5 More Tips to Help You Choose the Perfect Florida Venue

We recently posted 5 Tips to Choosing the Perfect Florida Venue. Here are 5 more that are just as important. Make sure you take these into consideration when planning your Florida wedding or corporate event. They are key to making sure your event is a smashing success!

1. Space for Ceremony, Cocktail Hour and Reception

Indian wedding reception at the Cruz Building

This wedding reception at the Cruz Building creates a sophisticated ambience by combining the venue setting with rich table settings. Photo by Domino Arts Photography.

Whether you’re having a corporate awards ceremony, or a wedding ceremony, consider whether your venue has separate areas that can easily serve different purposes. Is there a picturesque location for the ceremony? Is there room for a band and/or dancing? Is there a place for grand entrances and beautiful pictures? Does it include a built-in bar area, or does your caterer need to set up a bar area? Does the venue provide a sound system with adequate speakers in the areas you’d like to have dancing or presentations, or will that need to be rented? For many occasions, having the ceremony, cocktails and reception in one place is ideal as your guests may be from out of town or state, and aren’t familiar with the area. It also eliminates time your guests have to drive between multiple locations.

2. Choosing Your Own Caterer and Wedding Planner

Many venues require you to use an in-house caterer, cake and event coordinator. If you choose one of these venues, make sure that you like the menu and food and the Event Coordinator, as much as you like the venue itself. One way to search for a caterer and Event Coordinator is through websites such as TheKnot.com or WeddingWire.com that provide information on their services as well as reviews from previous customers. For a truly unique event with your own special touches, choose a venue that allows you to bring in your own caterer and other vendors. For instance, you may want your menu to reflect your event’s special theme or your heritage.

3. Smoking Areas

There’s a good chance that a percentage of your guests will be smokers. To avoid your guests having to search for smoking areas, which may sometimes lead them away from the festivities, down elevators and outside the hotel or venue, you may want to choose the convenience of a venue with an outdoor area that offers you the choice of allowing smoking in designated areas.

4. Number of Bathrooms

Make sure that your chosen venue has the appropriate number of bathrooms located in a convenient location where your guests don’t have to stray too far from your event, with bathroom attendants if possible. While historic locations may sometimes seem romantic, they often do not have adequate bathroom facilities for large events. There’s nothing more uncomfortable during an event than standing in line to use the facilities.

5. Private Changing Room for Guest of Honor

Planning an event can be stressful, so it’s important that the guest of honor, bride, VIP guest, birthday girl, etc. have a place to relax, unwind and prepare for their grand entrance, private wardrobe changes or make-up touch-ups. Is there a space for the bride and groom to change and/or relax? For larger events, is there a place for entertainers to prepare and store their equipment before they perform? Hotels many times will offer the renter a room in the hotel for this purpose. While not common, many private venues offer you a private Bridal Suite or room for this purpose, which can well be worth it.


5 Tips to Choosing the Perfect Florida Venue


A bride and groom on the Cruz Building outdoor terrace. Photo by Jeff Kolodny Photography, Inc.

1. Consider the Weather

It’s only natural to want to take advantage of Florida’s beautiful weather by holding part or all of your entire event outside. However, if you choose an outdoor location, be sure that there are backup plans like a tent for rain or inclement weather. You’ll also need to consider whether the outdoor space you’ve chosen has the appropriate outdoor lighting and cooling fans. If you can find a space that offers a mix of climate-controlled indoor space (for Florida’s warmer months) and a nicely landscaped pool or outdoor terrace for cocktails or ceremonies, that’s the best alternative.

2. Privacy

Consider whether the venue will be renting multiple ballrooms at the same time as your event is taking place. Banquet halls and hotels often hold more than one function at a time, and sometimes the sound may carry through the walls or open doors. Will there be hotel guests or other venue guests sharing the elevators, bathroom facilities or hallways? If this is important to you, be sure that you choose a venue that holds only one event at a time.

3. Parking

One obvious consideration when choosing a venue is where your guests will park. If many of your guests will be older family and friends, make sure that the venue is easy to get to from the parking area, covered in case of rain, and well lit. If you can afford to have valet parking where guests are greeted and delivered right to the front door, this is sometimes the best alternative.

4. Location—Think Outside the Building

The location of your event is many times just as important as the actual event space, especially if you’re having a destination wedding or corporate event where guests will be traveling to attend. An out-of-the-way location means your guests have nowhere to go before or after your event. Ideally, a venue that is centrally located in a beautiful setting and ambiance, adds to the overall appeal of your celebration.

5. Picture-Perfect Décor

The place you choose for your event will also be where many of your photographs will be taken. When choosing a venue, imagine areas where you and your guests will be able to take beautiful photographs to remember the event. The décor of the venue you ultimately choose can dictate how much you spend on other expenses, like flowers and decorations to make it beautiful.  Think about what your guests will be viewing while they are enjoying the festivities. Beautiful chandeliers, architectural antiques and interesting features can add that extra charm and uniqueness to your event, and keep the cost of decorating down.

Stay tuned for more tips on choosing the perfect Florida venue! We’ll be posting them soon.

Outdoor Terrace Wedding Ceremony at the Cruz Building

Stephen and Meghan were the first to take advantage of the Cruz Building’s beautiful outdoor terrace to perform their wedding ceremony. Guests gathered among a garden of lush tropical plants and dangling crystal to witness this couple be joined in matrimony. Afterwards the reception took place indoors. It was an exquisite celebration of their love and a wonderful way to take advantage of every aspect that the Cruz Building has to offer. Thanks to Tony Gajate Wedding Photography, Elite Planning Firm, Solaris Mood, A Joy Wallace Catering, Diamonette, Mia’s Garden’s and Elements & Accents.

Outdoor Terrace Wedding Ceremony

The wedding arches adorned with crystal accents and beautiful flowers create a magical elegance on the Cruz Building Terrace. Photo by Tony Gajarte.

Outdoor Terrace Wedding Ceremony

The angled seating in this seating arrangement on the Cruz Building Terrace allows for all of the wedding guests to have a great view of the ceremony. Photo by Tony Gajarte.

Outdoor Terrace Wedding Ceremony

The lush tropical plants create a beautiful natural setting amid the richness of the architecture of the Cruz Building. Photo courtesy of A Joy Wallace catering.

Outdoor Terrace Wedding Ceremony

The outdoor terrace of the Cruz Building is the perfect setting for a wedding reception or ceremony. Photo courtesy of Joy Wallace Catering.

Wedding Reception Lounge Setup

The modern white leather furniture was a perfect lounge setting for Meghan and Stephen’s wedding guests while taking a break from dancing on the first floor. Photo by Tony Gajarte.

Wedding Reception Seating

The ruffled chairs and towering floral and crystal centerpieces on the second floor of the Cruz Building added a whimsical yet luxurious air to the wedding dinner setting. Photo by Tony Gajarte.

Second Floor Wedding Reception

The booths to the right of the long center table create a perfect location for family seating when children are present at an event at the Cruz Building. Photo by Tony Gajarte.