One of the most difficult things to do after you have selected the location of your beach wedding, is choosing the exact venue at which to hold it. Before you make any decision, you need to have a good idea of what you want your beach wedding to be like, how many people will be coming, where the nearest airport or transportation hub is, how much experience they have had in the past with weddings, what the costs are, and the list goes on and on… It can be very daunting and nerve-wrecking as we soon discovered; especially since many venues require to book almost a year in advance!
We took a number of steps that helped us plan and eventually narrow down our decision. We have ruled out a bunch of venues, and have been able to narrow it down to two and are currently in price negotiations with both of them. Fingers crossed that we’ll be able to make a conclusion shortly as to where we will be holding our beach wedding!
The steps we took are as follows:
1. Get a Rough Idea of the Numbers
You probably have an idea of roughly how many people you want to invite to your wedding, but the chances are that not everyone will show up especially if it is a destination type beach wedding. This is what we found incredibly difficult in the beginning. To get a better handle on this, we decided to send an email to the guests that we had decided upon, gave a rough and tentative date for the wedding, and asked for their availability. Almost all of the guests came back with an answer, with a number falling off the list, and giving us a much better idea of the the numbers.
2. Do your Research in Advance
There are a number of tools available that you can use to do a bunch of research up front and narrow down your choices when deciding on your beach wedding venue. Number one is…. you guessed it…. the Internet! There is a wealth of information available by going through simple customer reviews online on websites such as TripAdvisor.com or Booking.com. These are definitely worth reading, since if you discover that there are a large number of customers did not enjoy their experience at a particular venue, it is likely that they won’t do a very good job for your beach wedding either and you don’t even have to waste your time visiting them in person.
The other great piece of technology (invented by Good Ol’ Alexandre Graham Bell) you can use to garnish more information is the telephone! Talking to people over the phone beat sending e-mails back and forth by a thousand miles. You get a much better impression of their abilities through the phone than you would by e-mail, and you may be able to rule out a particular venue you had in mind by simply having a conversation over the telephone with them.
3. Conduct a Physical Visit to Beach Wedding Venues
Nothing beats actually visiting the venues you are considering for your beach wedding. We ended up making two separate weekend trips and must have viewed around 15 different venue options for our beach wedding. Have a look around the resort and see whether it is suitable for what you have planned. For example, if you’re planning to use hoverboards during your wedding, it’s important that there is solid ground to ride them on. It’s great to be able to see the beach wedding venue in person, and being able to visualize what your beach wedding may look like in the context of an actual venue.
What we felt was perhaps even more important than seeing the venues physically, was meeting the management of these resorts. These are ultimately the people that will be there and will have a large role to play in organizing the event on the day it happens! Trust us, there were huge variations in the types of management that we met in these venues and if you aren’t confident in their abilities to organize an event of this nature it is better to move on. That is the last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day…
4. Ask the Right Questions
Coming up with a list of questions before selecting the venue is critical, especially if you are only going to be in the area for a short while. Ask them to show you where they would recommend to hold the actual ceremony, the reception, the rooms (if you have guests staying over-night)…. Ask them if you can taste the food that they have on offer. Ask them about the experiences they have had in the past with large weddings, and what they do to ensure that all runs smoothly. Ask them if they are willing to refer you to someone who has held a beach wedding there in the past so that you can have a conversation with them. Ask them if they have any unique beach wedding ideas that could set it apart from the rest and make it a truly memorable experience. Ultimately, ask them anything that you think is important since this is your big day and you need to have the confidence that the beach wedding venue you end up selecting will be able to live up to your expectations.
5. Ask for a Proposal
Lastly, you should ask them to make you a financial proposal for your beach wedding. Most likely they will not be able to this immediately on the spot, that is why it is important to exchange contact details so that you can touch base with them later. Make sure you ask every venue for this so that if there are a couple of them that you like for your beach wedding, you’ll be able to make a financial comparison of your options. This will become useful once you start your financial negotiation once you have narrowed down where you want to hold your beach wedding. We will write on article on what tactics we have used as well a little bit later… although whether they have been successful is questionable!