So where should we make our wedding?
We’re constantly being asked that question. As with every decision you make regarding the “big day,” becoming an educated consumer will help you make the best choice. Here are some of the things to consider when making that all important decision:
– Geographic Location: Are your guests from Queens and Monsey and attending a wedding in Lakewood? Might your guests have to “sit” in highway beach traffic because there is no other way to get to the wedding? Is the Puerto Rican day parade scheduled to march by the room being used for your Chupa?
– Venue: There many different types of venues to consider. These include Synagogue, Hotel, Catering Establishment, Parks, Gardens, and other less-typical ideas. The Hotels will often afford you more and varied room usage, less vendor restrictions, and offer accommodations that may not be available at some of the other venues. The Synagogue option would typically offer a traditional sanctuary for the Chupa, and avoid the need to drape inappropriate statues in a Catering hallway or lobby. On the other hand, the Synagogue may have certain caterer restrictions and in some cases synagogue membership may be required for facility use. Catering Establishment: So you found the place that functions SOLELY as a catering hall, and may in fact even offer their own in-house catering package. In some cases these may be the most economical venues, as you are not paying for a venue AND caterer. But there can often be multiple weddings going on at the same time. We recently had a Badekin intersect with the Hindu groom on his horse in the hallway of one of these establishments…made for an interesting moment. Make sure you are clear on what you are signing up for regardless of the kind of venue you choose. Is there another wedding after yours? Will you get “thrown out” so the next party can have your ballroom (or even worse bridal room). Can you bring in any caterer? Are there any union fees? Do you have to pay extra for risers, gratuities, Mashgiach fees, chairs, tables etc?
– Logistical Components: Some questions to ask yourself- can they accommodate as many people as they say they can? Very often the sales person at the venue may not take into account that most Jewish dancing takes place in two circles as opposed to free form. This takes up almost twice as much space. How long will it take your guests to get to the Chupa and be seated? The time devoted to moving people may result in less dancing time later on in the evening. How are the acoustics? Is the room built with marble floors, low ceilings, mirrors and no acoustical modifications? Very often the noise of people talking in some venues is over 100 decibels- WITHOUT any music going on. Are there stairs and no handicap-access route? Will there be 100 people standing in the back of the Chupa because there are not enough seats in the venue?
These are only a few of the many considerations to think about as you go about making the best choice that fits your style, budget, crowd-size, and logistical needs for the “Big Day”.