May 20, 2020
Bride Guide #35 gives you 5 tips on choosing the perfect Venue by Cedar City Utah Wedding Photographer Lauren Kay Photography.
Maybe you’re envisioning your parent’s backyard. The summer breeze, the big patio lights, the setting sun. Or maybe you’re envisioning that gorgeous old mansion you’ve always dreamed of getting married in.
When you choose your venue, as a Cedar City Utah Wedding Photographer I want you to remember this. Make it about the both of you. Choose somewhere you will both love and, where possible, somewhere that has meaning for both of you.
In the past there has been an expectation that a bride should get married in the temple or venue she grew up closest to. Especially when the bride and groom are from very different places. The same goes for having the ceremony at the bride’s hometown. Let’s bag this ladies. Right now, I want you to throw this idea out the window. It is not just about you anymore! This is about you as a couple. Where do you both want to get married? Where is meaningful to both of you? Where would it be most convenient, considering your wedding planning circumstances and where you currently live? Where are you planning on living long term? Do you want to be able to visit this temple or area later? How possible will that be? Choose a place that will be special for both of you forever. Family and friends will travel to be where you are.
A church, a backyard, a home, a gorgeous venue. There are so many options for your celebration. Here are my five big tips for choosing the perfect venue:
How many people are you inviting? That will be the first thing to consider when choosing your venue. You don’t want to be squishing everyone in, but you definitely don’t want it to be empty and feel as if no one is there. Choose a venue that is appropriate for the number of guests you have invited.
What is the time of year? If it’s a time when you can have your celebration outside in a backyard, that is a beautiful and inexpensive option. It’s one of my favorites, honestly. If you do opt to have it outside, be aware of rain and other weather situations and have a backup plan. You’ll also want to consider, what time of day will your celebration be? Is it in the heat of the day? A fall evening when it’s chilly? The time of day is also an important factor to consider.
You obviously can’t book a $10,000 venue if your entire wedding budget is $5,000. Keep your venue in your budget. And remember it is more important to spend money on yourself and your groom first. If needed, a home can really be a nice venue option and is completely free.
Yes it is usually free to have your celebration in a church. But, to decorate a church to make it look like a wedding? That costs hundreds to thousands of dollars. You can most likely book a venue with the money you would spend paying for a church to be decorated. Venues often are already nicely decorated with the basics so only a few decorations are needed.
As a photographer, I have to put in this plug. Lighting makes a huge difference. Venues like backyards, greenhouses, or places with big windows have such amazing lighting. If you want your photos to be bright and beautiful, choosing a venue with good lighting is a must.
As a Cedar City Utah Wedding Photographer I have come across some local wedding venues, check them out here: https://laurenkayphoto.com/vendors.
If I could buy everything Hobby Lobby sells, I probably would. I love décor. When it comes to decorating your wedding there are a lot of options. You can rent décor, you can purchase your own décor, you can borrow décor from people’s houses, or you hire a professional decorator. It really is up to you. My recommendation is to rent and borrow décor you don’t care to keep and purchase décor you can use later. You should rent things like tables, chairs, linens, backdrops, cake stands, and vases. You can purchase things like pictures frames, lights, and quotes and signs.
I am a fan of doing your own decorations. If you have a lot of decorating that needs done, like decorating a church, I would recommend hiring a decorator. They have all the supplies and it takes all the hassle of set-up and take-down off of you. But, if you are going to be at a nice venue or backyard, rent, borrow, and buy your own decorations so that you can keep them to use in your home.
Once you know what temple or venue you want to get married in, contact them and get an idea of what days they have openings that work with your timeline. Be open to doing a weekday! Weekdays are usually less booked and venues are often cheaper.
● Do a weekday wedding! I’ve said it before, venues are often cheaper during the week than on weekends.
● Use a home or backyard.
● Shop around. Don’t set your heart on a venue and don’t get discouraged. Venue prices range all over the board, so shop around! Ask the vendors you’re working with for recommendations. I totally ruled out venues thinking they would be too expensive so I didn’t even look into them. But, now I know how much they cost and they totally would’ve been within my budget. So shop, shop, shop.
Budget décor ideas:
● Borrow! Your parents, friends, your parent’s friends, they likely have cute home décor that would look great as wedding décor.
● Greenery or flowers enhance any space so much! Ask your florist about getting extra florals to use for decorating.
● Pictures are hands down one of my favorite ways to decorate. They are so beautiful, inexpensive, and so meaningful. They tell your story and guests love to look at them.
● Collect. Once you know your general wedding theme, start collecting any thing that goes along with it. Burlap, wood, lace, furniture, dishes, keep whatever you may be able to use.
● Buy secondhand. Go to a thrift store to find things like vases or frames.
● Use your bridesmaid’s bouquets as centerpieces for the tables. After the pictures have been taken, they won’t need to hold onto them all evening anyway.
● Give décor as a gift. Let your grandparents and parents take home their favorite picture of you as a thank you.
● Buy the décor you want for your home so that you can keep it after.
● Rent or borrow anything you don’t want to keep – linens, furniture, backdrops, cake stands, vases, etc.
One element of your décor is the guestbook. You can stick with the classic guestbook or there are so many other options as well. Include as many or as few as you’d like! For example, you could have a traditional guestbook as well as a date night and advice jar.
● Photos: a classic photobook, Polaroids of your guests, photo booth, or a GoPro where they record a message to you
● Jars: advice jar, date night jar, bucket list jar, prompts jar with prompts like “What was the best part of today?”
● Décor: sign a matted watercolor, a bench or furniture for your home, a map or globe, or the wooden letter of your last name
● Time capsule: a pinata they place notes in that you smash your first anniversary, notes that you open on a certain anniversary
● Games: sign Jenga pieces, a favorite boardgame box, a deck of cards, or a puzzle
● Objects: sign in the margins of a book, a musical instrument, records, a blanket or quilt, a football, or highlight their favorite verse in scripture and leave their name next to it
Make your guestbook table a comfortable height for people to write while standing and make sure your pens or markers work beforehand and don’t smear.
I love this idea. Have a table or area totally for the kids. Not only do they have a great time, but it allows their parents to enjoy the celebration more too. Here are some ideas:
● Have blank paper and crayons for them to draw you a picture with a sign that says “make a card for the bride and groom”
● Have crayons and wedding themed coloring/activity books – you can find things like this on Etsy
● Have a jar with Legos and a sign that says “Great marriages are built brick by brick” (quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
● Attach coloring pages and crayons to a clipboard and have each child take one so they can play with it by their parents
● Have the tablecloth for the kids table be a gigantic sheet of butcher paper that they can color on