristin set out to create a totally client-focused wedding planning service.

Drawing on a diverse range of skills and experience, Kristin has crafted a valuable package of services to give couples the best wedding experience possible. Stellar Event Management streamlines your wedding management process, seeking creative ways to bring your particular ideas and desires to life.

Stellar Event Management hand-picks its suppliers from the top of their respective industries. Strong relationships with these suppliers mean that delays and hiccups are minimized. We aim to go above and beyond that expected of traditional wedding planners, making every wedding as special as it can be.

Couples from all walks of life can be assured that all their needs will be taken into account with no cut corners. No event is too big or too small – our services are scalable to match your exact needs.

From engagement, to invitations, to the final ‘I do’, the wedding planning process is involved and complex. Of course, we believe this shouldn’t detract from the romance or the fun! Stellar Event Management is there to support you and your partner every step of the way.

At Stellar Event Management, your special day is as important to us as our own. We’ll do our best to make it memorable in ways that will keep your guests talking long after the last dance!