Wedding Venues: Location, Location, Location!
When selecting a location for your wedding, there are a variety of factors to consider. Guest convenience and the size of the venue are of course important, but try to think about how your potential locations will PHOTOGRAPH as well. A spot with a great view, tantalizing architecture or interesting lighting can add an extra level of “unforgettable” to the photos taken on your special day.
As a photographer, I personally love walking into new locations and getting the chance to imagine unique and exciting shots. My mind is always working as though a lens were attached, and some of my favorite weddings to shoot have been at locations I had never otherwise set foot. But even right here in San Diego, we have some pretty incredible venues to choose from.
Just north of San Diego, Rancho Valencia is perfect for outdoor weddings tucked amidst a sanctuary of olive groves and Mediterranean-inspired buildings. And The Prado at Balboa Park is a historic location with the stunning architecture to prove it. Each of these venues provides that breathless 1880’s San Diego expo feel which lures so many out-of-towners here for weddings. It is a Spanish Colonial vibe that is so unique to our area, lending effortlessly to truly timeless photos.
I always enjoy the opportunity to shoot at locations which call for a more modern look as well. The Hard Rock in downtown San Diego has both indoor and outdoor settings ideal for the contemporary feel you may seek, and L’Auberge in Del Mar sets modern day architecture against a classic beach backdrop. Both locations have several venue options to choose from depending on the size of your wedding and level of intimacy you seek.
Before you head out to visit potential locations, take the time to imagine the look you are hoping for. Do you want a beach wedding, or would you prefer a location with plenty of foliage to use as your backdrop? Is there a way to integrate your personal style into the location, and are there any non-traditional settings (such as a local museum or aboard a yacht) that you might want to consider? Personally I would make sure there is varied and interesting lighting to create great images with, but that is just me.
Once you have a basic idea in mind, make a point of visiting a handful of venues. Take notes at each one pertaining to what you do and do not like, and see if you can’t find a spot which combines the best of your top choices. Determine which aspects of venue selection are most important to you as well. For instance, how flexible are you on guest size and pricing structure? Other items to consider include parking availability and whether this venue could serve as an ideal setting for both the wedding and reception.
Ask questions before committing to any location, making sure you are comfortable with the cancellation policy, as well as the level of assistance the venue will provide on the day of. Once you are sure you have found the perfect spot, however, sign the dotted line and just let me know where to meet you!