The Historic Post Office is one of my new FAVORITE wedding venues in the Hampton Roads area! It’s so gorgeous outside (all the heart eyes for the teal blue window panes and gorgeous architecture), but the inside…ya’ll!! It literally takes my breath away! I’m so grateful that when it opened last year, Kelsey stepped up and became the venue manager there. She was once a wedding planner, and understands the need for happy mediums between gorgeous details, and well thought out logistics! I’m BEYOND excited to have her on the blog today chatting all about picking the perfect wedding venue!! Enjoy it, and check out some gorgeous images of the venue, and the gorgeous shoot I got to work on with her, and a fabulous crew of wedding pros! Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelsey!!
Your partner has finally popped the question and now…you’re officially engaged! Congratulations! Besides feeling a sense of surreal delight, you probably also feel a sense of overwhelming frustration because now that the engagement has finally happened- you don’t know where to begin in the process of planning a wedding. Well, let me make things a little easier for you: start with the budget.
The budget puts everything in perspective and eliminates a lot of options for you, making it easier to narrow down your choices by shortening the list. Once the budget has been established, the next big step is (and in my opinion, the most important one) choosing the perfect venue to host your special day! Begin with this question: where does it make the most sense to have my wedding? Choose a location that is easily accessible for your significant guests. It is also important to choose an area with needed amenities like lodging, restaurants, and activities for guests who might be traveling from out of town. Once the general area is decided upon, begin researching local venues on sources like TheKnot.com. Remember, shorten the list of venues by only looking at venues within your budget!
Once you have a list of 8-10 venues established, begin shortening the list by removing venues that do not have big items on your “wish list”. Your wish list should be made up of things like outdoor/indoor space, ceremony and reception space, occupancy number, a bridal suite, handicap accessibility, catering requirements, etc. Anything else that you find very important to you and your partner, add it to your “wish list” and put your “must haves” at the top of the list!
The deep research begins once you have a solid list of 3-6 venues established. Now, it is time to bust out the phone or the computer and begin reaching out to the venues for more information. BE READY to ask questions. You can find a lot of information about venues by visiting their websites or by giving them a quick call over the phone. Begin collecting all of the information you need in an organized chart so that the venues can be easily compared. Out of your 3-6 venues; choose about 3 to make touring appointments for. These are your TOP choices and offer things that are vital to you and your partner.
When touring venues, be prepared with additional questions to ask the manager. Also, spend time just roaming around the area envisioning your perfect day being held right at that spot. If it’s easy to envision and feels “right”- then it might just be YOUR venue. Once all of the logistics fall into place, let your heart make the final call.
Don’t make searching for a venue stressful or frustrating. Follow these steps and save time to enjoy your engagement with your partner! Also, please use the comparison chart I developed for my brides!
- Establish a budget
- Eliminate venues that are way out of the budgeted amount
- Chose an area/general location
- Eliminate venues that are not in that general location
- Decide on several “must haves” and put them at the top of your wish list
- Eliminate venues that cannot provide the “must have” accommodations you need
- Only tour your top 3 venues that match your budget, location and “must haves” from your wish list. Make sure to ask plenty of questions and create a comparison chart when visiting venues.
- Let your heart make the final decision because you have already eliminated choices that are logistically not compliable with your wedding!
(Couple’s portraits and venue pictures were taken by Chelsea Anderson Photography)
Hi, friends! My name is Kelsey and I am a full-time wedding/event creative here on the beautiful Peninsula of Virginia. I began “adulting” when I first got a full-time job as a middle school science teacher but I soon found myself longing for a change in career paths. I caught the planning bug after organizing my own wedding in 2014 and soon began my own event coordinating business in 2015, Kelsey Ann Events LLC. After a year and a half of teaching and planning weddings on the side- I was ready for another major change in my life- I wanted to get into the wedding and event industry full-time. I contemplated taking my small business to new levels but then I stumbled upon the opportunity of a lifetime in Hampton, VA. I soon became the venue manager for a brand new event and wedding venue called The Historic Post Office and my dream of entering the wedding industry full-time became a reality. Being the venue manager for this building has challenged me in so many new ways but has brought me to a new level of happiness. When I am not in downtown Hampton, you can find me in my quaint home in Gloucester with my loving husband, two cats, and a new puppy. All in all, I’m just a girl who has a deep appreciation for Kate Middleton, pinstripes, ginormous blooms, pretty things and the rare lazy days with my loved ones.
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