1. Location, Location, Location –You really need to decide, what area you want to have your wedding and reception. Most couples want the ceremony site, reception site and photo sites, to be a reasonable distance from one another, because of travel time. This is the first thing you need to think about and discuss with your family and your fiancé.
2. Travel Time – Keep in mind, your guests travel from different areas of the state or country and are not familiar with the area. The GPS system is not as correct as you would think, so it would be a great idea to include a directions card, or a photocopy of precise directions to the ceremony and reception sites, from the different hotel locations or general vicinity. You will also want to consider hotels that are more centrally located to either your ceremony or reception site and be sure to block them right away.
3. Fairs, Holiday Happenings, Parades – Make sure to check with the city to see if they have any special events going on the weekend of your wedding. Quite a few couples found themselves out of a reception site, and no hotel rooms available for their guests, because of Pope Francis visit to Philadelphia in September 2015.
Once you have considered those items, the next step is to visit venues. I would suggest searching on Google “Lehigh Valley Wedding Venues”, The Knot or Wedding Wire or something along that line. A lot of venues will show up. Go through the different venue sites and see what is appealing to you and narrow down your search by packages offered, how pretty the location is, and is it available on the day you want to get married! Below are the things you want to do when visiting a venue.
1. Visit Your Venue At The Same Time Of Your Event – Go and see the venue at the same time of day that you’re wedding or reception is being held. This way you will know how the room looks with the natural lighting, how the grounds look at that time of day, are there any kinds of draft in the room, etc. You may experience these things on your wedding day, so this would be a great time to bring your wedding planner with you to see the venue and get their thoughts too! In speaking with a few different venues, here are some of their thoughts about showing a venue on the day of a wedding. “Lisa Yeager from Miller Symphony Hall, said that she likes to show off her venue before a wedding begins, so that the potential client can visualize the space seeing it setup.” “Alan Raisman, from Lehigh Valley Zoo said, “that because the zoo is open every day, he shows the zoo, when it is open. If there is a wedding that day, he will have the couple come in before the wedding is set to begin to see the site.”
2. Ask all your questions! – Don’t be afraid, this is the time to ask as many questions about the venue and how it will suit your day. You need to know how many hours your package includes, most are 5 hours from start to finish, make sure you know this. Find out if you must use their preferred vendors, such as Monterre Vineyards. They have an option, where you may either use their house DJ or you can bring in your own. If you bring in your own, there are special requirements you need to honor, to do so. At Burnside Plantation, you must use their Tent or Catering Companies, this can cut down your legwork, but it can also be a pitfall; since you don’t have the option of using someone whose pricing fits your budget better. So make sure to ask questions!
3. Get It In Writing– The one lesson I learned many years ago is to always get everything in writing! If it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen. So make sure that if anyone promises you this service or that service, make sure it is in your contract! This goes for all your other wedding vendors too.