Thursday, February 21, 2008

Venue Type Comparisons

Size up the sites - use this cheat sheet to weigh the pros and cons of various types of venues.

Venue Type: Great Because…: The Downside…: Here’s the Deal…:
Banquet Halls/Function Facilities
• Cost efficient and hassle free wedding packages available
• Tons of wedding experience makes site coordinator an invaluable resource • Weddings can look mass produced
• Multiple events held per day, affecting your starting and ending times The average banquet hall’s ambiance may require some imagination to make it your own. Consider it a blank canvas upon which to create your stylistic masterpiece
• Onsite accommodations and added amenities (concierge, shuttles, spas etc.)
• Proximity to airports and/or vacation destinations
• Low or no rental fees • Hotel ballrooms and cuisine can be generic
• Ballroom dividers may be unappealing (ask to see in advance)
• Potential lack of privacy - larger hotels host multiple events at once Providing everything in one location, these venues make things super easy for your guests. Of course, amenities, ambiance and cost vary greatly depending on the hotel or resort.
Country Clubs
• Golf and other activities may be available for guests
• Great outdoor photo opps • Facilities not completely private (members still on site)
• Food may be average or limited Interiors vary, but the grounds will almost always be striking (lakes, golf courses, marinas – you name it). You may have to be sponsored by a member.
• Good food is their specialty
• Fully decorated interiors punch added pizzazz often lacking in basic ballroom décor.
• Space limitations – make sure the space can fit a dance floor and band or DJ
• Potential lack of privacy – if your group size doesn’t warrant renting the entire place, you may be close to regular patrons Most have experience hosting large functions – so planning is relatively painless. If you’ve got a certain look and price point in mind, chances are you can find a restaurant to match.
Mansions and Historic Houses
• Impressive architecture and manicured grounds provide a distinctive setting
• Privacy – these venues usually host one event at a time
• Higher rental fees
• Space – if there’s no large ballroom, parties may have to split into smaller rooms or take place outside
• More restrictions - noise, décor and rental times
• Accessibility – these venues are often in secluded locations The style quotient is high, but expect to allocate more effort and more of your budget for this luxury.
Libraries and Museums
• Distinctive architecture and cultural ambiance
• Exhibitions on display add element of entertainment • Higher rental fees
• Public government space – means potentially restrictive rules, hours and red tape
• Often little coordinating assistance Your guests won’t soon forget this setting, but you may want to hire a professional planner to help with details.
Public Parks, Gardens and Beaches
• Solve decorating dilemmas when Mother Nature does the work for you
• The natural setting complements relaxed weddings
• Necessary permits and many restrictions
• Outdoor disturbances – insects, dirt, mud, allergies, noises, temperature
• Must plan a backup for inclement weather Don’t think these natural settings are a breeze – everything must be rented, from tables and chairs to portable restroom facilities and dance floors.