Everyone says location first, but is this really such a great idea? Until you really know your style and have a good idea of the guest list, it doesn’t make sense to rush and pick an inappropriate and expensive location. Now that you’ve thought about your party size and style, take a look at the following location types to help you pick a place that will fit.
Family, Membership, and Association Locations
First, consider what free or inexpensive options are available to you. Brainstorm about beautiful weekend houses you’ve visited, remember that distant relative with an amazing place on the coast, or that gorgeous formal hall at your old Alma Mater. Does your Uncle have an amazing house overlooking the ocean in Malibu? No sense in renting a location if he is amenable to hosting your party.
How is your own apartment or house? Not enough seating? Rearrange the furniture, rent some cafe tables and white folding chairs. How about your parents’ place? Sure, your mom’s collection of jelly jar glasses has embarrassed you for years. That doesn’t mean you have to use them. Rent glassware and dishes. Many services will deliver clean and pick up dirty dishes so you aren’t up to your elbows in suds hours after the ceremony.
You might look at a place and think, if it only had X or Y or Z… Well, you can probably buy, rent or move anything you need. Don’t let little obstacles keep you from taking advantage of an otherwise ideal location. Paying professional movers $500 to rearrange your parent’s furniture is a lot cheaper than paying a $10,000 location fee for that supposed all-in-one inclusive package at the country club.
- Your parents’ house
- Homes and/or backyards of friends or relatives
- Business Associates
- Memberships, alumni, university affiliations
- Masons, VFW halls, Goodfellows
- Summer camps
The upside of the borrowed location:
- You avoid exorbitant location fees
- More time and freedom to set up for the event
- The coziness of having an event at your parent’s, friend’s, or your own home is hard to beat
- Familiar and comfortable
Things to consider:
- Insurance costs
- Cleaning fee
- Valet parking or bus parking
- Noise and other neighborhood restrictions
If an acquaintance is kind enough to offer their home or business location for your wedding, definitely buy them a lovely gift. If you’re displacing them, offer a hotel room and spa package for the night, so they can escape the chaos.