I have to say that this and putting together the guest list are usually two of most challenging aspects of planning a wedding in Chicago. Finding the right location or venue for your Chicago reception can be like buying a house. The word… location, location, location rings true. Why? Because it’s preferable that the reception is close to the location of the ceremony, or close to the location for the out of town guests or have that breathtaking view of the Chicago skyline that so many out of town guests are hoping to enjoy.
So let’s help you narrow down the choices on how you choose a location.
First you must decide…. do I want a hotel? Do I want a venue that you can rent and bring your own caterer (do you want to deal with all that?!), does it have to have a view of the skyline? Does it need to have an outdoor space? Do you want to have a lofty / gallery feel? Does it need to be eclectic? Think, what is in my “must have” list. Because the name of location scouting is narrowing the many choices available to you in Chicago. There is no sense in visiting 20 places because that just leads to what I like to call bridal burnout!
A. Find out what is important to you.
B. Can the venue comfortably sit the amount of guests you are inviting? No? Cross it off the list. On the other hand, is the venue too big for your amount of guests? Can you fill it up with a few changes like lounge furniture, bigger dance floor or square tables? Then keep it on the list.
C. Cost. A very important part of the process… if the budget allows and fit the first two then keep it on the list. Is it somewhat over the budget? Can you cut elsewhere if you really like this venue? If it’s well over… cross it off the list.
D. Availability for your wedding date. Is it available on your wedding date? No. This one tends to be a hard one in most cases, especially in Chicago were so many brides (and their planners) plan well in advance. Are you flexible on the date? Yes! Keep it on the list. Not flexible… cross it!
After going thru all these steps and talking with the venue coordinators make sure that you see pictures online (ask the coordinators to send you pictures of different setups in the space). Do you like it? Yes? Then by all means, schedule an appointment. You don’t care for it?Well there is no sense in visiting a venue if you don’t like it. Cross it off the list.
Have you noticed how we’ve narrowed the search? Now it’s time to visit a few places that are available, that you can afford and that are what you envision.
Location scouting is amongst Exquisite Weddings services and we love providing this service because we do all of these things for you. We narrow down the choices for you, make the phone calls, schedule the appointments, drive you to the location, know what the costs are beforehand, we can visit the venue/ hotel/ private club / resort with you and give you the pros and cons of a space.