Every bride should have their dream wedding, whatever that dream may be. And, while I sincerely believe a professional photographer and DJ is a must at a wedding, the responsible me encourages brides and grooms to stay within a budget that is reasonable for them and not go into debt for their wedding.
Impossible, you say? I've had many conversations lately with brides regarding wedding venues. Over the years of being in the wedding business in central Oregon, I have enjoyed seeing the beautiful wedding settings this area has to offer. I have also been a bit surprised by the fees that some venues garner. Not that those fees are overpriced or out of line, but rather that couples are able and willing to spend thousands of dollars for that dream venue.
I've learned some great things from savvy brides, though, that i'd like to pass along. FIrst, don't give up on your dream and don't settle for a venue that doesn't feel right for your wedding. If your favorite venue isn't in your budget, think outside the box and ask the venue coordinator what might bring the fees down. Day of the week, time of day, and number of guests often play a part in the fees charged by an event venue.
For example, Studio Jay will be DJ-ing a wedding in July on a Sunday evening. This is the first time we've done a Sunday wedding so I was curious why that particular day was chosen. As it turns out, the bride discovered that the Sunday fee was about half the Friday-Saturday fee! Also, the beautiful resort did not require her to book a block of cabins, as is their package requirement with a Friday or Saturday event. This was the stunning lodge she wanted as the backdrop for her wedding and was willing to compromise somewhat to make that a reality.
Studio Jay photographed a small wedding last November at a magnificent golf resort. The wedding was on a Thursday! The several dozen guests had agreed this weekday would work just fine for them and the off-season, off-weekend reduced the venue fee considerably. The couple still had their dream wedding and the images at that (high end) resort were gorgeous.
We are scheduled to photograph a wedding in June at another superior central Oregon golf resort. The wedding couple explained to us that they found the venue fee would be reduced if they had 50 or fewer guests, an offer they will take advantage of.
And certainly don't rule out the dozens of central Oregon parks that offer beautiful settings for your party. They can be reserved and fees range from a nominal $25 to a very affordable $500 to include an outdoor setting, perhaps an historic barn, classic hall, or famous rock formation backdrop. Think outside the box, ask questions, and live your wedding dream!