Shannon Chair Flair

He finally did it! There’s a grass stain on his knee and a diamond on your finger… Now that your eyes have dried and he’s stopped sweating it’s time to start making decisions! Most importantly, where will this magical day take place? It can be overwhelming to narrow down a sacred spot, especially in a big city like Calgary, so start by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. What type of wedding are you both hoping for? It may sound like an easy question, but really think about the feel you are after… Quiet romance? Partying like it’s 1999? This will guide you toward the right style of venue to start your search, be it a beach, hotel or somewhere else.
  2. What does your guest list look like? Many times there are sacrifices and adjustments that need to be made in order to accommodate those with whom you will share your day. Size matters! An intimate ceremony at an art gallery just may not be possible if you have 300 best friends… So before you get too attached to a certain place, get that guest list written down!
  3. What is your budget? Yes it is a scary word, but it’s one of the most important factors in planning any event, let alone a wedding! Big or small every wedding needs to have a budget and your venue needs to reflect it. You may have to decide, is it worth Grandma and Grandpa eating from paper plates at the wedding to get that dream venue?

Once you have confidently scribed your answers to these questions, make a list of possible fitting venues, then print off a copy of their catering packages (these are available on most caterers’ websites). Calculate the approximate costs by coming up with a basic predicted menu (be sure to include extras like alcohol, room charges, fees and GST). Does the venue still fit within your budget? Don’t bother stepping foot inside of it if it doesn’t, lest it cause you to catch I-MUST-HAVE-IT-GIVE-IT-TO-ME-NOW-DON’T-YOU-DARE-MAKE-ME-LEAVE-MAMMA-NO! syndrome.

Finally, book an appointment with the events person at each venue you are interested in. Go in with a list of questions and be sure to take notes – after a few venues you may start to forget what was included at which place!

I am a firm believer that most brides will walk into their venue and just “know” – the space will feel right, and you will feel comfortable with the person in charge of facilitating weddings. Follow your heart (as long as it agrees with your budget!) and remember that ultimately your wedding day is about starting a new life journey, wherever it takes place!

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