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Friday, November 04, 2016
By HoloQuest Weddings
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Are you getting married in Northwest Florida? Have you selected your venue yet? If not, here are our top 10 tips to keep in mind for choosing one.

1. The best venues book fast, sometimes 2+ years in advance. However, you might be able to squeeze in last minute if you have your wedding on an off-peak day, like a Thursday or Sunday.

2. Take a look at the parking situation. Sometimes a venue is absolutely beautiful, but your guests will have a terrible time finding parking or they have to pay for it. Neither is good.

3. Make sure your allowed to serve some type of alcohol. We were surprised to see that some venues don't allow alcohol. At HoloQuest Weddings, we aren't alcoholics or anything, but we believe weddings should definitely have alcohol. And, you guests shouldn't have to pay for it. We'll talk about that more in another email, but for now, just make sure you choose a venue that is alcohol-friendly.

4. Is there room for guests to dance? We have actually shown up to DJ weddings where the room was jammed packed full of tables. We were confused as to why someone would pay for a DJ and not have space for dancing. In addition to space, a dance floor or a designated dancing area definitely helps keep the party going.

5. Make sure you book enough time. We've seen venues charge by the day, half day, or amount of hours. This includes the time you need to setup, tear-down and clean. Most receptions are 4 hours long, but you need a few hours extra to setup and at least an hour to break everything down and clean at the end of the night.

6. Choose a venue that's close to your ceremony. The further away, the more likely you'll hit traffic or out-of-town guests will get lost. We've seen a few weddings delayed by an hour or so because of traffic. Just don't take the chance... you are paying too much money to waste time.

7. Venues at our near hotels are very convenient, especially for out-of-town guests. And, you can usually book a block of hotel rooms in advance for a discounted rate.

8. Read all the rules of the venue and ensure you are comfortable with them.

9. Take a close look at the color of the walls and carpet. And, the design of the space. Neutral colors are the most flattering for photos. Try to stay away from yellows, greens and other strong colors. If you pick a space that's beautiful, you'll spend less money on decorations. However, if your venue needs some help, Wedding Walls is the best decorating company in Northwest Florida.

10. Is it within your budget? Your venue will account for a large portion of your budget. You can find beautiful venues for a fraction of the cost by thinking outside the box. In the Pensacola or Destin area, beach houses are very popular, budget friendly option. You can have your ceremony on the beach, reception in a tent or in the parking area underneath the house. Plus, you'll have a few rooms for out-of-town guests to sleep.

Some of our favorite venues on the Emerald Coast are Live Oak PlantationSowell Farms, Kelly PlantationAtes Wedding Barn, or any beach house on Pensacola Beach. 

For more ideas and information, give Anthony & Melanie a call at 850-797-8040 or send us a message through our website here.

Leave a comment:
Derek Dewitt - My cousin is getting married at the end of this year, but still hasn't chosen a wedding venue. I like your point about looking at the parking situation too. I'll be sure to help him find a venue that has plenty of parking for all his guests.
Ava Murphy - It was really helpful that you suggested choosing a wedding reception venue that's near your wedding ceremony reception to prevent your wedding guests from being lost. This is a great tip for us because my fiance and I are looking for a wedding reception. It's important for us to ensure that our wedding guests won't have any issues in going to our reception to join our celebration, so I will make sure to consider all your tips.
Jay Jorgenson - I agree that it is key to try and book your wedding venue as far in advance as possible. This gives you time to prepare and you can make sure you get the venue you want. So many venues are booked out for months and some popular places even years so start early!
Amanda Drew - Thanks for letting me know that neutral colors are the best choice for the walls and carpet because they take the best pictures. I'm the maid of honor for my best friend's wedding. She put me in charge of finding the venue (which she will OK in the end) because I know just what she wants. Your tips should really help me find the perfect wedding venue for her and her fiance.
Leviticus Bennett - I like your tip to look at the parking situation. I don't want anyone to have to pay for parking to attend my wedding. I'm getting married this fall and am a little bit nervous about everything, so every little tip helps, thanks!
Melanie Holochwost - Hi Rachel,
Thanks for commenting on our blog post. One thing your sister might want to do is narrow her wedding date down to a season, like Spring 2018. Then, shop around for the perfect venue and select one of the open dates that they have. After she secures the venue, then she can move on to booking her other vendors. Also, please let her know that if she books us for both DJ and photography, we include full wedding planning. :)
Thanks again,
Rachel Lannister - Thanks for the great tips. You wrote that the best venues always get taken really quick, and you'll want to get yours reserved as soon as you can. My sister just got engaged, and has yet to pick a wedding date. I'll be sure to remind her that she needs to pick a date, so that she can get the venue that she really wants.