Wedding Venue Tours 101

| How to Make the most of Your Venue Tour |

Whether you a pre-planner who already has every detail in place or you have never thought about wedding planning until he popped the question, don’t worry because our venue management team has some easy tips for making the most of your wedding venue tour!

The venue is {typically} the first stop on your wedding planning journey. Once you secure the site, your location and venue are set in stone and everything else can start falling into place. It’s important to note that popular venues book quickly for prime dates; make sure not to procrastinate! 

1) Discuss Details & Budget! 
Since the venue is generally the first step in wedding planning, it is a good idea to try to sit down with your fiancé and family to discuss preliminary details and the wedding budget. This will help you decide what style and price-range of venues to inquire with, and also makes it easier to know what questions to ask when touring.  

The two essential details to decide on prior to your venue tour are wedding date and budget! A venue maybe stunning but if it is out of your price range, you need to be able to make a decisive decision on price. Also you need to decide if you are flexible on date, or if the venue is unavailable if that is grounds to keep looking? 

Other important details to note would be your guest count (as some venues have limited capacity), location to nearby hotels or transportation, and venue aesthetics.  

*Pro Tip – Be open to touring a variety of venue styles! Who knows, you might surprise yourself and fall in love with something different than your original idea or vision. 

2) Make sure to schedule an appointment for your site visit! 
Every venue will have different schedules and ways of handling tours. Making sure you schedule an appointment ensures the venue will be available when you would like to view it, and there will also be someone available from the venue staff to show you around, discuss packages, and details with you. If you opt to walk-in to a venue without an appointment you risk the venue being closed for an event, or not having anyone able to assist you on your tour.  

*Pro Tip – Reach out to the venue staff prior to your visit and probe them for information, or even ask for an estimate prior to touring that way you can discuss your day more in-depth during the tour. The more information you give the venue, the more they can help you during your site visit. 

3) Ask Important Questions & Take Notes! 
This does not mean you have to bring a full on wedding binder (even those these can be extremely helpful in the planning process!). When your tour appointment finally comes it is a great idea to bring a list of questions, or a checklist of important amenities you are looking for in a venue.  

Every venue is very different in their pricing and packaging so bringing a new checklist for each tour will help you to remember to ask consistent questions for all, and make sure you are getting the information that matters to you. Plus once all your tours are complete you can use the checklists and notes to compare each venue on paper before making your final decision.  

*Bring a wedding planner binder and/or notebook with you to the tour. This way you can have questions already listed on paper ready to ask and an easy way to document the answers. Plus many times you will receive pricing information during your tour and this way you can file it away to review later.  Haven’t found the right planning notebook yet? Check out our shop, Miscellaneous Market, for some cute options!

4) Remember to have fun! 
Often times wedding planning can get stressful, but it is important to remember the real reason you are planning this joyous occasion to begin with! Remember to have fun while planning and try not to stress the little things. Booking a reputable venue, and wedding vendors will help ensure your day is beautiful and stress free! 

Good luck venue hunting! 

Xoxo,
Lacie 

Make Your Wedding Unique

Most weddings have a similar structure – the ceremony followed by cocktail hour and ending with a reception. Incorporating elements that make the event unique to you and your fiance is what’s going to make the the day special and memorable! Maybe it’s your design style, your taste in cuisine, or what you enjoy doing together that will set your wedding apart from the rest. That brings me to our Cypress Grove couple, Tala + Michael. The two are amazing performers and they treated guests to a unique acro yoga routine during the reception. Did I mention these two are ah-mazing!?

Photos: JP Pratt

How did you meet?
“We were only acquaintances when we were asked to pair together as acrobatic partners for an upcoming show at The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center. We agreed and began practicing together every day. We fell in love quickly and the rest is history! We did our first performance about one month after being paired together to a sold out audience of about 200 people. (And nailed it! Lol).”

Why was it important to you to include a performance at your wedding?
“Acro was a huge part of our love story. It’s how we met, how we fell in love and something that continues to keep us connected. We wanted to express and share all of those emotions through our favorite art form. Plus, we like being hams for the camera! :-P”

What challenges did you face during the planning process?
“I really can’t say I faced too many challenges. Alicia was amazing in recommending vendors and walking me through a lot of the process. Of course I stressed over details and wanting everything to be perfect. The biggest problem is probably that there are TOO many options and ideas out there and having to narrow them down!”

What aspect of the wedding were you and your fiance most looking forward to?
“Michael will tell you that he was most looking forward to the moment he first saw me coming down the aisle. For me, gosh, the entire day was pure magic. I was really looking forward to the reception. I wanted the wedding to be a celebration where we laughed and danced with all of the important people in our lives and got to shout out love out to the world. And the reception and the entire day felt just like that. It was absolutely perfect.”

Video: KEJ Productions

Side note: grab a box of tissues before you watch their wedding film 😉

Xoxo,
Kim

Planning Tips // 30 Day Wedding Checklist

Planning tips for the days leading up to your wedding.

If you’ve met me, you know that I am all about simplicity and organization. Whether that means decluttering my work or personal space, planning out goals for the month, or just taking a day to refresh and reorganize. I’m a planner at heart and I thrive on schedules and knowing what the plan is. So putting together a checklist of wedding planning tips is right up my alley. 😉 This planning tip checklist is certainly not exhaustive but does include the essentials:

Four Weeks Out
  • Apply for your marriage license {can’t get married without one ?}. Florida marriage licenses are actually valid for 60 days. While you could apply for this a bit earlier, I recommend waiting until about a month out so it doesn’t get misplaced.
  • Write your vows {if doing your own}. Give yourself time to really think about what you want to say during your ceremony. We love these his + hers vow books from Foxblossom Co. so they can be kept as keepsakes!
  • Deliver any specific song requests {or do not play requests} to your DJ or band.
Three Weeks Out
  • Finalize RSVP’s. This is a great task for your bridesmaids. ? Have them run through your invite list and call anyone who hasn’t submitted an RSVP.
  • Confirm ceremony details with your officiant. Be sure to discuss what will happen during the ceremony {i.e. unity candle, ring warming, etc.} and review any readings and such. Pro tip: your officiant should do a full run through of the ceremony at your rehearsal.
  • Finalize any printed materials and favors . Now that you have your final guest count, confirm how many escort cards, menus cards, programs, etc. will be needed. If your favors are edible, wait until a day or two prior to the wedding to have delivered.
  • Make sure groomsmen submit their measurements and schedule a time to pick-up their suits/tuxes.
  • Purchase bridal party gifts. I LOVE gifting, and our new store, Miscellaneous Market, has so many cute items to choose from {including gifts for gents}!

    

Two Weeks Out
  • Confirm seating chart. Once all of your RSVP’s are in you can confirm how many guest tables you’ll need and who will be seated where.
  • Submit final numbers to vendors. This will include your caterer, florist, rentals and any other vendor that needs a head count.
  • Finalize the day-of timeline with your DJ and/or wedding planner.
  • Attend your final dress fitting! Don’t forget to bring your day-of undergarments, veil, accessories, and bridal shoes to make sure the full look is picture perfect.
One Week Out
  • Create a “getting ready” timeline. Provide a copy to your bridal party so they know where to be and when.
  • Pick up your bridal gown. Make sure it’s stored in a breathable garment bag and away from any clutter.
  • Pack your wedding night bag. A change of clothes/shoes and toiletries are a must!
  • If you’re honeymoon immediately follows your wedding, be sure to pack a honeymoon bag. This checklist from The Knot covers just about everything you’ll need!
  • Drop off day-of items to your wedding coordinator. They will typically take on the responsibility of delivering these items to your venue on wedding day.
The Day Before
  • Pamper yourself! Get a mani-pedi, massage, and a good night’s rest – just avoid facials and anything else that may cause skin irritation or inflammation.

Our team hopes this planning tips checklist will help you relax on the days leading up to your wedding!

Xoxo,
Kim

7 Tips for An Easy Wedding Planning Process

We know that planning a wedding is the opposite of an easy-going task. One moment, you’re experiencing a proposal, and the next you’re feeling excited, but slightly overwhelmed by the stack of “to-do’s” that lie ahead. It is common to feel overwhelmed in the beginning but starting your planning process with this mindset isn’t the best idea. Trust us, there will be a lot of due dates, reservations and appointments that have to be accounted for– the scary part is that the details that come with a wedding are not visually displayed until (gulp) the day of your event. The RW Events team has managed hundreds of events between Cypress Grove Estate House, Luxmore Grande Estate, and our Rentals + Styling division, and we’ve picked up a few planning tips along the way. If you are in need of planning advice, consider these useful tips from our team + our friends at Eventbrite:

Find an Organizational Method
A big no-no of wedding planning is going into it without a method for success. Without an organized checklist or systematic approach, imperative wedding details and appointments can easily be forgotten, and there is no room for that with a tight schedule. In case one of life’s crazy moments get in the way of your wedding arrangements, a personal planner {and hiring a wedding coordinator} can reduce the risk of you falling behind.

Determine a Budget
Maintaining a budget is an effort that can be quite the challenge. As you move along in the wedding planning process, price re-evaluations and changes can occur when you least expect it. Oftentimes, you are spending much more than you thought you would. For us, spreadsheets are a serious addiction, and they make budgeting so much easier! For a service that you can reference on the go when you do not have access to your spreadsheets, try using a bill notification system app to complete payments on time.

Develop a Vision
As wedding ideas are becoming more and more unique, the variety of ways to go about planning are becoming even more creative as well! A common way brides love to start their planning process is by making a vision board! A vision board involves a poster board, glue and a cluster of your ideas– photo collages and fabrics could be some! Now, a vision board can also be created online— pretty neat!

Create a Guest List
It is essential that invitations are sent out in a timely manner, especially if you’re planning to invite a large group of guests. Whether you want to be extra artsy or simple, there are a variety of ways that invitations can be sent out involving both!

  • Handmade: If you are a creative genius, hand making your invitations can be the perfect way to notify your guests. Even though they might take a little longer to complete, it adds in a personal touch.
  • Online order: The internet is a great resource for finding information about absolutely everything. With an online invitation service you can pick the design, color and font of your choice for your invitations, and order them in bulk with envelopes!
  • Online RSVP: With this free online management platform, you can create an event and let guests accept an invitation– all online! This does not require the use of paper and you will be able to track all of your responses in one space.

Find a Location
Now it is time to determine your wedding venue! Depending on the kind of wedding space you envision, take the time to do some extensive research on different event spaces in your desired location. When choosing a venue, knowing the capacity, availability, layout and parking situation are all extremely important. If you are considering two different venues (one for your vows and another for the reception) be sure to find two places relatively close to one another to prevent your guests from commuting too far. If you are interested in having the entire event in one space, check out our luxury venues, Luxmore Grande Estate and Cypress Grove Estate House, available for booking!

Hire Your Vendors
Photographers, florists, and so many more! These vendors are the qualified helping hands that bring everything together for the event. If you have a set schedule for the arrival of vendors, it is best to communicate with them as much as possible about their arrival times and the amount of time they will need to either set up or work. When you discover initial interest in their expertise, let them know far in advance so they have enough time to prepare for your occasion (I removed chefs as we have in-house catering at both of our venues =))

Include the Event Essentials
If you have a unique or funny way of showing your love or that is a part of your love story, don’t be afraid to share it. Whether it’s an inside joke or a distinct memory associated with your relationship, include a wedding essential that is unique to you! This approach can make your wedding feel more personal rather than to just excite guests!

Are you in need of a rental space, specialty rentals, or styling services? Contact us at hello@rwevents.com!