Finding the Perfect Wedding Venue in Sacramento to Fit Your Personality
Location, location, location. It’s the Golden Rule of Real Estate, and it’s likewise one of the most important considerations when planning a wedding. Still, selecting the right wedding venue for you and your partner to exchange your vows is just the start of the booking and planning process.
As with most other steps in that process, it can be all too easy to feel overwhelmed.
Thankfully, this quick checklist of eight things by which to evaluate the best wedding venues Sacramento has to offer can ease some of the pressure and help ensure you find somewhere that can make your wedding day dreams a reality.
- Personality First
Nothing is more important when browsing wedding venues Sacramento or other cities have listed than what strikes your fancy and stirs your soul. One trap way too many couples fall into when selecting wedding venues is choosing for their guests rather than themselves. Sure, accounting for guests is important, and we’ll get into some steps you should take in that regard, but remember – this wedding is for you two first and foremost, and that means finding a wedding venue that fits not just your aesthetic tastes but your personalities.
That can mean bucking expectations. If you’re a low fuss type of person, chances are a big ballroom wedding isn’t for you, no matter how glamorous or in-style it may be. On the other hand, if you’re someone who loves a big show and have been dreaming about a big wedding, you shouldn’t feel pressured into going for a low-key garden party or “less is more” minimalist approach just because someone else thinks that’s trendy. If you’re someone who likes to socialize and party, chances are you’re going to want a bigger venue that can handle a ton of guests along with musical equipment, food, a dance floor, open bar, and more. For more naturally quiet, low-key couples, however, all the buzz some find exciting can come off as just noisy distractions, and so a smaller, more intimate space may suit your personalities and wedding ideas better.
When browsing wedding venues Sacramento or any other city has to offer, you might feel overwhelmed and not know where to start when it comes to finding a space that suits your personalities. If that’s the case, try starting small – what’s in your wardrobes? Fashion is one of the most accessible yet revealing ways in which we show off our personalities, and they can give you a few quick starting points. What colors do you two like? Are you a huge fan of vintage clothes (and if so, what period?). The same goes for your home décor – how do you decorate your current space, and how would you decorate your dream home? Answers to questions like these can yield some valuable information and give a more concrete idea of what kind of wedding venue appeals to you.
Finally, remember that an ideal wedding venue should reflect your values as well as tastes:
- Do either or both of you have religious traditions you’d like to see observed, or are you both more secular and would rather have a more humanistic approach to marriage?
- Are you city slickers? Country folk? Sea lovers or green-loving garden aficionados?
- What artistic, musical, and literary influences matter to you most?
- What things are you more traditional about, and where are you more open to experimentation?
Some classic venue ideas to consider when browsing for the best wedding venues Sacramento boasts for new brides and grooms to be:
- Ballroom Blitz: If glitz, glamor, and going wild on the dance floor are at the top of your wedding wish list, you can’t go wrong with some of Sacramento’s best ballrooms for weddings.
- Barn Burner: If you’re more of a country guy or gal at heart or love rustic or more casual wedding settings, a barn could be a great idea (and a money-saving one!).
- Garden Gala: If you live for gorgeous greenery and dream of marrying springtime nuptials with blossoming florals, check out some of Sacramento’s greatest garden venues.
- Country Club Cool: If you’d like a sense of understated elegance and upscale interiors, try one of Sacramento’s best country clubs.
- Spiritual Centers: If religious ceremonies are important to you (or you just adore their décor and multicultural spirit) search Sacramento’s best churches, synagogues, and temples.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Be Unique
If you’re the kind of person who likes to think outside the box and embrace off the wall ideas, don’t let yourself be boxed in by wedding conventions or walled off from your dream venue. This is less about simply listing the best wedding venues Sacramento has to its credit than finding the one that suits you and your partner’s aesthetic and personal tastes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that extends to wedding venues as well.
There’s nothing wrong with having a traditional wedding, but if you’re looking for something a bit more unique, you might want to consider some underrated wedding venue ideas such as:
- Historic Sites: Did you know you can get married in Abraham Lincoln’s Cottage, the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans, the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, Belfast Castle, or The Trades Hall of Glasgow? If there’s a city whose history tugs at your heartstrings or a location that speaks to your personalities and love of the past, why not see if they offer wedding services? Plenty of gorgeous historic sites in Northern California offer wedding services, including Falkirk Mansion in San Rafael, Grand Island Mansion in Walnut Grove, and the historic Hibernia Building in San Francisco. Historic wedding venues Sacramento itself has to offer include The Citizen Hotel with its gorgeous rooftop views, The Sterling Hotel with its Victorian décor, The Vacaville Opera House, or one of the Tudor-inspired Grass Valley Courtyard Suites.
- Boat Weddings: Services such as River City Queen allow you to enjoy a wedding ceremony and reception out on the water.
- Zoo: Yes, if you and your beau are animal lovers, the Sacramento Zoo offers wedding packages.
- Restaurants: Having your wedding or especially your reception at a restaurant you both love can be great for couples looking for a more relaxed atmosphere. Great examples here include the Vizcaya (which also earns historic sites points, having been built in 1890 and still boasting much vintage décor) and Tsakopoulos Library Galleria for book lovers.
- Vineyards and Wineries: What better place to pop the cork post-“I do” than at the Vinters Resort, Twisted Oak Winery, McConnell Estates Winery, or any of the many vineyards and wineries in and around Sacramento?
- Consider the Cost
This is probably the last thing you want to think about when pursuing different wedding venues Sacramento or nearby cities have, but sooner or later you’ll have to pay the piper (or wedding planner). That said, the sooner you start thinking about your budget, the better. You have to make sure you can afford your wedding, and that means having a clear idea from the start of how much you’re willing to spend. Sites such as Wedding Wire’s Budget Tool can make calculating those costs quite easy.
Every little bit of budget-friendliness helps. When you sign up for wedding photography services with The Flash Box, for example, you get $100 off any wedding venue in Sacramento.
- Catering to the Catering
One amenity grooms and brides-to-be all too often overlook is how to cater to their catering situation within the wedding venue. You don’t want food blocking precious aisle space and preventing people from mingling, and you certainly don’t want food spoiling. Think we’re overselling the fears of a wedding catering catastrophe? Exhibit A: an 1891 British Medical Journal article on a “Wholesale Poisoning at a Wedding Feast” in Louisville, Kentucky. Exhibit B: an understandably-livid bride suing in 2015 after more or less the same thing happened in Brewerton, New York.
Even setting horror stories such as those aside, however, the big takeaway here is to be really, really careful with your catering choices. Your venue and catering combined can account for as much as half of your budget, so make sure you’re getting exactly what you want and that the venue can accommodate the food so as to make sure that the food doesn’t spoil. Think well ahead of time about how the food should be stored and arranged, and in what order you want them brought out.
If you opt for in-house catering at the venue, take note that some places have food and beverage minimums in terms of order prices. Remember to factor taxes and gratuities into your budget.
If you go for an outside catering service, consider how far away they are from the venue – you don’t want food spoiling or getting cold en route – and make sure to schedule delivery so as to not interrupt the service while still having the food fresh, hot, and ready to go. Be sure to ask the venue before you book any outside catering services, as some venues require you to use their on-site catering, while others may allow for outsider catering but at an extra cost.
- Consult with Your Planner
As mentioned above, the sooner you start budgeting, the better – and in fact, consulting a wedding planner should probably be one of the first steps you take. You might fear that this will balloon the cost of your wedding, but in fact the opposite is true. Wedding planners tend to know all kinds of planning secrets that can help cut down on costs. What’s more, since they do this for a living, they are also far more knowledgeable and realistic about prices. You’re likely at least partially seeing this through rose-tinted glasses, and that’s perfectly fine, but it still helps to have someone who actually knows the price of roses, for example, and can make sure you stay within budget without feeling constrained by it.
You’ll also want to have your budget in place before you commit to any single wedding venue. You don’t want to put down money on a wedding venue only to discover the cost of decorating, catering, and doing everything else that’s necessary to make your wedding a reality costs way more than what you’re willing or able to spend. Here again, wedding planners in Sacramento can be a big help. They know what each venue costs along with areas where you might be able to cut costs due to what’s included in a given venue’s wedding packages and amenities.
- All About Those Amenities
Speaking of which, you’ll want to take full advantage of whatever special amenities a wedding space may offer. If you are going to be paying several thousand dollars for the venue, you want to make sure you take advantage of every last inch of it. As mentioned above, decorating costs can eat up a big portion of your wedding budget, but many of the best wedding venues Sacramento has seen evolve over the years now often offer guests tables, chairs, linens, and other things that may cost more when hired from a separate service. What’s more, you obviously need to make sure that these things match the décor anyway, and renting them from the venue itself ensures that.
In addition to all the lovely in-house decorating, you’ll also want to give more mundane but equally essential amenities some considerations. For example, restrooms. The last thing you want is a bigger crowd around the bathrooms than the ballroom because you have way more guests than the venue’s restrooms can accommodate. Make sure the restrooms are a decent distance away from the main action as well – too close and things can feel unsavory, too far and guests will be in for an uncomfortably long walk there and back. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, put quality, cleanliness, and newness first when selecting portable toilets.
The same thinking applies to parking – make sure the venue or nearby parking options have plenty of spaces for your guests.
If you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town, give “wedding venues Sacramento hotels” a quick Google and see how many are near your venue and what their distance and quality are like.
You’ll also want to check the curfew to make sure that you don’t have to pack up and leave before you’re truly done celebrating.
Finally, remember that all your music and lighting will require electricity, so make sure your venue has ample and accessible power outlets. Good acoustics are also important for musical purposes. If you’re booking in a place that isn’t used to weddings, a historic venue, or an outdoor space, you’ll need to pay extra attention to this and likely see about getting electric generators in there without having them spoil the décor or trip up guests with wires everywhere.
- Consider Your Guests
While this wedding is for you and your partner first and foremost, you’ll also want to spare a thought as to how the venue suits your guests as well. A lot of this is down to you managing expectations and being clear about what kind of wedding you’re throwing. If your guests come dressed in their finest, they might be more than a bit miffed if their glamorous gowns and heels sink in the mud because you’ve planned an outdoor or barn wedding.
Even more important than guest considerations is how many guests you plan on having in the first place, and how that corresponds to your venue’s capacity. Remember – “maximum capacity” doesn’t necessarily mean “comfortable capacity,” so be sure to specifically ask the venue operator how many people can fit comfortably into a given space.
- Save the Date
Think you have the perfect date for your wedding? Chances are dozens if not hundreds of couples looking for the best wedding venues Sacramento can offer for their big day have the same idea – and the same date. Book your wedding venue sooner at least nine months out to be safe.
The date you choose can also have an impact on which venue is most suitable for you. That’s especially true for outdoor ceremonies. Planning on a winter wedding? Then unless you want shivering guests you’ll probably want to avoid water events and rent plenty of heaters, or else just have the whole thing indoors. On the other hand, while spring outdoor weddings can be a thing of beauty, you’ll need to account for the heels-ruining quality and overripe smell of fresh rain-softened sod and have backup options and plan accordingly. The combination of high-90s or even triple digit temperatures plus the body heat of cramming a couple hundred people into an enclosed area for a summer wedding can leave guests hot under the collar and swearing up a storm, so you’ll need to make sure any indoor venue is well-ventilated and any outdoor area has plenty of shade.
If all of that sounds overwhelming, don’t worry – with proper wedding planning and enough time to work with, you and your wedding planners can tackle just about every issue and transform your ideal venue into a place worthy of your wedding.