KEEP CALM & MARRY ON: The Venue Dilemma by Michelle Durpetti Events
Our brides-to-be often come to us without knowing whether they want a raw space or hotel to host their big day. So, how do we help our clients choose their venues? We typically start the venue search with our clients by tackling the following KEY points:
1. Deciding on the style of ceremony that a client wants helps us to determine the location for the reception. Will ceremony and reception take place at the same venue? Or, do the bride and groom prefer to get married in a church or temple, have a civil ceremony, or go for another type of formal ritual or blessing?
2. We always recommend that our couples consider the format of their day and the atmosphere and experience that they desire to create for their guests.
Maybe the mood for this particular couple’s wedding takes on a FORMAL tone, in which case we recommend a manor house (like Stan Mansion) or a hotel (like the Palmer House, The Blackstone Hotel or The Trump).
For those looking for a LAID-BACK, ARCHITECTURAL & RUSTIC party feel, we typically suggest a pavilion marquee (like the Columbus Park Refectory, Café Brauer, or Galleria Marchetti).
With our more SLEEK, SOPHISTICATED & MODERN couples, we urge them to check out raw spaces, which provide them with a blank canvas to get creative with things like floral, décor and lighting. Some of our favorite contemporary spaces in Chicago are Bridgeport Art Center, The Ivy Room and Chicago Illuminating Company.
If our client is modern with a TASTE FOR THE TRADITIONAL, we love the Chicago History Museum, The Field Museum or Chicago Cultural Center.
When working with a VIBRANT & DARING couple, we typically gravitate towards venues that are unconventional, but colorful and upbeat, just like our couple. One of our favorite venues for this clientele is Carnivale!
Ultimately, we always want our clients to choose a venue that they feel comfortable in, and a space that mirrors a reflection of something that is unique and special about them.
3. The Overall budget, season and guest count will also play a big part in determining our client’s wedding location. For instance, an outdoor ceremony at Columbus Park Refectory works better in late summer/early fall, where as hotels can work all year long!
4. We always make sure our clients take time to exhale after choosing their venue since everything after typically works around it – getting over this hurdle is a good start!
Once venue is booked, moving forward, we evaluate our client’s most important needs. From here, we like to determine color palette and vision by creating a mood board, which always helps to crystallize ideas. We always suggest reaching out to a caterer (if a non-hotel venue is booked) and then based on importance to the client, we either suggest moving onto photo and video, DJ or band, or decor and floral, all the while working on stationary!