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Tamara & Max

we're getting hitched

Picking the Venue

Every wedding needs a bride and a groom (or some combination thereof), an officiant, a witness, and a time and place to happen. Right now, we are working on that last one. We spent some time brainstorming adjectives that fit our vision for what we want and now comes the part where we find a place that expresses that vision. Though the venue does not define a marriage, it does defines a wedding (at least in part).

We have had the good fortune to attend a few weddings in our years together which has given us a really good idea of what we want and what we very much do not want. We have been to swanky, indoor weddings and simple (in the best way), outdoor weddings and everything in between. Our shared experience has helped us communicate in terms we can both understand. It has also helped express and align our wants for our day…I hope.

Getting a feel

Every professional venue comes equipped with a flurry of professional photos that attempt to put the venue in the most attractive position possible. My biggest annoyances with this practice: it makes all the venues seem the same and it imposes someone else's vision onto the idea we have for ourselves. That notwithstanding, I understand why all the venues throw these photos at prospective brides and grooms (well, more at the bride, but I'll get to that). Visiting a venue at 10 A.M. on a snowy Thursday does not quite make the space burst with life and vitality. These rooms are meant to be seen in the dark, with all the fancy lights on. Yet this is why visiting a venue in person is so important; each room has a feel to it. The intangibles tell more than the photos ever will.

More than seeing an empty room

There are so many other factors to consider when looking at venues, just focusing just on what the room looks like is missing the forest, so to speak. First and foremost, I consider the ease of access. Could our guests get in and out of this venue without sustaining bodily injury? Speaking of access: is it easy to contact the venue coordinator and does she or he reply promptly? Sales mode aside, does the coordinator greet you enthusiastically? Does she even seem interested in your wants or is she simply showing you the wares?

I look at logistical questions like: can we get our guests to and from the location in a manner that fits our price range? Is the space durable enough to stand up to my assorted nieces and nephews (to say nothing of my friends)? I'm not sure there is anything worse than waiting in line to use the facilities during a long night of celebrating — is the venue equipped for volume celebrators?

The groom's view

The more we get into the process, the more I feel like I don't matter to outsiders. I understand we have waded into a female-driven industry and I have my role to play. Still I can't help but hope that there is a venue out there that will treat me like anything more than an afterthought. The old cliché is that it's all about the bride and I want Tamara to have the wedding she wants. Something tells me, though, if you asked her she say she wants the wedding we want.

We know what want: to tie the knot…somewhere.