Knoxville Weddings


February 5, 2015

The Bride Guide: The Venue

The Best Wedding Planning Tips or Choosing a Wedding Venue

Choosing a venue can be one of the most important decisions you make that will effect your budget.  From vendor restrictions to rentals, the amenities included can really make or break a budget.  Today we have Shari from Swann Plantation offering up some of her best advice on what brides should consider when choosing a wedding venue.

Sevierville TN Wedding Venue

“So many venues, so many choices. Most brides already have an idea of what they want. So really a venue must enhance your vision. I suggest that when doing a site visit take along with you someone who knows what your style is, can take photos, notes, and understands the bride’s vision of what she is wanting to do. Here we have provide a beautiful canvas for any bride to create the perfect painting of her special day. At Swann Plantation I have tried to reflect a “sweet elegance” so that your guest would think it was tailor made just for you. I enjoy seeing each bride’s personality shine, through their colors, style, food, decorations, and yes, their dress.Knoxville TN Wedding Venue

Make sure that you ask a lot of questions, each venue has their own set of rules, find out what you can and can’t do. Here we allow you to bring in your own vendors. We feel the bride should be able to decide and get exactly what she wants. As an example take photography there are so many options, and it is an art form. It is just deciding what artist style you like the best.

Find out what is all included in your rental price, chairs, chair covers, tables, and decoration’s. This can all add up quickly. Ask about the hours they can be there. Set-up time and the clean-up after will be your big time consumers. Find out what special things that the venue has to offer to make your day memorable for all who attend. Here we want everyone who attends to walk away saying we had the best time, this was the best wedding we have ever attended!”

Knoxville Weddings

I can’t thank Shari enough for the great advice!

So after you have found your dream spot, make sure you review venue logistics:

Ask about vendor restrictions

Some venues have preferred caterers, some only let you do some aspects in house, and others are an open book where you can hire whomever you want.  Specifically if a venue restricts only one vendor, it usually has to do with catering.   I’ve seen venues that restrict all vendors and others that only require certain aspects be managed by them.

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Some venues require you to hire additional vendors

I’ve worked plenty of venues that require a day of coordinator be on-site for the event for example.  Rentals can add up quickly if a venue requires that you source your own linens, tables, and chairs.  There are venues that require bartenders, security, etc. to be hired outside of their own contract with you.  Ask about these things and include it in your budget.

See what is required on your part

I’ve been places where I hauled all trash out as the last person to leave.  I’ve worked other venues that wanted to offer a medal of honor to me because I helped clear tables.  Everywhere is different and has their own expectations.  As the person that signs the contract, you should be aware of what is required and a planner should enact what is needed on your behalf.

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Choose the best package for your timeline

You can save money at some venues by choosing days during the off season, weekdays, and earlier times.  Ask if a venue has a shorter package if you are on a tight budget and ask about rental fees for booking extra time to decorate if you are a DIY bride.  Make it work best for you and your budget.

Now that you have chosen a date and venue, tomorrow we move on to the Save The Dates!

The Bride Wedding Planning Guide



Photo Credits: Jessica Lee Photographic Art and photos supplied by Swann Plantation







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