The second most important decision in planning your wedding is choosing a venue just right for you and your guests. (Yes, choosing your fiancé is the most important.) Once the venue is secured, you can have fun putting together all the other pieces. Remember that your wedding is a profoundly personal experience, reflecting you and your fiancé, not the latest trends.
If a place has insufficient room for seating at the ceremony, serving and dining, or music and dancing, your guests could feel cramped. On the other hand, a venue that’s too large may dwarf your event. Plus, you don’t want to pay for space you don’t need.In other words, your first decision in selecting a venue must take into account the number of guests you expect to attend, which is not always the number you’re inviting. Create a guest list before booking a venue, even though you may be planning a year before the event. At the very least, have a ballpark figure.
Take someone with you—your mother, a friend, your fiancé. It’s much easier to choose when you have someone with whom to discuss your thoughts and ideas.
Try to look past how the property appears during the season you’re visiting, which is often late fall or winter. It helps to have the My Special Wedding catalog, with its pictures from the wedding season, in front of you to help you imagine how it will look with flowers, greenery, and blue sky.
Think about what activities you’ll want. Is electrical access important? If children will attend, what will they do during the reception? Is wheelchair access important? Do you need a generous dance floor? Will you need to accommodate a band or a DJ?
Ask us if there are properties available similar to ones you’ve chosen to visit. We've found that certain properties with more eye-catching photographs are being shown often, but similar properties with different photo presentation are not getting as much attention.
Personalizing Your Wedding Day
Happily, there are numerous beautiful Rogue Valley venues where you can create your unique experience with many options to customize including:
Where the ceremony takes place
Where the band or DJ sets up
How and where food is served
Where people dance
Where traditional ceremonies from your culture, or your family, are staged
Planning for Uncertain Weather
Rain can dampen your planned day no matter the season. To be safe, reserving a large canopy or arranging for a backup indoor venue (church or meeting hall perhaps) relieves what can be a major stress. Several local businesses have canopies you may reserve without paying full price if you don't need them.
In August and September, heat can be your biggest challenge, with afternoon temperatures often reaching 100+. Think about shade for late summer weddings, and determine where shade falls on the property in the afternoon. If everything is exposed to afternoon sun, some venues may not be ideal for a wedding that time of year. Or you may consider shade structures.
How Friends Can Help
If you’re lucky, people close to you may ask “What can I do to help?” Here are some ways to put them to work that can ease your mind and make your special day a joy for all. This list also takes into account that parents of both bride and groom deserve to enjoy the wedding day free from what may have been months of preparations.
Parking cars and/or providing shuttles from a nearby parking location to the venue.
Managing the event so the bride and groom, and their parents, can savor the day. Provide him or her a timeline of what happens when, and where things should be, and then let it go.
Creating table decorations and ceremony decor.
Contributing to bouquets and floral displays. The Rogue Valley is loaded with beautiful gardens and perhaps friends or relatives could plant flowers that match your color scheme.
Sharing photos taken throughout the day, whether or not you hire a professional wedding photographer.
Nearly all venues, including ours, require you to purchase one-day event insurance. We require a certificate of insurance a month before your wedding date. Check with your homeowner insurance agent first as they may offer the least expensive option.
Event insurance pricing is based on Alcohol or No Alcohol and the number of guests. The smaller the wedding, the lower the price. If you are not serving alcohol (most of our venues allow beer and wine), you save considerably.
Another way to save on liability insurance is by hiring a mobile bar service. They carry their own insurance, leaving you to purchase the less expensive basic event insurance.