Monthly Archives

November 2015

Meeting Space, Tips

Your Meeting Space is Making Your Meetings Less Effective, Here’s 3 Ways to Fix That

November 30, 2015

Many have followed Steve Jobs advice and are running smaller, quicker meetings in whatever space is available – including their own desks and workspaces!

While this has been a revolutionary step forward, we are seeing many businesses take a step backwards when conducting larger meetings. This meet anywhere mentality has led to a decrease in engagement, participation and overall meeting effectiveness.

The Problems with Your Meeting Space

Most of the rooms and meeting spaces in your office, community areas and even hotels are not properly set up to host an efficient meeting and here is why:

  • Meeting spaces that lack windows. Daylight has been shown to greatly improve efficiency and mood of workers. One study showed an increase in sales of 40% when a store had skylights, imagine if your meetings were 40% more effective!
  • Too much or too little space. Meeting spaces should be large enough to accommodate the entire meeting and subgroups for the meeting, but not so large that it feels cavernous
  • Inefficient seating and or use of tables. Some meeting rooms have unnecessary furniture such as podiums or head tables which actually cut down on meeting efficiency. Square tables, and seating that doesn’t allow all participants to see and interact with each other are also common meeting room issues.
  • A space which doesn’t promote creativity. One of the biggest killers of meeting efficiency is a meeting space which does not contain any interesting elements. Contrary to popular belief, unique and interesting meeting spaces will not distract those in the meeting but will instead inspire new ideas and creative solutions to problems.

3 Solutions for More Effective Meetings

These 3 solutions are examples of different ways to address the common meeting space issues mentioned above.

  1. Outdoor Meetings

You can easily overcome a lack of daylight by simply having your meeting outside. You can either take a walk outside of your building, head to a quite park or rent an outdoor venue for the added convenience of seating, drinks, and more.

  1. Standing Meetings

An easy fix for poor seating and table arrangement, standing meetings are based on the principle that people think more effectively, participate more, and feel better when standing or walking during a meeting. It forces those in the meeting to remain active, and can be done in just about any meeting space.

  1. Museums and Other Unique Meeting Spaces

Often considered too distracting, a unique venue will actually promote more creativity and better problem solving. These meeting spaces are also more likely to increase your meetings engagement levels.

Conclusion

Your meeting space is more than just a room. It can determine the effectiveness of the meeting by influencing factors like mood, communication, engagement, creativity and problem solving.

If your meeting space is the cause of less efficient meetings, you should look for an off-site meeting space today with VenueCenter.

Find Your Ideal Meeting Space

Tips

Venue Finder vs VenueCenter, Which Website is Best for Finding Venues?

November 27, 2015

If you’re resourceful enough to be looking for your venues online, you are likely wondering which website is the best website for finding venues.

Venue Finder (or venuefinder.com) has been considered “the bible of the event’s industry”, but does it still live up to the name with VenueCenter around? Let’s find out:

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Venue Finder Overview

Venuefinder.com offers a free database of over 15,000 venues – the majority of which are based in the UK and other international countries. The website has been described as “the bible of the event’s industry” and you are able to narrow down your searches with a wide selection of search criteria.

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VenueCenter Overview

VenueCenter is an online matching service that connects consumers to exceptional venues in their area. VenueCenter has quickly become known as the go to place for people looking for a venue for their next event, and it is created for everyone in the event industry from event planners to vendors and property managers.

Site Design & Ease of Navigation

An important category that is often overlooked, the design of the website and ease of navigation will cut down on the amount of time it takes you to find a venue, and will present venues to you in a way that is easy to digest.

Venue Finder

First impressions aren’t great for venuefinder.com: The website is dated, searching a venue is still easy, but it’s not conveniently placed, and titles which should link to pages don’t (example: “our venue blog” at the bottom left).

Finding a venue is simple enough, and even with the outdated design you can still easily set search criteria.

Once you’ve hit the search button, the dated design shows its flaws. Your results are presented in a list of 15 venues with their name and the city, state next to them. There are no pictures and no information other than the name and location.

Clicking on the venue name will bring you to registration, and although registration is free, it’d be nice to be able to see the venues or at least an image and some details without registering.

VenueCenter

VenueCenter’s first impressions are much better. The website is modern, it’s responsive and it’s easy to navigate. The search is front and center and in general, it’s a much more pleasant experience.

You can set search criteria on the page that displays results, which is a nice touch, and searching is a breeze!

The search results are so much better than the small list of venues you get with Venue Finder. With VenueCenter you get a picture, name, street address, price point (displayed in number of dollar signs e.g. $$$), and venue capacity.

Number of Venues in America

A simple but very important feature of each online venue finding site is the number of American venues. While Venue Finder claims to have over 15,000 venues, they only have 122 venues in the United States. VenueCenter has close to 2,000 venues in the USA.

Price/Registration

Both websites are free, but VenueCenter lets you browse through venues and see their details without needed to register while venuefinder.com won’t show you the venue details until you’ve registered.

Advanced Search Criteria

Venue Finder has an overwhelming amount of search criteria. Luckily it’s sorted into tabs, but it is still an overwhelmingly large number. This can be a pro or a con as you can get ultra specific with your searches, but the large number of criteria may make it harder to find the criteria which really matters.

VenueCenter on the other hand provides just the right amount of criteria. The criteria hits all the important points such as parking, drinks, etc. and is presented in a way that makes it easy to quickly narrow down your results.

Conclusion

While Venue Finder may be a good website for international venues, it’s outdated design and low number of state side venues make it a poor choice for Americans looking for event venues. It does however boast a large number of search criteria, though this may be a pro or a con as mentioned above. The lack of detail for venues and need to register before seeing any venue details is very annoying as well.

VenueCenter on the other hand has close to 2000 American venues, and is designed so that you can quickly and efficiently search for venues. It has just the right amount of search criteria so that you can narrow down your results without feeling overwhelmed. Plus, VenueCenter allows you to see the venues and their details before registering!

Decorations

The 9 Most Beautiful DIY Wedding Reception Centerpieces

November 24, 2015

Gone are the days when we strapped a few colorful rubber bands around a glass and called it a centerpiece. Today’s DIY wedding ceremony centerpieces are unique, classy, and all around beautiful. Whether your looking for DIY decorations because your on a budget, you enjoy arts and crafts, or because your wedding is too unique for anything else, these 9 DIY centerpieces are sure to impress.

You can find instructions and how to’s for any of the DIY wedding reception centerpieces by clicking on the title. The list is organized with the best at number 1 but, it’s kind of hard to have one best centerpiece because of all of the different styles and themes of weddings. The top 9 list should include one great DIY centerpiece for any style wedding, so let’s get started!

Number 9: Lacy Candle Centerpieces

A Beautiful and Easy DIY Centerpiece

Establish a gentle ambiance with these centerpieces that glow like moonlight.

This simple DIY Centerpiece works great for an elegant and romantically themed wedding. It involves grouping clusters of single pillar candles in a variety of lace-covered hurricane lanterns.

Number 8: Moss and Rose Centerpiece

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This unusual, lush display is rustic and modern at once — and inexpensive and easy enough to make yourself.

While not quite as simple as rubber bands over a glass vase, this DIY is one of the simplest reception centerpieces out there! It’s also a very unique, inexpensive and all around beautiful. It’s great for barn weddings and outdoor weddings!

Number 7: Harvest Centerpiece

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A little glue and tissue paper are all you need to transform plastic fruit into a modern, sculptural still-life.

This DIY centerpiece is minimal, chic and beautifully unexpected. The whitewashed fruit is placed on a cake stand and then accented with silver millinery leaves.

 Number 5: Floral Sphere Centerpieces

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Large or small, in groups or alone, these fanciful flower balls are like nothing you or your guests have ever seen.

The only reason we haven’t ranked this DIY centerpiece higher is because of the complexity of the centerpiece. It is the most difficult and most time consuming wedding reception centerpiece on this list, but it is also one of the most beautiful. So beautiful, that it is well worth the complexity of this DIY – just recruit some of your wedding party to help with creating these beautiful floral spheres.

Number 4: It’s All About Birds and Blossoms

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Nature provides such wonderful motifs for weddings. Blossoms are surprising (and timeless) when they’re made of paper or fabric., and they are perfectly paired with little birds, longstanding symbols of love.

This is simple, yet surprisingly beautiful. The centerpiece features branches decorated with millinery birds and paper blossoms. The branches can be placed in vases which are color coordinated with your guests plates. A beautiful and easy DIY centerpiece that will leave your guests wowed.

Number 3: True Paper Whites

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In winter, when fresh blossoms may be harder to come by, these lush tissue-paper flowers are in full bloom.

At number 3 on our list, this DIY centerpiece features beautiful tissue paper flowers matched with Christmas balls. These work beautifully in winter and with only 4 steps, they are quite easy to make!

Number 2: Wrapped Branch Centerpiece

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An arrangement of branches wrapped in seam binding and bedecked with fabric blooms makes for a minimalist look that holds maximum appeal.

Number 2 on our list of DIY wedding reception centerpieces due to its simplicity and ease to make as well as its unique and beautifully minimal looks this DIY centerpiece is sure to impress your guests.Incredibly simple and incredibly beautiful, there is no reason not to use this centerpiece at your wedding… that is until you see the #1 centerpiece on our list!

Number 1: Tiered Bowl Wedding Centerpiece

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For a bold and cheery statement piece, fill tiered bowls with dense tufts of goldenrod, fuzzy clusters of mimosa, globe like craspedia balls, olive leaves, kumquats, lemons, and sprigs of fresh lavender.

With only 3 steps, this DIY centerpiece earns its place as number 1 for both its ease of creation and its beautiful looks. While the original tutorial calls for yellow flowers and fruits, you can use any flowers and accents in this simple yet gorgeous wedding centerpiece.

Want to get more great lists like this? Planning your wedding and want useful information each week? Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to receive email updates in the box at the top right of this post. You can also leave a comment to get in touch with us too!

Tips

3 Smart Ways to Create an Active Participatory Conference

November 23, 2015

The active participatory model addresses the 3 biggest trends in the conference industry today:

  1. It creates personalized experiences
  2. It addresses the “big why”
  3. It aims to create the most engaging conference possible

Unfortunately, many of the online guides and advice focus on using cumbersome new apps and start up technology to achieve this when there are ways to create an active participatory event that skips the tech, cuts down on costs, and is just plain easy to do!

1. Integrating Storytelling From the Beginning

As an event planner, you have 3 main goals:

  1. Get people connected
  2. Get people engaged
  3. Get people to interact with your organizations brand

Each of these goals should be started from the moment an attendee registers. So how do you reach all these goals from the get go?

With an interactive welcoming event that tells a story in a creative and unique way. With this welcome event you want to bring out peoples emotions, utilize experimental design and promote engagement and team building.

2. Use a Conference MC

Investing in an experienced conference MC will not only help with transitions between speakers, you’ll find these additional benefits as well:

  • An MC will help set the tone for the event
  • They will help to make the most out of your planning
  • Attendees will be inspired to network and retain new information

3. Utilize Peer to Peer Learning

Getting attendees to learn while networking has always been tough. Traditionally, if you wanted your event attendees to retain new information, you would use the sit and listen method. The problem with forcing your attendees to sit an listen to a lecture is that it ignores their desire to participate and network in the conference.

Polling applications are more of a novelty than an effective tool, and short pitches followed by deep dives make it hard for attendees to retain new information. So if those two methods aren’t up for the task, what is?

Using peer to peer and small group discussions along with your lecture is great way to encourage networking and participation while keeping the ability to teach your attendees in an effective way.

What is VenueCenter and Why Does it Have an Article on Active Participatory Conferences?

VenueCenter is an online tool that helps you find the perfect venue to meet your needs! Our comprehensive online database provides an assortment of venue types all across the United States with pictures and amenities/features for each venue clearly displayed.

VenueCenter is designed to take the hassle out of the venue searching process whether you are a event planner. a professional, a couple planning their own marriage, or just a group of friends looking for a place to party.

We release articles such as this one to help spread knowledge and become a resource for all things pertaining to events, so go ahead and subscribe to our newsletter, or get started searching venues by clicking below!

Find Your Ideal Venue For Any Event

 

Featured, Houston Venues, Weddings

The 5 Most Jaw-Dropping Wedding Venues in Houston

November 19, 2015

Houston is home to some of the most unique, and beautiful wedding venues in the nation, but many of the venues aren’t what you think!

Pictured above is the number 1 wedding venue in Houston during 2015, Station 3.

From one of the most attended museums in the country to a renovated firehouse these unique wedding venues in Houston are sure to wow your guests, and many feature the added bonus of needing only minimal decorations too!

5. Fifty-Two-Twenty-Six

This indoor-outdoor venue boasts 20-foot ceilings, floor to ceiling glass, and modern architecture to create a highly configurable and extremely beautiful wedding venue. The exterior is colorful and lined with palm trees while the inside features a secret garden, meditation pool, and waterfall swimming pool. This venue can hold up to 150 guests and features several choices of spaces.

4. Julia Ideson Library

With marble columns, a grand staircase, and Spanish architecture this library adds all of the romance from the roaring 20’s and then some! The library was recently restored and renovated adding a brand new garden and expanding the possible number of guests to 450. This library would make the perfect wedding venue for a book lover in Houston.

3. Houston Museum of Natural Science

This expansive museum is large enough to host up to 2,000 wedding guests and requires little to no décor. Your wedding will be the envy of all your friends and family when you exchange your vows in the Burke Baker Planetarium and dance alongside dinosaurs in the Morian Hall of Paleontology. If you don’t have a big guest list, don’t worry either! You can rent out some of its smaller rooms and halls to keep the venue from feeling too cavernous.

2. The Astorian

The Astorian is an Art Deco venue featuring the perfect combination of industrial elements, woods and ambient lighting to create a venue similar to a New York City loft. The venue features removable walls and fixtures which make the 28,000 square feet a bride’s playground. More than 400 guests fit in this very unique wedding venue.

1. Station 3

This is a newly restored venue, and probably the most unique on this list! The firehouse turned wedding venue is the perfect marriage of historical charm and modern touches. It can hold up to 250 guests and features the original red brick, dark pine floors, and fireman’s pool alongside a glass staircase and custom made chandeliers. The station was redesigned for use as weddings featuring a catering kitchen and bridal sweet and treats your wedding guests to a spectacular unobstructed view of downtown Houston.

Want to find more unique and jaw dropping wedding venues in Houston, Texas? Browse our collection of over 170 wedding venues in Houston now!

Find your Ideal Houston Wedding Venue

Event Planning

The Secret Reason Why You’re Losing Your Attendees Attention

November 17, 2015

What makes for an epic corporate event? Is it the technology, the speakers and the activities?

There is no doubt that those 3 play a big factor in throwing a successful corporate event, but there is one other factor that every event planner needs to consider when planning their next event.

An Intro Multidimensional Events

Any event, no matter how good the speakers, will put its audience to sleep when the content is all the same. One of the keys to a great event is making sure the event has multiple dimensions.

A dimension is either an emotion or sense. For example, you could use humor to get your attendees to open up and network a bit, then use a beautiful visual to capture attendees interest and wrap it up with a tragedy which touches the compassionate side of your guests.

A Few Dimensions to Use at Your Next Corporate Event

  • Beauty / Visuals
  • Laughter / Comedy
  • Love
  • Connection
  • Tragedy
  • Compassion
  • Heroism / Inspiration
  • Peace / Tranquility
  • Wonder
  • Joy

Does My Event Need to Include All of the Dimensions?

Luckily no. Using more dimensions to get in touch with your audience will increase audience engagement to a point. If you use too many your event attendees may leave feeling confused and overwhelmed. The key is to use between 3 and 5 dimensions. 

Using less than 3 dimensions in your event will run the risk of leaving your guests bored, but more than 5 can result in a diluted message and a confused audience.

Where Does the Idea of the Multidimensional Event Come From?

The idea of employing multiple dimensions to leave an audience with a positive impression is not new. Movies, books and TV shows have used this idea of multiple dimensions to capture their audiences for years.

Let’s take a look at the very successful TV comedy The Office.

Even though The Office is a comedy, there is more than just humor. It contains aspects of love and romance and it connects with the average American by accurately depicting the 9 to 5 job and all of it’s annoyances. That’s 3 separate dimensions which it uses to connect with the average viewer, and, because it had a great multidimensional approach, it became a hit television series.

Your next event can become a hit if you employ multiple dimensions to capture the attention of your event attendees.

How to Easily Plan an Event with Multiple Dimensions

Planning an event which taps into the emotions, feelings, sense and lives of its attendees is a difficult task, but if you follow a few simple steps it can be a seamless part of your planning process.

  1. Find a venue with AV, lighting and decoration which will complement one of your dimensions or be used as a dimension of its own.
  2. Choose speakers with different dimensions. For example, one speaker may be offering a funny speach, while another presenter uses a heart touching story about his mom’s battle with cancer.
  3. Choose to focus on 3 dimensions which reinforce your events core objectives

If you need help finding a venue which complements your events dimensions or even becomes a dimension of its own. check out the great collection of events on VenueCenter. With VenueCenter you can easily find, price and book your next corporate venue whether its a seminar venue in Dallasa conference venue in Austin, or any other venue.

Party Venues, Tips

How to Throw a Party Like Kim Kardashian!

November 13, 2015

Kim and Kanye have a history of going over the top by renting out entire venues from attempting to rent out Versailles for the wedding, renting out Disneyland for North’s birthday and renting a stadium for the proposal. The power couple doesn’t stop either! Kim rented out the entire Staples center (all 950,000 square feet of it) so that Kanye could play basketball with all his friends. There was even a John Legend performance!

So what is the key to throwing over the top parties for those closest to you? The Venue.

Kim and Kanye Know How to Choose a Venue

Had Kim taken Kanye to a street court it wouldn’t have been anywhere close to the level of surprise and awesomeness it was when she rented out the entire basketball stadium for him. Don’t worry, you don’t need to rent out a basketball stadium to make the next party you throw epic, but you do need to look at renting a venue.

Kim and Kanye know the power of choosing a venue. The venue is what pushes the party to become truly epic.

A Few Epic Party Examples:

I’ll list a few normal birthday party ideas below, and next to them I’ll put how to take them to the next level with a new venue (just like Kim and Kanye do).

  • Karaoke Night | Throw a full blown concert night by renting a theatre, concert hall, lounge or bar with a stage and use the lights and speakers provided to have each person put on a concert. Then decide who’s concert performance was best and give them a prize at the end of the night! (You could even have a lip sync battle!)
  • Poker Party | (If possible) Rent out a room at a casino and dress fancy with sunglasses and all. Pretends it’s the world series of poker and go all out. (If there are no casinos in your area) Renting out a lounge will work well too, and can still provide a similar look and feel as a casino.
  • Murder Mystery Party | Complete this unique and epic theme party by renting out a mansion or museum that way your guests have both the thrill of a great party and an exciting venue to explore. The venue will also complete the mood and add to the theme, especially if it’s an older mansion or museum.

How to Find a Great Party Venue

So, we’ve seen that Kim and Kanye throw awesome parties and that the secret lay in the venue. The only thing keeping you from throwing the party of the year is finding the perfect venue! If you’re looking for party venues in Dallas, Houston or Austin you have nothing to fear as VenueCenter can help you find, price and book the perfect venue. Start searching for adult party venues in Houston, Austin, and Dallas now!

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Corporate Event Venues, Tips

Top 10 Factors to Consider When Looking for Your Next Corporate Event Venue

November 11, 2015

Do you want your next corporate event to end in a standing ovation? Yes – of course you do! In order to create an ovation worthy event, you need to create a corporate event which is a cut above the rest. How do you do that? Well it all starts with choosing the best corporate event venue.

Here are the 10 key items to look for when choosing a venue for corporate event use:

1. Friendly and Knowledgeable Event Staff

A corporate event venue which provides both knowledgeable and friendly staff will help take some of the burden off of you as the event planner and will also help the event to run smoothly and error free. Check online reviews to see how friendly and knowledgeable the staff are.

2. A Flexible Schedule

A venue with a flexible schedule will allow you to get discounts on dates which aren’t filled.

3. The Size and Configuration of the Venue and its Rooms

An ideal venue for hosting corporate events will be large enough to accommodate a crowd without feeling cramped, but no so large that it’s cavernous.

4. Quality and Variety of Food

Many forget about the food when it comes to corporate events, but the food can make or break the event – even if it’s just appetizers!

5. Location and Accessibility

Having a venue at a scenic location always adds to the memorability of the event, and don’t be afraid of an event which is a little bit out of the way. Depending on the type of corporate event you are throwing, a road trip with the team may be a great way to encourage creativity and build team strength.

6. Activities and Amenities

Activities and Amenities may not seem that important, but they can be great for teambuilding exercises and provide a fun break for the moments in between speakers.

7. WIFI and Cell Reception

Unless one of the goals of the event is to unplug and unwind, internet access and a good cell phone connection is a must.

8. Lighting and AV

Any good corporate event venue should have AV and lighting capabilities. You’re looking for things like projectors, TV’s, PA systems, etc.

9. Environmentally Conscious

This isn’t required for every event, but it is becoming increasingly important. Check out my previous article on choosing a sustainable event venue for more on this topic.

10. The Mood, Theme and Feel of the Corporate Event Venue

Every venue has its own style, and that style translates into a theme, feeling and/or mood. If the venue’s style clashes with the feel of the event, it should be skipped. Use photos and an in person visit to get a feel for the theme and feel of the event venue.

In Conclusion,

A great venue is one of the most important parts of creating a memorable event. Due to the large role of the venue in an event’s success, careful consideration needs to be given in choosing the best corporate event venue. Save time and money by searching for event venues on VenueCenter whether you’re looking for a seminar venue in Dallasa conference venue in Austin, or any other venue.

Tips, Weddings

4 Important Takeaways from the $31 Million Dollar Angelababy Wedding

November 10, 2015

Power couple Angelababy and Huang Xiaoming are often said to be the Kim and Kanye of China, but their $31 million dollar fairy tale wedding gives Kate and William’s royal wedding a run for its money. The wedding took place on October 8th at the Shanghai Exhibition Center and contains a lot of lessons, inspiration, and tips for couples planning their big day.

Pre-Wedding Celebration and Photos are a Must!

Many couples get so caught up in the wedding planning and getting the details just right that they forget to enjoy themselves. Angelababy and Huang Xiaoming got it right when they headed to Paris, France for a pre-wedding celebration and photo shoot. They then beautifully displayed those photos at their wedding venue. Displaying your own pre wedding photos is an easy and romantic way to decorate!

Live Stream Your Wedding

Most couples hire a professional to record their wedding and distribute the video either online or in the mail to those who made it and those who couldn’t make it. Angelababy took it one step further by streaming her elaborate wedding ceremony live online. When planning your wedding, use a live stream to include those who couldn’t make it to your wedding.

Lighting, Lighting, Lighting

We’ve stressed over and over again on this blog how lighting can be used as a cheap way to create a beautiful wedding and this wedding is a perfect example. The wedding that many are already calling the wedding of the century included beautiful use of projectors, a holographic castle, and uplighting to create a regal and elaborate ceremony. While we don’t expect everyone to be including holographic castles in their weddings any time soon, a similarly elegant idea that won’t break the bank is to project a floral pattern as a backdrop for your vows.

The Venue Sets the Stage for Every Other Part of the Wedding

Angelababy had dreamed of getting married in castle since she was a child, and even though Disneyland Shanghai isn’t open yet, they had a magical wedding in the castle like Shanghai Exhibition Center. The important take away is that the venue itself creates the first impression, comes with its own mood and theme, and often contains many design elements that can’t be replaced with anything else.

The venue is the most important part of planning your wedding…

The venue is the most important part of planning your wedding for both aesthetic reasons and logistical reasons. If you get the venue right, the rest of the pieces will often fall into place, but a poorly chosen venue can create logistical headaches if not worse.

Avoid the headache of finding the perfect venue by searching for venues with VenueCenter. Find the perfect wedding venue now whether your looking in DallasAustinHouston, or San Antonio!

Find Your Wedding Venue

Tips, Weddings

Is an All Inclusive Wedding Worth It?

November 6, 2015

Many couples wonder whether all inclusive weddings are right for them, or if they are even worth it. The Knot describes an all inclusive wedding as “One flat fee [which] covers your room plus all meals, unlimited drinks, entertainment, tips, taxes, airport transfers, and a list of activities (most with instruction and equipment) as long as the train of a wedding dress. Some even include weddings! What’s not included: airfare, gift shop goodies, departure taxes, and phone calls. (Cruises do not include soda, alcoholic drinks, or tips.) Off-site excursions, rental cars, and spa treatments are usually not included except as part of a package.”

In otherwords, an all inclusive wedding is a wedding package which provides everything needed for your wedding for one flat price.

Are All Inclusive Weddings Cheaper?

Yes. Well, most of the time. It all depends on your location. In some areas, choosing individual vendors will actually save you some money, but it may not be enough to offset the stress of coordinating with many vendors. You may also need to hire a day of coordinator (or DOC). Here are a few points to consider when looking at the price of all inclusive weddings:

  • Are there any extra fees from using individual vendors instead of a package? (extra set up time needed, delivery fees, etc.)
  • Will you need to hire a DOC?
  • Are the items in an all inclusive wedding upgraded/nicer? How much would it cost to get the same quality of food, chairs, etc.?

Are All Inclusive Weddings Customizable?

Yes. Many couples are surprised to find out the many different options for their all inclusive wedding. They often have the same customizability as individual vendors would. Usually you can get  in touch with the different individuals responsible for each part of the wedding. One couple shared how they were able to choose from different cakes and how they sent a few pictures of what they wanted the wedding to be like with their all inclusive wedding capturing the feel of the images perfectly.

All Inclusive Wedding Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • All inclusive weddings can provide significant savings on your wedding day!
  • Ease of having only one bill
  • No surprise costs which cause your wedding to go over budget
  • Tips are included in the price
  • Many fun and unique activities are included for you to try
  • Most of the time, there are onsite wedding planners to help your wedding go by smoothly
  • Much less stressful

Cons:

  • Unincluded activites (like a spa treatment, massage or cruise) will cost extra
  • If the included activites don’t interest you, you may be wasting money.
  • Occasionally, all inclusive packages do cost more (but this is not always the case)
  • For the most couples, all inclusive weddings offer enough flexibilty, but if you have a specific vision for your perfect day, or you demand a very large amount of customizability you may want to go with individual vendors.

In Conclusion,

All inclusive weddings offer convenient, activity filled weddings and for many couples, that’s more than enough. There are some who demand a very specific theme for their wedding, and in that case you may need to choose independant vendors. Be warned though that individual vendors will most likely be more expensive! A great place to start yoursearch is on VenueCenter. Its easy to find, quote and book a venue whether your looking for wedding venues in Dallas, AustinHouston, or San Antonio!

  Find Your Wedding Venue

Event Planning, Tips

Unexpected Sweet Sixteen Costs That You Need to Plan For

November 4, 2015

A sweet sixteen for your daughter can cost just as much as her wedding, and just like a wedding, there are unexpected costs which you never expected – let alone budgeted for. Even inexpensive sweet sixteen parties typically cost $5,000. You don’t even want to know the number for the bigger parties… But  I’ll tell you anyway: $25,000.

Typical Sweet Sixteen Costs:

As a sort of disclaimer, these prices listed are obviously generalizations and you may need to pay more or less depending on your region. A few things to also keep in mind are the fact that no two sweet sixteens are the same. One may be a simple sleepover while another is similar to a wedding and takes place in a huge ballroom. Sweet sixteens also vary hugely in the number of guests invited. Because of all the different variables, no two sweet sixteens will cost the same, but  we will try to give the best approximation of costs as possible.

The Big Three

The three biggest sweet sixteen costs are what we like to call “The Big Three”. These will account for the majority of your budget and are the costs that everyone knows about and expects.

  1. The Dress – This won’t be the most expensive, and depending on your party it may not even be a big cost at all, but it is one of the big three because your daughters sweet sixteen dress can cost you anywhere from $75 to $2,000. After checking on a few online websites, the average dresses appear to be going for $300, but remember that after the price of the dress, you may also need to pay for fittings.
  2. Food and Drinks – This number varies hugely based on the number of guests, but expect to pay $2,000 on average for a 50-100 person party. (This includes snacks, a meal, drinks, and the cake)
  3. The Venue – This can be free if you choose to throw the sweet sixteen at your house, but many opt for a sweet sixteen venue due to the convenience and unique experience which they are able to provide. Prices vary widely depending on your location, the venue you choose, and the number of guests so it’s almost impossible to put a number on this. Venues in my area offer 4 hour rentals for $900 so we will use that number.

The Little Things

Along with the big expenses mentioned above, there are several smaller expenses which add up. When you add these prices together, they can really take a toll on your budget.

  • A Professional DJ – This typically costs $100 to $300 per hour. (A DJ may offer a package deal or discount, but if you’re budgeting for a DJ plan to budget at least $500.
  • Party Decorations – Expect to pay $200 for decorations.
  • Party Lights – Renting lights may set you back $200 as well.

The Unexpected Sweet Sixteen Costs

Here’s what you all have been reading this for so let’s jump right into it:

  • Party Favors – Expect to pay $3 per guest for party favors…. This may not seem like a lot but it adds up quickly. It can quickly climb to close to $300 for the average sweet sixteen.
  • Invitations – Just like party favors, these are deceptive. They cost as little as $1 per guest, but depending on the style of invitation and how many people are invited you can expect to pay a couple hundred. Ouch!
  • Make up and Hair – The birthday girl is going to want to get her hair and make up done. Artists may charge $200 to do this, but the truly unexpected cost comes when she needs to do a trial run of her hair and makeup before. Depending on how many trial sessions she attends you could be looking at an additional $200. Some places offer discounted trial prices as low as $60, but that’s still quite a bit of money!

The Total Cost of a Sweet Sixteen

So how much does a sweet sixteen cost in total? With the example prices provided here it comes up to $4,500. That’s a lot of money, but there is a way to cut down on that price and save some money.

How to Save Money on Your Sweet Sixteen

One of the best money saving techniques is to book a venue which provides all of the extras. There are many sweet sixteen venues which offer package deals and include the decorations,  food, and lighting. The easiest way to find, price and book a sweet sixteen venue is by using VenueCenter. Start searching for sweet sixteen venues in Dallas, Austin and Houston now!

Find the perfect Sweet Sixteen venue now!