Questions to Ask When Choosing a Wedding Venue

Venue selection is key to a successful destination wedding. In addition to providing a stunning backdrop, the ideal venue will offer courteous service, complete with personalized details to make every couple feel special. As you hunt for the perfect venue, don’t hesitate to ask the following questions:

What is the venue’s capacity?

First and foremost, you’ll want to have an idea as to whether potential venues can accommodate your intended number of guests. The last thing you want is to cut down dramatically on your guest list due to venue size limitations. This concern goes both ways; if you intend to throw a small wedding, you won’t want to book an overly spacious venue.

When in doubt, look for venues that provide multiple spaces to accommodate weddings of various sizes. Weddings in CT on the water are ideal in that a variety of guest lists can be accommodated, ranging from the most intimate nuptials to grand affairs involving hundreds of guests.

Can the venue accommodate both the ceremony and reception?

Some wedding venues are exclusively suited to ceremonies and receptions, while others can accommodate both aspects of the special day. When possible, this combination is advisable, as it can streamline the planning process and prevent transportation headaches. Some locations even offer multiple spaces to handle various aspects of the day. For example, Connecticut wedding venues on the water may include seating directly on the beach for the ceremony, followed by a ballroom-based reception.

What is included in the rental fee?

Some wedding venues are essentially all-inclusive, while others cover only the space, leaving you to handle the catering, cake, flowers, and other key considerations. Neither approach is inherently better; ultimately, it all comes down to your budget and the degree of control you desire over your big day. Many brides and grooms are perfectly happy to let the wedding venues take care of all the details, freeing them up to focus on other details. Others may wish to bring in specific florists, DJs, or photographers.

Is the space available for other wedding-related events?

The wedding is likely just one of several events you and your partner might throw. Rehearsal dinners and post-wedding brunches also warrant consideration. Many venues are willing to accommodate such events, but scheduling limitations can make booking difficult. In general, you’ll find it easier to host such special occasions at larger venues that offer multiple event spaces.

What is the backup plan for adverse weather?

You may dream of beach weddings in CT, but the reality of the local weather is such that a plan B is always necessary. An ideal venue will offer a backup location that is just as beautiful as your intended beachfront setup. Should problematic weather conditions arise, you and your guests can easily transition to this alternate location to continue the wedding festivities.

Which portions of the venue are accessible during the wedding?

Some venues offer guests access to the entire grounds, while others restrict attendees to specific ballrooms or other areas. A lot will depend on whether multiple events occur within a single day.

Access is often a concern for photo purposes; after the ceremony or partway through the reception, the couple may wish to escape briefly with the photographer or videographer to capture a few special moments in private. Gazebos, gardens, and other outdoor locations can provide a range of picturesque opportunities — but only if access is granted.

How are meals handled? What does the menu include?

Venues that handle food can remove an otherwise major source of stress from your special day. That being said, you’ll want to get a sense of the types of entrees, sides, and desserts available. Beyond the actual foods listed on the menu, examine how meals are served. Some venues bring meals directly to guests, while others offer a serve-yourself buffet-style approach complete with special stations for each dish. Many guests appreciate station-style dining, which allows them to sample a greater variety of appetizers and entrees.

Which options are available for serving alcohol?

An open bar isn’t critical to a successful wedding, but guests certainly appreciate it. Determine whether open bar service is available at your intended wedding — and for how long. Many venues offer not only full service for open bars, but also red and white wine served directly at the dining table for guests’ convenience. Additionally, your preferred venue may be able to arrange for a champagne toast — a treasured moment for the special couple and all guests in attendance.

The more thorough you are in your search for the ideal wedding venue in Connecticut, the better. Once you find a venue that fulfills your vision, you can rest easy, knowing that you and your guests will enjoy a picture-perfect wedding ceremony and reception.

If you’re looking for an ocean view wedding venue in CT, contact us at Anthony’s Ocean View to set up an appointment and explore our oceanfront destination wedding location.