7 Tips to Selecting a Wedding Venue in Palm Springs
Aside from finding your soul mate, selecting a wedding venue is the single most important aspect of planning your perfect wedding day. The venue sets the style and tone of the event, and is a reflection of who you and your fiancé are as a couple. But where do you start? We have all of the answers! The Greater Palm Springs Wedding Association presents:
Ballroom at Indian Wells Country Club
Top Seven Tips to consider when selecting a venue.
1) First things first…
Start with determining your guest count and approximate budget for the wedding venue. You don’t want to fall in love with a venue that cannot accommodate your 250 guests or is out of your budget.Some venues offer several different locations for your ceremony or reception, and will need to know your guest count to accurately give you direction on date availability and cost. Even in that first phone call!
Keep in mind when calculating your list, on average, 15-20% of the entire guest list will not attend the wedding. The percentage rate is higher for a destination wedding.
2) Venue Type: Are you interested in a resort/hotel, country club, private estate, or restaurant?
All options have many different features and benefits. Be sure to weigh out the pros and cons to help determine which venue type is best for your wedding in Palm Springs.
Miramonte Resort & Spa
3) Venue Style: Modern/Chic? Casual? Rustic? Elegant/Dramatic? Outdoor? Garden?
Have an idea of the style of venue that best fits your wedding vision. This will help in your research and selection of locations where you should schedule tours.
The Viceroy Palm Springs
Choose five or six locations in your selected destination and then make appointments for your tour. If you drop in to one of your favorite locations, you may find that the representative is not available to meet with you. Even large Resorts typically have just one representative who specializes in weddings. That’s who you want to meet! Call ahead. You may also be able to eliminate a few of your choices over the phone, either because they do not have your preferred date available or because they do not fit within your budget.
4) Accommodations: If guests are traveling, where are they going to stay?
Select at least two hotels near your wedding venue at different price points to serve as your “host hotels.” Ask each hotel if they offer a complimentary shuttle or if they are able to organize one for a fee. Include the details in your invitations and on your wedding website. If you have selected a Resort or Hotel as your venue, request a courtesy room block for your guests. Remember, Palm Springs and the neighboring communities have a plethora of hotels to choose from!
5) Full Service vs. DYI: How much time are you willing to invest in the venue?There are an infinite amount of questions to ask a venue before booking, but in the initial stages ask the venue representative what your responsibilities are as an event host. Are you responsible for the set-up/clean-up or are they? Do they provide all equipment needs such as tables, chairs, china, glassware, silverware, linens, dance floor, service staff, etc. or are you required to rent/schedule the items? What services are NOT provided by the venue? What are the restrictions on outside vendors such as your florist, photographer and entertainment?
Indian Canyons Golf Resort
6) Food and Beverage: Does the venue have a full-service culinary team or are you allowed to provide your own caterer? Does the venue offer a menu tasting?Most venues with full-service culinary teams will not allow outside caterers. These venues include resorts/hotels, country clubs, and restaurants. If a full service venue does allow outside catering, be prepared for kitchen and space rental fees and per person service charges ranging from $40.00 to $65.00.Most commonly, you will have the ability to bring your own caterer at a location where you are building your event from the ground-up, such as a private estate, rustic barn, or banquet facility/hall. These venues will typically provide you with a list of preferred caterers. Full-service venues and caterers will schedule your menu tasting once the contract for your wedding date is signed. Menu tastings will occur approximately 4-5 months before the wedding, which allows ample time to add the menu selections to the invitation should you be offering a plated meal.7) You get “the feeling.”
Remember the euphoric feeling that came over you when you said “yes” to the proposal? You should have a similar feeling when you find your wedding venue. You should be able to easily imagine your wedding taking place within the facility. You should feel comfortable with the venue representative, the venue’s policies and procedures, the food and beverage offerings and the overall experience you’ve had since the initial interaction. This is YOUR wedding after all-make it the best day ever.
These Top Seven Tips will help you get the venue selection process started. There are many other questions to ask once you have narrowed down the venues to the top three. Check back soon for more information about the next steps in the planning process of your perfect day.
Written by Nicole Reynolds Hughes, Director of Private Event & Tournament Sales at ClubCorp. Nicole is a board member of the Greater Palm Springs Wedding Association. She is happily married and lives in La Quinta, CA.
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