St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | advice
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The Last Week of Wedding Planning

Here it is… the final week leading up to your wedding.  How are you feeling?

Nerves frayed?

Stressed and overwhelmed with details?

Burdened with a zillion questions from family and friends?

Here’s how to make it through:

Monday…

If you haven’t already, begin assembling, alphabetizing and arranging important details of your wedding reception.  Alphabetize your escort cards and separate them from the mix. If you have place cards designating each guests meal preference, make sure it is something that can be quickly ascertained by the catering staff.  Finish compiling programs, favors, etc. remembering auxiliary items that assist in their function (matches, buckets, tape, etc.). Start this now, so that if you need to carry it through the week, you’ll still have time.

Update your wedding website with information you think people are bound to ask– where are the supermarkets, nearest restaurants, hospitals, etc.?  If you have guests who have allergies or food preferences be sure that you let them know they will be accommodated.  Add any transportation pickups and parking information that might be necessary.  Designate one person you trust to handle all of these questions for you in the event that people incessantly call or email you.

Continue to break in your wedding shoes. Vacuuming in your Louboutins is fabulous, honey.

Tuesday…

Look over the timeline from your event planner to go over any additional details or changes.

Deliver finalized version of the seating chart to your event team.

If you are leaving immediately after your destination wedding for your honeymoon, pack separately for your stay at your wedding location and for your honeymoon. Send your local bags back with a friend or your parents.  Be sure to include your necessary travel documents in your honeymoon luggage.

Wednesday…

Take your dress to be pressed if you are traveling to your wedding location.  This is will ensure that it is done by your wedding date.

Finalize the details for your rehearsal dinner: décor, menu and entertainment.

Prepare box of finished items  (escort cards, programs, personal photos, favors, send off items, menus, restroom baskets, etc.)  for your event planner.

Thursday…

Get your manicure and pedicure done today– it will save you time.   Many brides opt to do this on the Friday before their rehearsal or rehearsal dinner, but doing this in large groups can push your schedule to the max, forcing you to be late for ultra important events.

Pick up/purchase your liquor from the appropriate sources if you are supplying alcohol for your bar.  Arrange to have this at the venue or have  someone deliver it the day of the wedding (as most vendors are not equipped to handle extended storage of your items).

Deliver any welcome bags to your guests’ hotels or arrange for pick up from your event planner.  Be sure you include proper local information about the area to spearhead unnecessary calls.

Friday…

Do a final walk through with your planner and caterer to discuss the plans, layouts and details for the next day so that they can remain fresh in everyone’s minds.

Pick up your wedding dress and any formal wear as necessary.

Go through your rehearsal and allow your event planner to disseminate any important information and details to your family and bridal party. Exchange box of finished items with planner or leave them on site (if allowed).

Enjoy your rehearsal dinner!  Limit your alcohol and increase your water intake to avoid bloating and puffiness for the special day!

 

 

Apr 01 2011

Why Wedding Coordination Costs “So Much”

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I have noticed that many couples don’t understand the importance of wedding coordinators and some wedding planning professionals have cut wedding coordination out of their list of services altogether.  As such, it seems that many brides and grooms fail to appreciate the role of a wedding coordinator and their costs– as I have heard things said like:

  • “I only need someone for the day. Can’t you just come on the day of?”
  • “I’m a type-A personality and highly detailed so I enjoy the planning, so I don’t really need a lot of help”
  • “We’ve done all of our planning and have about $400 left for a coordinator”

 

Now, this isn’t the norm– but with the economy’s downturn, people had become very creative with their inquiries and excuses.  So when they hear that wedding day of coordination could cost thousands, they are shocked.  Let’s clear up some misconceptions:

 

First, no one is just “showing up” on the day of your wedding to coordinate it.  That’s not day of coordination. That’s damage control.  This is much like you going into a doctor’s office and saying, “I don’t need you to do any tests on me, I’m pretty smart and really detailed.  So, what I’m going to need you to do is just show up at the operating room and do the surgery for me”.  You basically want the doctor to do a procedure “cold”, without knowing anything about your medical history, predispositions, or the medical team of nurses, anesthesiologists, etc. you’ve secured.   The same is said for clients who expect wedding planners and coordinators to do the same thing.  It is expected that the clients want someone to appear a few hours before the ceremony, set up a few place cards, fluff the peonies, tell your grandmother when to walk and cue you when to cut the cake.  That is truly the watered down version of what a wedding coordinator does.  That is only what you see.

 

It takes more than one day to coordinate a wedding.  Truth be told, it takes anywhere to 4 to 6 weeks to coordinate ONE day.  Those weeks consists of pulling together logistics, reviewing the event team’s contracts to confirm responsibiities and obligations, contacting your bridal party to make sure they know their duties and needed locations, finalizing payments, scheduling load-ins and strikes, creating timelines, event layouts, seating charts and more.  By the time your wedding day rolls around, your coordinator will have put in at least 8 hours on your wedding. I’ve heard many brides laugh and say, “Oh, I don’t need all of that”.  I laugh right back and say “Of course you don’t. But your caterer and photographer does…” It’s your job to be the bride, so there are many details that you may not have thought of.

 

Think of it as major motion picture company finding the right movie director for their new hot blockbuster.  While a movie producer finds the talent, supervises and controls the funding, and other important duties.  The parallel would be your full service wedding planner.  The movie director is the person who directs the making of the film.  They control the artistic and dramatic aspects, and work to visualize the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision. That, my friend, is your wedding coordinator.  You supply the vision, they make sure that everyone else is on the same page so that the vision can come to fruition.  With something as important as a blockbuster movie, as an investment, the motion picture company would never bring in a director on the day of a final shoot.  Directors are hired early enough to get a feel for the film so that they know it like the backs of their hand.  This allows them to know which cameras need to be where, The location of boom mics, pans and zooms and so much more.  Again, the same is said of your wedding coordinator.  S/he is able to see your event before it happens, making it possible to avoid pitfalls, timing clashes between vendors and other important factors.

 

So this is why wedding coordination “costs” so much.  The experience, commitment and savvy your coordinator brings your wedding is an asset and benefit to your event as a whole.  I’ll tell you the same thing I tell my team before each and every wedding: there are no do overs.  While you may be extremely detailed, a planner by nature or profession, or have a really good friend or Maid of Honor who can help you, wedding coordinators do this every weekend.  You’ll only do it once.  They know the ins and outs, what works and what doesn’t.  What sounds good in theory, may not work at all for your wedding. Nothing replaces the ability of having your own personal event director/producer on your side to make sure that your vision happens while you’re enjoying your day.

 

Stepping off my rhinestone soapbox in the Ambertina Louboutins…

P.S.– Keeping in mind what I just described about what the weeks prior to your wedding could entail production-wise, beware of $200 “wedding coordinators” or “free” wedding venue coordinators.  You get what you pay for, luxeling.

What’s your thought?

The Importance of an Event Planner/Producer For Your Non-Wedding Event

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When it comes to non-wedding events (birthdays, anniversaries, parties, etc.) many hosts don’t know that they have great resources in event planners.  For smaller parties, I will admittedly concede that it can be overkill. However, if you begin the process of securing a location, bringing in caterers, etc. your party has grown in scale and could benefit from a planner.  Many hosts opt to rely on caterers or florists for recommendations.  While these vendors can be of great help, their resources can be limited outside of the scope for which they are handling your event.

Here are some ways that an event planner/producer can help with your event:

  • Create a concept or inspiration board to start your planning
  • Match you with vendors that are inline with your event
  • Help you maintain your budget
  • Come up with ideas for your menu, flowers, décor and location
  • Be onsite to help set up while you get ready
  • Coordinate the event and maintain the flow of events so that you can enjoy the event

Even if you are the Type A personality that loves to plan things and are highly detailed and organized (I hear that a lot!), you can still enjoy the benefits from a planner.  An analogy:  When I am not feeling well, I will journey over to CVS and pick up something to alleviate the symptoms.  When it is something a bit more serious or the symptoms are chronic, I will ask the pharmacist for some advice.  They can tell me about which medicines are new and improved, non-medicinal remedies and prescriptions I may want to talk to my doctor about.  So, it’s great to rely on and have the help of an expert.  True, I could ask the check out girl that I am interacting with, and while she may see a trend in what people are buying, she doesn’t know the trend in what is working because her job is to check people out.  I let her be good at her job and rely on the pros for sound advice.

The same can be said of event planners.  Most wedding planners also plan and produce non wedding events which can be a great resource to you.  It doesn’t hurt or cost anything to speak with them about how they can improve or enhance your event.

Happy Planning!

Photos :: Sarah Yates

Expert Tips from a Celebrity Stylist for Your Wedding

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We had an opportunity to pitch some questions to celebrity stylist Lindsay Hillyard-Driscoll for wedding day tips to keep you looking your best.  Lindsay, a recent bride herself, has worked with numerous stars including Kimora Lee Simmons, Chrisette Michelle, Cher, Cyndi Lauper, The Dixie Chicks, and Prince.  She offered tips and tricks that are regularly used by her celebrity clients to plan for the unexpected during big events to help brides look flawless from the time they put their veil on all the way through dancing the night away at their reception.

C+D:  What tips should brides remember in choosing their products for outdoor weddings?

Lindsay:  It’s just as important to feel good as it is to look good.  In fact, I believe the two are very closely related, so I always counsel my clients to choose a look that they can be comfortable in.  For outdoor weddings, that means choosing shoes that work in grass – no spiky heels – and a dress that works with the season – you don’t want a complicated, tiered dress in the middle of summer. 

C+D:  We work with a lot of clients that choose to have destination weddings—mostly outside.  What sort of things should they consider for their beauty game plan?

Lindsay:  To plan for an outdoor event – whether a red carpet walk or a wedding – think about how you’ll be moving.  If you will be walking a lot on uneven ground, I’d suggestion searching out a dress that isn’t too tight, and allows you to walk with long enough strides so you can make it down the aisle, whether in a cornfield or cabana. I also recommend that brides “blow rather than blot” – I always pack a hand-held travel fan that you can use to blow away perspiration beads on the face rather than blotting papers or tissues, which can remove or smudge make up. 

C+D:  What about the gentlemen?  Sometimes they have it just as bad as the ladies with their tuxedos and suits…

Lindsay: Grooms are often the most overdressed, if they are wearing a suit in the middle of summer.  So, to help them out, I suggest using a panty liner in their undershirt.  I know it sounds strange – but it works!  Just call them ‘sweat guards’ if your man is squeamish about feminine products. 

C+D:  That is amazing…I never would’ve thought of that. I will have to make a note to add “sweat guards” to our emergency kits!  Also with weddings, one thing that I notice that is really important is the endurance of a bride’s hair and makeup for her wedding.  Any tips there?

Lindsay:  To keep you and your look fresh all day, I say take fewer trips to the bathroom – you don’t want to over-do the touch-ups.  To keep yourself focused on the big day rather than bee lining for the bathroom, even if you are having your period, I suggest to my clients to use a menstrual cup.  I know lots of women haven’t heard of them, but they are safe to wear for 12 hours – fewer trips to the bathroom and less hassle!

C+D:  Any favorite simple accessible items for fast fixes?

Lindsay:  A white out pen can fix a French manicure or shoe scuff, a few bobby pins can keep falling hair away from your face, and a roll of electrical tape might be just the fix for a split in the groom’s pants or a loose cuff. 

C+D:  I know a lot of brides worry about being “too overdone” on their wedding day.  It can be really easy to fall into a trap of too much when planning for a big event.  What is your take?

Lindsay:  Stay as close to your natural look as possible – you can still look special but keep your look aligned with your overall style, that way you’ll know how to touch up your make up and hair more easily – it won’t be so foreign. 

C+D: Any other tips brides should keep in mind?

Lindsay:  Lots of good styling is about layering.  For your clothes, it’s about finding the right undergarments and most importantly for your wedding is the right bra.  Make sure your first layer fits well and is comfortable.  For your make up, there are lots of techniques where you can layer your look with a powder application in between the layers.  And even for your hair, layering in the right products (such as volumizer a few times with hairspray on top) can help preserve your style.

 

imageAfter earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State University, Lindsay Hillyard-Driscoll  was asked to join Prince’s ‘Musicology’ tour, where she dressed Prince and his band.  After the ‘Musicology’ tour, she joined Jay-Z and R. Kelly for the Best of Both Worlds tour.  She has since styled T.I., Ciara, Ne-Yo, Young Jeezy and became the lead stylist for recording artist Chrisette Michelle. She was also the in-house stylist at Black Entertainment Television, responsible for styling all VJs and news anchors.

Visit Lindsay’s website: Style Me Haute

Why You Should Let Your Wedding Vendors Do Their Jobs

There is nothing like a perfectly executed wedding—seriously, there’s nothing like it.  Everything just flows.  Why does everything flow? Well, look, it’s easy.  I’ll show you:

 

1.  The photographers show up and work with ease knowing the flow of events, allowing them to transition easy and comfortably, resulting in stunning shots.

2.  The DJ/Band, without distraction, can take time to read the crowd and build a plan to keep the party all night.

3.  Your caterer is free to prepare your food, thoughtfully with each guest in mind.

 

What typically happens is that a bride decides to rely on other vendors to fulfill the capacity of another wedding professional.  Most don’t mind.  However, after speaking to many florists, caterers and photographers last week, I will tell you that each and every one said that it takes away from their work.  You didn’t hire this award-winning wedding photojournalist whose fashionable style is to die for to come and pin on boutonnieres or build your timeline.  The same goes for your caterer and DJ.  While they can assist you, they are there to do one job and do it flawlessly, successfully  and basically—the job you hired them for.  Any wedding pro will tell you, that they don’t mind helping, but they absolutely love when they can show up and do what they’ve been paid to do.  It means it is one less shot they didn’t miss, one more song that could’ve been played or flawless service provided by the catering staff.

 

The moral of the story:  get a wedding planner, or at the very least, a month of coordinator.

Overheard at Your Wedding: “When is This Thing Gonna Start?”

It’s pretty well known that the party cannot start at the wedding without the bride and groom.  Your caterer will ask if they can serve your guests if you are not around or if they should extend the cocktail hour.  if you plan on taking photos during your cocktail hour, discuss with your planner and photographer the amount of time needed to complete these expeditiously so that your guests are not kept waiting.  This is especially true if you have a wedding during a very hot or cold season or with little entertainment during the hour.  If you take too long, you run the risk of running out of food, or running up your bar tab (when people are bored or nervous, they eat and drink). 

One of the biggest questions couples face today is whether or not to see each other prior to the ceremony.  I, as a die-hard romantic, felt like there was something magical about the groom’s face as he sees his bride ascend up the aisle for the first time.  That being said, I understood my brides’ concerns and desires to not see their grooms before walking up the aisle. 

Then there was Caryn—gorgeous, smart, and dare I say it, practical.  Caryn decided she would  see her groom prior to the ceremony.  As we built the timeline for them to secretly meet at Jekyll Island’s historic Villa Mariana, I crossed my fingers that the we could keep it private, intimate and magical.  Since Caryn and Jonathan’s wedding was at the Jekyll Island Club’s Crane Cottage, the Spanish Colonial, Villa Mariana was the perfect getaway that was close by.  Caryn described it as one of the most beautiful moments of her life.  She walked up behind Jonathan, put her hand on his shoulder and he emotionally turned around, visually took her in and swept her into a long embrace. 

It doesn’t get much better than that.

And the pictures prove it:

 

jekyll island wedding

 

jekyll island wedding

jekyll island wedding

jekyll island wedding

C and J hold hands

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Jekyll Club Wedding

       Jekyll Island Wedding

 

These moments, captured by the illustrious Scarlett Lillian just go to show that the same intimacy and magic you wish to capture at that moment going up the aisle, can still be present at a first meet.  Can’t you sense the anticipation and tingling in your toes when you see Jonathan’s back to Caryn?  You can almost feel his heart racing and see his unrelenting smile as the seconds tick away until that slight touch on his shoulder.  Imagine how he felt at that moment—not having to share Caryn’s beauty, that moment, that love—with anyone else.  It was theirs, and theirs alone.  Time had stopped.  (well, for them. The wedding planner was hard at work 🙂 )  Linens didn’t matter, the bar tab didn’t matter.  What mattered was that the most important person in their lives were together.  And in love.  Not only does it save you a lot of time during your cocktail hour, but it also gives you private moments that you may not have again until the end of the evening.

Still not convinced?  Check out what event engineer Saundra Hadley has to say, as well as photographer Jennifer Stone’s thoughts.  Either way, it is your moment…whether you spend it at a “first moment” or going up the aisle.  I know you’ll make it fabulous.

 

PS—The ceremony for Caryn and Jonathan was just as emotional.  I bawled the whole time. I know….Crybaby Wedding Planner. But I’m still awesome.

How to Avoid Murder Charges at Your Wedding Rehearsal

…Or “Tips for  a Successful Wedding Rehearsal”

Planning your wedding with its intricate details can all be for naught if it falls to pieces when being run through your “dry run”.  Your wedding rehearsal allows you to get yourself, bridal party and necessary vendors acquainted with what you plan to do for your wedding.  At the worst of times however, a wedding rehearsal can be stressful for some brides and  like herding cats. 

Even if you are working with a wedding planner, here are some tips that will make your wedding rehearsal run smoothly and efficiently:

Tell your participants to arrive 15-30 minutes prior to the “real” start time. Depending on the complexity of your ceremony and size of your bridal party, your rehearsal should last anywhere between 30-60 minutes.  Nothing is worse than being in the middle of the rehearsal, and finding out that your bridesmaid isn’t there.  Give yourself some cushion time so that even if people arrive late, they are still on time to get the rehearsal started.

If possible, rehearse where your wedding will be. If your wedding is outside, rehearse at the ceremony site.  Only use a second location as your worse case scenario.  If you have to have a backup for your ceremony, make sure everyone knows where it is and if any changes must be made in order to have the ceremony there.

Have everyone that is participating in the ceremony at the rehearsal. This includes all readers, soloists, members of the bridal party, grandparents, etc.  Again, you cannot have a successful rehearsal if people are missing.  Moreover, be sure to walk though with all mothers and grandmothers and their escorts so that they know where to be, walk and sit prior to the ceremony. People will be able to confidently perform their duties when they’ve had an opportunity to practice them first.

Have a partial setup for prosperity.  If you are having large arrangements, tables for a unity ceremony as well as seating.  If you have a special entrance, rituals or layout, it is much more helpful to have some of these items in place to assist for good practice.

Meet your bridal party the night before or earlier in the day before the rehearsal.  Also, do not invite non-participants to the rehearsal.  This is another way that your rehearsal can double in time.  People will want to meet and greet, reunite and hang out at the rehearsal.  Because everyone is so excited and being social, it is much harder to get everyone to do what they are supposed to.  Meeting for lunch, tea, beer, or whatever, helps everyone to come ready to rehearse and comfortable with the rest of the bridal party.  Likewise, avoid having non-participants congregating at the rehearsal for similar reasons.  They will want pictures, hugs, and conversations and while this is fine, it is not the place for the rehearsal.  Ultimately, it could cause you to run over your time at the rehearsal and into your time for the rehearsal dinner. 

 

All of these tips will help you have a successful rehearsal and avoid the many pitfalls and time wasting activities that can draw out the process. 

20 Things to Never Do When Planning Your Wedding

 

Planning your wedding can be fun, exhausting, exhilarating, stressful, exciting and frustrating. Here are 20 tips that you should never do whilst planning the party of the year.

 

1.)  Never book any venue without seeing it.  My only exception to this is if you have a wedding planner working your behalf and doing the scouting for you. 

2.)  Never  work with any  vendor without a contract.   Ever.  This includes Aunt Jan and Uncle Marty.  Contracts put everyone’s expectations and obligations on paper. 

3.)  Never start planning or interviewing vendors without a budget.  You will waste your time and the time  of the vendors you meet. Whenever a potential client says “There is no budget” or something similar, they are not impressed. The red flags go up.

4.) Never start your wedding planning in the “middle”.  In other words, start at the beginning and work your way down with tasks and duties.  Find a planning timeline to help you figure out where you should be in your planning process.  Don’t start designing your floor plan when you haven’t chosen a venue. 

5.)  Never be afraid to speak up with your vendors. If you have questions or concerns, ask while changes can still be made as opposed to being stuck with something you will regret on your wedding day.

6.) Never take your family and friends for granted. Using the “But it’s my wedding” carte blanche will get very old, very fast.  Your bridesmaids and groomsmen will spend a small fortune to participate in your day.  Please treat them nicely. 

7.)  Never believe anything you see on the wedding shows.  Ever.

8.)  Never choose a dress under the condition you will lose weight to fit in it later. Stress eating is a huge monster during wedding planning. It is easier to take a dress in than it is to let it out.

9.)  Never forget what you are planning for—your wedding, which is the birth of your marriage. I encourage you to plaster pictures all over your planning binder of you and your honey. That is your motivation.

10.)  Never pick a vendor that has poor communication skills or makes you feel silly, “cheap”, "spoiled, or otherwise about your choices. Period.

11.)  Never put your registry information on or with your invitation.  Times may have changed and “some” etiquette rules can be bent. I don’t feel this is one of them. You do not want people to feel like there is a cover charge for your wedding.  This information needs to be sent word of mouth, on your wedding website/newsletter or with your bridal/couple shower invite.

12.) Never choose a photographer with your budget solely in mind.  This is the only thing that will preserve your memories for your special day.   Please choose someone with style, talent and charisma so that you can remember your day fifty years from now as if it were yesterday.

13.)  Never go to your  catering tasting starving.   Everything will taste good.  You need to be discerning with mingling flavors and scents…and be able to appreciate them.

14.) Never go to your florist without a concept. There are several breeds of roses, lilies, and orchids.  Your floral designer will be more than happy to provide you with inspiration, guidance and ideas, but you need to know where the destination is before you get in the car. 

15.) Never assume a vendor’s “retainer” is the same as a deposit.  A deposit is refundable.  A retainer is not.

16.)  Never think you will be able to make everyone happy with your decisions.  Don’t try to make them all angry either.  Ask for ideas, and find ways to incorporate everyone into the wedding. Nothing will make your FMIL beam brighter than to point at something and say "I picked that!”

17.)  Never try to micromanage your day while wearing the gown.  The day will be a blur anyway,  it will go by so much faster (and harder) if you are playing the starring role and the director.  Enjoy your day.  Save your sanity.  Please get a wedding coordinator.  If you do, let her/him do her/his job.

18.) Never withhold the final payment from a vendor with the belief that this will pressure them to show up.  If you have chosen to hire professionals for your wedding, this will never be an issue. The wedding industry thrives on reputation, and several vendors have reputations that precede them.  Many have the philosophy if you do not pay them on the due date, they will not be there, and you will be without the vendor anyway.

19.)  Never lose sight of the fact that you will have several hundred people at your wedding with different tastes and likes.  While you cannot make them all happy, as a host, it is your job to make it enjoyable and comfortable.  Remember this when it comes to design, location and food.

20.)  Never  forget to read this blog. (ok, I was really running low. Shameless plug over).

:: Photo Michal Zacharzewski

10 Tips for a Great Wedding Venue Visit, Part 2

The Mansion at Forsyth in Savannah, Georgia

Welcome back!

Last week, we talked about the first of the five tips for a great wedding venue visit.  This week, we’ll round up our last bit of tips that will help you choose a wedding reception or wedding ceremony location with ease and confidence. 

  1. Become a complete space cadet.  One of the most important features that makes your potential site a viable choice is its ability to accommodate all of your guests.  You will want to inquire into how many guests can comfortably fit at the venue, because size matters.  Can you have the ceremony and reception at the same place?  Are there options for inclement weather?  If there are tenting options  for outdoor weddings due to space or weather concerns, how much extra is this option in addition to the costs of the rental?  Some venues will require you to book an additional space as your backup—be prepared to factor this into your budget when comparing costs later.  If there are multiple rooms at the venue, ask how many other events are booked on your wedding day.
  2. Gain absolute clarity on the role of your “coordinator”.  Many venues erroneously give their on-site catering manager or coordinator the misnomer of “wedding coordinator”.  This gives most brides the impression that their “venue comes with a coordinator”.  In most cases, this is true and false, and causes much stress and frustration for those on-site coordinators who deal with questions that they cannot and should not deal with.  The coordinator is on hand to answer your questions in terms of your wedding ceremony and or reception, not the entirety of your wedding.  Some on-site coordinators do not stay at the wedding the entire time to execute or oversee, so these will be questions you will want answers to prior to booking your venue.  If their duties are limited, ask for recommendations for wedding coordinators that can work with you on a day-of-wedding level. 
  3. A matter of convenience. Since you and Mr. Fabuluxe know your guest list the best, consider your guests in your decision.  How large is the parking lot?  Is their a fee for valet parking?  How far is parking from the venue?  Take note of the number of restrooms  and their locations– compute if it will be convenient for your guests.  If there are only two stalls in the bathroom, your guests will spend more time in line than at the wedding reception.  If you have elderly or handicapped guests, make sure that the exits are easily accessible, with ramps, if necessary.  If your venue is a resort, ask if there is shuttle or cart service to get guests to the main hotel areas.   
  4. Is there room at the Inn?  Ask ahead if there is a changing or private room for you and your groomsmen if you will have your wedding ceremony there as well.  When planning your timeline, having an onsite room will be most convenient for you. If it doesn’t, it gives you notice to pad your travel time in the the wedding day timeline. This room could also be a perfect hideaway if you would like a private moment with your new husband in the midst of the festivities.
  5. Don’t Go Solo.  Have your fiance, maid/matron of honor, parents or wedding planner attend your venue visit with you. It is good to have a second opinion—especially if you are madly in love with a specific venue.  Another person’s point of view will help you see things you had not or considered.