Diary of a Charlotte Bride | Picking a Venue | Charlotte NC Photographer
Picking a wedding venue can be really overwhelming for some brides! There's so many things to take into consideration and you definitely need to weigh all of your options! You have to ask yourself, do you want to have the ceremony and the venue in the same place and do a "flip," where during a cocktail hour the venue staff turns the ceremony site into a reception space, or do you want to do two different locations? To me, doing a flip seemed really stressful, but some might see having everything all in one place very ideal! Then you have to take into consideration what the venue includes... like food; does the venue include a caterer, or do you have to bring in your own caterer? Also, does the venue include an event planner, or are you responsible for finding your own wedding planner, or doing everything yourself? With my DYI spirit, I like the idea of having some help, but still doing a lot of things on my own! In Charlotte, there's so many places to choose from and magazines like Charlotte, or Carolina Bride can be really helpful! They have articles listing how many people can fit inside the venue, the cost, and what that cost includes. Lucky for us, picking a reception venue wasn't all that hard. We still weighed all our options and thought about which venue route would be best for our wedding, but my parents belong to Myers Park Country Club, which is gorgeous, so we kind of knew we would end up going in that direction for our reception. But even though we knew we were leaning towards having it there, we still went back-and-forth on the idea of going with a venue where you could have the reception and the ceremony all at the same place. At first, we really wanted a Christmas wedding, and we had been searching for a church that was a good fit to build our faith together for a while. I grew up in a Presbyterian Church in Charlotte and Adam grew up going to a church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, so getting married in a church was important to us, but we soon found out that finding a church we felt a connection with that would let us have our ceremony so close to Christmas was really tough! And now, fresh off of the holiday season with a wedding on my mind, I completely understand why! Such a crazy time of the year! So that dilemma, for a little while, made us consider going with a venue where we could have the ceremony and reception at the same place, or doing a flip at Myers Park, but we soon realized that getting married in a church was more important to us than having a Christmas wedding. It's different for everyone! We had been visiting Covenant Presbyterian in the Dilworth area of Charlotte for some time and after thinking things over, it just felt like the perfect place to say our vows and start our life together! So Covenant Presbyterian for ceremony and Myers Park Country Club for the reception it was! Venue booked... check and check! :)
So through my recent experiences, my advice for picking the perfect venue for your wedding is look into going with a country club if you, or your family are members. You can even find a member that can sponsor your wedding. If not, I would look for places like a club that have a caterer on site, an event planner and wait staff, as well as tables, chairs, and linens. It's so nice to only have to talk to one person at one place about all of those main things that go into your reception! If not, and you do have to bring those things in yourself, make sure you ask the venue what kind of service fees they have, are there any alcohol restrictions, or anything else you should know when shopping around for your vendors that will be setting up shop in their facility.
I know it all seems like so much to think about, but once you have your venues booked, whether you choose to go with two different places for the ceremony and reception, or one place to have everything, it seems like it all completely falls into place once that's taken care of!! And I definitely suggest going and visiting as many places as you can. You can only go by what is said in a magazine, or on a website and communicated to you over the phone so much, but once you see it in person it all comes together and you can figure out if it fits within your wedding vision or not. And as far as the ceremony venue goes, it's hard to find a church that you can get married in without being a member. For Adam and I, we were pretty close to joining a church before we even got engaged, so the decision was pretty easy for us, but if it's important to you to get married in a church and have an established relationship with the pastor who's marrying you like it was for us, I suggest visiting churches in becoming a member pretty early on in your engagement!
With that said, we are super excited to be getting married in just eleven months and celebrating at both these gorgeous places!! Here's a sneak peak of both our venues...
Your Diary of a Charlotte Bride,
Melissa Lynn Hunt Photography Charlotte NC Photographer