New Year, New Name!

Dum dum dum dum!

If this new year includes getting a new last name, you’ll love the tips we complied below! After the excitement sets in and the planning begins, the first step is finding the perfect place to say, “I do.” There are hundreds of venue options in the Kansas City area- whether you want rustic, modern, grand or outdoors; there is a venue for you!

Photo credit:  Kelcy Leigh Photography

Check out these helpful tips to narrow down the search to find where you and your partner will start forever!

  • Together, make a list of “must haves” and “wants” for a venue. A must-have could include a ceremony and reception space at the same location, parking or a bridal suite. Examples of wants might include separate bridal and groom suites, tables/chairs/linens provided or an onsite coordinator.

  • Determine your capacity. The general rule is 75% of invited guests will attend your wedding, although if most of your guests are in-town, you will see a higher rate of attendance. Even though this is a great rule to keep in mind, always plan for the highest possible guest count in order to secure a space that will be comfortable for you and your guests.

  • Is an outdoor space a must-have? October has become the most popular wedding month of the year, largely due to the b-e-a-utiful weather in Kansas City during that time of year. If you are passionate about hosting an outdoor wedding, be sure to find a space that accommodates your wishes. Not set on having an outdoor affair, but interested in having the ceremony and reception at the same location? Be sure to ask where guests will mingle while the room is being flipped, and if there is an outdoor cocktail hour area, double-check what Plan B will be should inclement weather occur.

  • What furnishings are included? Every venue will provide something a little different. All options are wonderful, we simply encourage you to read through the fine print to be sure you understand exactly what service(s) you are receiving. Some venues include tables, chairs and linens in the rental price, while others do not. Check out if the staff will set up and tear down all furnishings as well.

  • Preferred vs. exclusive vendor lists can be confusing. The venue coordinator or wedding coordinator is a wonderful resource- no question is a silly question when planning a wedding! A preferred vendor list is, generally, a list of suggested vendors that the venue works with often. These vendors are familiar with the space and the rules associated with this venue. A preferred vendor list is a wonderful place to start when researching vendors. In contrast, an exclusive vendor list typically consists of required vendors you must use when booking the space. In this situation, there will usually be a fee associated with not using the specified vendors. If a venue provides an exclusive vendor list it is typically referring to the caterer or DJ.

  • Specific timing dictated by the venue. There are a handful of venues that will allow all day access, but most venues are booked through hourly packages. A typical venue package will allow for a 5 hour reception and include 4-5 hours of access time prior to the event start time. This access time is used to decorate and take photos in the space. If the venue you are touring provides in-house bar services there will be a separate bar open and end time. Double check that you understand all specified timing requirements through the venue to be sure your expectations are being met.