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Tips on Choosing The Perfect Wedding Venue

pink table setting

When we first meet with engaged couples to begin wedding planning, their initial question is usually, “What advice can you give us during this process?” After many conversations about weddings at Margaritaville Hotel Nashville, we have narrowed down our top recommendations to guide those looking for a venue for their impending nuptials.

These specifics are most often overshadowed by the excitement (and stress) of planning the big day, so make sure to discuss each one early to ensure you plan a wedding that’s uniquely yours.

bridesmaid luncheon

Secure Room Blocks

Many couples hosting out-of-town or destination weddings will provide a hotel option for their loved ones. The most cost-efficient option is to work with a local hotel to secure room blocks for all confirmed guests to stay during the wedding week or weekend.

Room blocks should be booked as early as six months to a year in advance! While it may seem like you are bugging guests to confirm if they will need accommodations, it is an essential step in securing these spaces (and will be greatly appreciated when your guests have a quality place to sleep and get ready at a discounted rate).

bride drinking cocktail

Plan out Your Food & Beverage

Many couples plan food and beverage (F&B) last, which adds additional stress when working to stay within budget. In my experience, after finding your dress and securing your venue, a bride and groom should immediately begin envisioning the type of F&B they would like to offer. F&B is a great place to get creative and set the tone of your reception.

Some couples might opt for interactive food stations to create movement around their space or choose a more formal sit-down dinner with passed hors d’oeuvres. After finalizing the estimate for the menu and deciding if you want an open or cash bar, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to do moving forward to stay within budget. Most guests will likely not remember the delicate details of the dress or the number of people in your band, but they will never forget sharing delicious food and drink with other guests in the special atmosphere you created.

wedding backdrop

Ask For Vendor Recommendations

Don’t be afraid to ask for a recommended vendor list from potential venues. Most spots will either have third-party vendors you are required to hire, or they will supply a list of vendors they have worked with previously and whom they have confidence can provide the quality of product and service you desire for your special day.

Venue Variety and Flexibility We understand that budgets vary greatly, and while some couples may want several unique spaces during their day, they may not have the funds to cover additional rooms or venues.

cocktail hour

Be transparent with your coordinator / planner 

Be transparent with your coordinator / planer on your vision and budget so they can work together to find creative solutions. Some spaces may offer a foyer or patio adjacent to an event room that can be decorated to feel like a unique, separate experience for guests. You can use spaces like this for a custom cigar room or special area for cocktail hour. 

Another option is repurposing your ceremony location into your reception space while guests enjoy drinks in another area. By swapping ceremony chairs with decorated reception tables and a dance floor, your space can feel like a unique location for each portion of the day. Contingency Plans Most larger hotels and resorts have tents to utilize in case of inclement weather; however, they may still require an additional rental fee

disco balls at wedding

Look For a Venue With a Contingency Plan

Any hotel or venue that rents an outdoor space usually has an appropriate indoor space as a weather backup. To determine the best plan for your day, we suggest asking any potential venues about these options before booking the venue to foresee any additional costs.

Once the venue is booked, decide on your contingency plan with your coordinator or planner well in advance, as a tent or alternate option may need to be ordered or rented before your wedding day. Making a Venue Fit “You” We know it is a top priority to find a venue that fits your unique and individual personality as a couple. Ballrooms are an excellent option for many couples, as they are not overly decorated and can provide a blank canvas for designing your custom space.

Casino night at wedding

Our ballroom was decorated as a Monte Carlo Casino for one party and a Winter Wonderland for the next! Lighting, linens and florals are beautiful assets to create any couple’s vision of the perfect backdrop for their wedding. 

Additional Amenities When researching your wedding venue, we recommend considering the different amenities offered on top of the event space. Venues in hotels are our recommended option for couples looking for something more. 

bridal brunch ideas

Dedicated Catering Manager

Margaritaville Hotel Nashville provides a dedicated catering manager to work with you on all the venue details, which is like having your own wedding planner for food and beverage. We also utilize our restaurants on-site for any needed rehearsal dinners or bridesmaids’ brunches, which our previous wedding parties have highly praised.

Another benefit of booking a hotel venue is its concierge service who can recommend off-site activities and help coordinate transportation. They will be connected with your city's best and most reliable transportation companies.

SoBro area of downtown Nashville

Free Time 

If you’re having a destination wedding or most of your guests are coming in from out of town, it is important to consider their “free time” outside the ceremony and reception. What entertainment or activities are available around your venue? Margaritaville Hotel Nashville is in the SoBro area of downtown Nashville, just steps from the iconic Broadway entertainment district. This allows guests who are visiting to utilize their extra time to tour a new city without much hassle. 

For those looking to relax all weekend, we also offer a gorgeous rooftop pool and premium suites. Additional amenities and proximity to local highlights can transform the trip for those traveling to the wedding. No matter what venue you choose, this day is all about you and your partner, so don’t forget to relax and enjoy every step of the process! Learn more about booking your wedding at Margaritaville Hotel Nashville.

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