10 Questions to Ask When Choosing A Venue


We’ve previously shared with you some thoughts on how to be inspired by your wedding venue and select a space that best reflects you and your partner’s style and vision when it comes to your celebration.

Today, Belle of the Ball Events founder Eva Clark has prepared for us some questions to help with the decision-making process.

Questions to ask yourself when selecting a wedding venue

– What three words would you use to describe your ideal wedding day?
This will usually shed some light on your vision and help provide direction in your venue selection.

– How do you imagine the space feeling?
Similarly, what words would you use to describe the atmosphere and feeling of your wedding venue? Is it light and airy encompassing coastal views? Or is it an intimate and cozy Winter lodge?

– What is the ideal setting?
Will the ceremony be at a house of worship or at the reception venue? Is it important to you that the space is climate controlled? A wedding under the stars sounds lovely till you end up with temps in the 90s and mosquito bites.

– What do you see yourselves wearing, as well as your guests?
Are you dressed for the beach, or a ballroom, for example.

Once you’ve established how your wedding venue should look and feel, it’s time to consider some of the more practical elements.

– How many guests will you have?
It’s important to have a general idea of how many guests you’ll invite as some of your favorite venues may not be able to accommodate your list of loved ones.

– What is your budget and your priorities?
You may be able to afford the ballroom wedding of your dreams if you are able to keep your guest count below 100. Along those lines, you may be able to book your favorite photographer, priced at $10k, if you know you won’t be purchasing a $5k designer gown.

– Is it really “free”?
You may have a free venue, like a friend’s estate, but be mindful that more work from your vendors (which usually translates to more money) is required to bring the wedding to that space.

– What contractual obligations come with your venue?
Some venues, such as hotels or private clubs, require you to use their in-house catering for food and beverage. A good rule of thumb is that you don’t want your venue, food and beverage to exceed 50% of your entire budget. If that doesn’t add up, it may be time to move on to another option.

– Does the vision match the reality?
Websites can be deceiving and the space may not feel anything like it looked online. Or you may love the venue and hate the neighborhood or parking options. If you are planning a wedding from out-of-state, and you are unable to tour the venues, enlist the help of a loved one and/or your wedding planner.

– How soon should you book?
Many popular wedding venues book up months (or a year) in advance, so don’t wait too long to book once you’ve determined it’s ‘the one’.



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08.21.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog, Wedding Planning

Lifestyle Anniversary Photo Session

We’ve seen a lot of wedding photographers and couples bringing me of a lifestyle approach to their photo sessions, and we love Patricia and David’s at-home anniversary photos. We love the distinct sense of rootedness that is found in these images: having your photos taken in your own environment creates a level of comfort (so no awkward Chandler-esque photos) and is something that is going to mean more to you years from now than photos at a random park ever will.

More from the creative team, Jen Huang and Ginny Au:
“Patricia is an invitation designer in New York, she and David live a stylish New York City life but wanted to celebrate their 10th anniversary in a special way on the west coast. They traveled out for a weekend anniversary shoot with Jen Huang and Ginny Au so that they could document the authentic moments behind their love. Being in love for over ten years, that commitment, is so deep and lasting, it calls for a different style of shooting. Jen and Ginny worked on creating a living environment that was more true to Patricia & David’s lifestyle – a slow Sunday morning. “

Photography: Jen Huang | Styling: Ginny Au | Linens: Not Perfect Linen | Hair and Makeup: Chiali Meng Artistry | Couple: Patricia and David | Location: Jen’s Home, Santa Barbara

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08.20.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Romantic Outdoor Couple Photos

When you see a beautiful wedding photo, chances are that the reason you love the image is because there’s something about it that speaks to you. Maybe the subject is a loved one, or you can’t take your eyes off the scenery. We love the unique, artistic way that photographers view their surroundings, and that’s very evident in these romantic outdoor photos from Nirav Patel. There is a beautiful point of view here, and we hope that it will help you gather your own inspiration!

More from the photographer, Nirav Patel:

“When I moved here from India, my family and I lived with my Aunt and Uncle for several years. I consider their two daughters, Reshma and Gaurisha, my sisters because of the relationship and bond we’ve developed from growing up under the same roof. Reshma taught me the importance of moon walking, living life as a muppet, following your dreams and working hard to make them come true, and loving unconditionally. She has played such a crucial part in moulding me into the person I am today. I love her with all my heart and am so proud of her.

When I met Miles I was blown away by how perfect he is for Resh. He’s the kind of person you make best friends with from the moment you meet. I couldn’t have asked for a better brother. I love these two more than words can describe.”

Photography: Nirav Patel

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08.19.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

DIY Low Knot

DIYLowKnowUpdo_V1 (1)

We love a good hair tutorial, and we know that you do, too! This low knot is an incredibly versatile hairstyle, easily dressed up with a slinky gown and casual enough for a Sunday brunch. This style works well with mid-length to long hair, wavy or straight. Keep reading for the full step-by-step tutorial so that you can recreate this look for yourself!

-Dry shampoo
-Texturizing spray
-Elastic hair tie
-Handful of bobby pins


Low Knot:
1: Spray a dry shampoo into the roots and mist the ends of the hair with a texturizing or surf spray. Flip the head over and massage fingers through hair to work product in evenly and to give lift at the roots. A little texture will give the hair more interest and also help hold the style in place.
2: Gather all of the hair low on the neck in a ponytail and secure with an elastic.
3: Loop the tail of the pony through the elastic halfway, leaving several inches of the tail out.
Rough up the loop portion with your fingers by tugging on pieces of hair to make the knot fuller and more textured.
4: Take part of the tail/loose hair and twist it around the loop to cover the hair elastic. Secure the end of the tail on the underside of the elastic/knot with a couple of bobby pins to finish the style.
This style can be as lose and messy, or as neat as you like. Feel free to finish by loosening pieces around the face or spray final style in place to keep it neat.

Photography: Katie Hyatt (Laura Catherine Organic Photographs) | Hair and Makeup: Claudia Mejerle | Linen Top:  Linen Cortese Top from Shoppe Signora

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08.18.15 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog