With its college town vibe, rolling grassland plains, and warm, dry spring and summer days, Greeley offers history, charm, and recreation for you and your wedding guests. Planning a Front Range wedding? Here are some tips to remember when touring Greeley CO wedding venues.
Find your Inspiration
Your wedding day reflects who you are as a couple. Think about what brought you together. Maybe it’s a love of nature, a passion for fine food, or enthusiasm for music or art. Use those interests to form your inspiration and wedding theme.
Complement Your Theme with the Right Venue
A theme is a way to tell your love story. It’s reflected in your location, food and beverage, attire, decor, and entertainment. Your venue serves as the “stage”.
As one of the top Greeley CO wedding venues, the grounds and panoramic views of Meadows Event Center set the stage for any theme. With five beautifully manicured acres, the landscape features multiple water features, a picture perfect gazebo, and a flagstone patio.
Set a Date
Or at least determine the time of year you’d like to marry. There are “low” and “high” wedding seasons. At The Meadows, our wedding season is May – October. And we offer “off season” discounts for January – April as well as November and December.
Some dates book a year in advance. If you have your heart set on a particular location, consider alternative dates. Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons are great choices if the majority of your guests are local.
Get a Grip on the Guest List
While you don’t need an exact head count, you need at least a general idea of the number of guests you anticipate. This estimate helps you match up the venue’s capacity.
Be sure to understand what a space can comfortably accommodate. Tight space impedes the flow of the event, but you also don’t want a place that feels cavernous. Meadows Event Center can accommodate up to a maximum of 175 guests for an indoor event and up to 200 with combined indoor/outdoor seating (weather permitting).
Put Together a Rough Budget
Venue rental, along with food and beverage, are going to take the lion’s share of your budget. Wedding planning websites advise allocating 40% of your budget to venue rental and catering.
And if your vision relies heavily on bringing in decor, like uplighting, draping, even lounge furniture, you need to factor it in as well. Brides.com has a great pie chart showing a typical wedding budget breakdown.
Will your ceremony and reception be at the same location?
Many couples opt for the convenience of having everything in one place. It saves time, so you can take more amazing photos. And if you have a lot of out of town guests, you don’t need to worry about transportation from one place to the other – or your guests getting lost.
The Meadows Event Center can easily accommodate both a ceremony and reception. In addition to the outdoor space, The Meadows features a private 4,000 square-foot indoor venue with a stunning chandelier, towering columns and arches. There’s also a lovely fireplace along with eight panels of stained glass.
But you may want to take your vows in another special place and then bring the party here. Consider transportation service, at least for the bridal party and family. This way you can make sure everyone’s together for photos while your guests enjoy cocktail time. And definitely include accurate directions on your wedding website or an insert in your invitations.
Is there a Plan B for your wedding?
Outdoor ceremonies and receptions are awesome, but sometimes Mother Nature is an uninvited guest. Find out how the venue handles inclement weather. Ideally, you will have an indoor location that accommodates your headcount. Meadows Event Center hosts up to 165 guests in our Grand Hall for a ceremony.
Are you the one and only?
There’s a tremendous advantage in working with a venue that hosts only one wedding at a time. The Meadows does just that, making sure every couple is able to enjoy all the stunning features and locations we offer.
Does the floor plan allow for all the activities?
The math is pretty easy when it comes to table setup for dining, but you’ll also want to factor in other activities. All of these components add to the flow of your event so guests can have a seamless experience. Consider these questions when touring a venue.
- Where will your cake go?
- Is there a stage for a band or DJ?
- Do you want a lounge for other entertainment?
- Is there a place for your guest book/favors/cards and gifts?
- How about a dance floor?
- What about a photo booth?
And don’t forget you and your bridal party. Will you and your wedding squad get dressed at the venue? Is there adequate space and light for hair and makeup? How about a groom’s room? And is there any space where you and your partner can have a quiet moment?
Whether it’s an all-inclusive property or a “stand alone” venue, you’ll need some equipment. Most venues offer, at the minimum, tables and chairs. A Meadows Event Center rental includes tables, chairs, china packages, and selection of colored linen and décor packages. And we can assist you with other items to complete your day.
Are you looking for all-inclusive reception planning?
Many venues offer all-inclusive receptions. Typically there are packages based on price per person. But they are by no means cookie cutter. You’ll find a nice choice of entrees and sides, along with cocktail hour apps and bar options. All-inclusive packages can help take some of the stress out of planning, especially if you’re doing it long distance.
At Meadows Event Center, our Crystal Package includes a full open bar, cocktail hour appetizers, and complete dinner service with a choice of four different menus. We even provide the late night snacks to keep the party going!
Venues often have a list of preferred caterers. This is a great benefit because these folks know the lay of the land when it comes to working that venue. As one of the top Fort Lupton wedding venues, Meadows Event Center has a helpful recommended vendors list, including off-premises caterers, restaurants, and drop-off catering. Or you can select your own caterer.
Consider Your Guests
Is your guest list mainly locals or do you have friends and family coming into town? If your venue isn’t a hotel, you’ll want a place with nearby guest accommodations. Hotels offer discounts on blocks of guest rooms and many provide shuttle service to and from your wedding location.
When considering your guests, do any have issues with mobility? Review logistics with your venue coordinator. And what about kids – will they be part of the festivities or is this an adults only affair? If they’re part of the guest list, you might want a separate area and a sitter. This allows parents a safe space for their children and allows all to enjoy the reception.
Check Out Any Venue Restrictions
Is it “couple’s choice” when it comes to other wedding pros or are you required to work with only approved vendors? And many venues now require that you have a professional DOC (Day of Coordinator).
Think of your venue manager and your DOC, along with your DJ, as a team. Each has their own responsibilities, but they work together to ensure your vision. Get a clear understanding of what your venue manager will do for you.
In addition to any vendor requirements, you’ll also want to know about other possible venue restrictions. Some places forbid open flame and others have certain decorating parameters. Some reception sites only allow beer and wine service. And there may be volume restrictions. And of course, you need to know the time allotted for your event – from setup to breakdown. All of these details should be outlined in the venue agreement.
Read the reviews
Reviews can serve as an important tool when selecting your venue. Look for comments that are specific to your needs. For example, if top notch food and culinary creativity are important to you, look for those comments.
Be sure to read Meadows Event Center’s reviews on Google.
Take the Tour
While looking at photos online goes a long way, there’s nothing like a tour. It helps you confirm if the location aligns with your theme and gives you a chance to ask important questions.
Depending on the type of venue, you may tour with a sales manager, venue coordinator, or even the owner of the site. Good communication is the foundation for a successful event. And trust your instincts. Personality is going to play a role in just about every major vendor decision. A caring, professional staff goes a long way in easing those wedding day jitters.
Prepare a List of Pros and Cons
Venue hunting can be daunting. And the places can end up all meshing in your mind. Who had that awesome ceremony site view? Who had that intimate garden for first look photos? If you keep a simple spreadsheet with venue names, brief descriptions and prices, you can then put together a list of pros and cons for each property. And not all pros and cons are equal, so be sure to assign a value. For example, cons could be rated 1-3, with a 1 not being a big issue to 3 being a deal breaker.
Review the Contract Thoroughly
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! After all, how often do you plan a party with 100+ guests? Know how much of a deposit you’ll need and when final payment is due. What is the cancellation policy? Find out when you can take a venue walk through with your DOC. If you’re using one location for everything, find out when you can have your rehearsal.
If your venue is providing the food, when will you plan the menu and have a tasting? What are the policies – everything from one day liquor licenses and liability insurance to decor and departure restrictions? What is your time frame for setup and breakdown? Are there noise or alcohol restrictions?
Your Perfect Greeley Wedding
From inspirational ideas to the finest details, the staff at Meadows Event Center will guide you in planning your special day. Contact us today to schedule your tour and consultation for the perfect Greeley wedding.