Picking a Wedding Venue
For this month’s bridal tips, we are tackling the very first step of the wedding planning journey check list of picking the perfect venue! With Florida being a beautiful state to have weddings year round, we are so fortunate to also have a variety of venues to pick from ranging from gorgeous chapels, to museums, to ranches. With a few questions in mind that we have received from our couples, I turned to Sydney, owner of Chapel & Hudson’s Cellar in Winter Park, for guidance and to gain a better insight on picking the perfect venue.
Before diving into our questions, I also wanted to share a little more information about Chapel & Hudson’s Cellar (C&C) since Sydney was so kind in answering all of our questions! Situated in Hannibal Square right in Downtown Winter Park, the location could not be more perfect being so easily accessible to all of Central Florida. Built in 1935, the venue’s cellar recently underwent an incredible transformation and now offers all inclusive wedding packages to be able to host both your ceremony and reception in one location. The combination of traditional pews in the chapel for ceremonies, a modern cellar for receptions, and a Tuscany inspired courtyard create a vision of sheer elegance and beauty. For more information about Chapel & Hudson’s Cellar, please visit their website www.ChapelandCellar.com.
1. Location, location, location – the first step in the venue planning journey. With Florida offering a wide variety of locations ranging from downtown areas to beaches, the first item on your hunt would be to identify the general vicinity where you would like to tie the knot. After, as Sydney explains, you need to be able to “envision your wedding or event at the venue.” Diving further in, Sydney said that it is best to, “ask yourself, do you like the lighting, the ambiance, are there set furniture or can you bring in your own decor, and what packages do they offer to help fit within your budget?” These key details will help narrow the search!
2. What is included? While you might love a venue based on its location and being able to envision your wedding there, it is important to understand what is included with your rental before saying “I do” to your venue. For example, C&C offers seating in both their ceremony and reception spaces and a full catering kitchen. For any items not included with your venue rental, you will want to ensure to add on space in your budget for bringing in these items.
3. Is there a Plan B if it rains? Such a great question! Roughly 80% of our weddings take place outside – of those, some do not have the capability or capacity for a backup plan inside in case it rains. Offering a beautiful chapel inside serves as a backup location for couples opting to tie the knot in the courtyard outside at C&C. For locations that do not have an indoor covered space, a great alternative would be to have a tent rental on hand. If a backup tent is needed, make sure to research this vendor ahead of time, as many cities require permitting in advance to set up a tent.
4. For our brides, does your venue have a bridal suite to put on your dress? We typically recommend hair and makeup be done at a location separate from where you will be putting on your dress. A room full of girls can definitely get a little messy between outfit changes and space needed for hair and makeup. Many venues like C&C, hotels, and even some ranches offer a an additional room or bridal space to put on your dress.
5. Are their picturesque photo locations and backdrops? In some cases, the beauty may stop at the ballroom for a venue. Explore your venue to identify if there are locations with backdrops that fit your vision, for example a shady tree to bring in greenery, ivy covered walls like at C&C, or beautiful paintings and sculptures displayed inside or outside the venue. Don’t worry though, we love getting creative with our backdrops, even when options are limited!
For more information on wedding availability and booking, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to hear from you!