Country Club Wedding Venues, What to Consider
Are you researching venues? Chances are you are at the beginning of your wedding planning process because venue research is typically the first task undertaken. The options can often seem endless. From gardens, hotel ballrooms, beaches or even vineyards. Choosing the right venue sets the tone for the entire wedding celebration.
However, it can be less daunting if you’ve determined your wedding budget and worked through which venues would most likely fit your vision. Depending on your vision, country clubs are generally a great option to consider because they have so much to offer. Many have gorgeous ballrooms with rich history and architectural details, very similar to banquet hall looks with a few extra benefits. As well as outdoor spaces that often don’t need much work to transform. The golf courses and scenic views offer an automatic picturesque backdrop, perfect for your ceremony and wedding photos.
In this blog we’ll discuss the benefits and limitations to consider at country club wedding venues.
Because it's a country club that provides service to its members, most already have a very properly trained staff and management team. You and your guests will be handled with a professional level of excellence and service. These venues often offer coat check, valet services, plenty of parking and wonderful inhouse catering which you may be required to use for your celebration.
Oftentimes there are no rental fees. It’s common that only the cost of food and beverage is required at a minimum spend amount. Which usually isn't’ hard to reach given you are looking to feed a good number of people! If there is a rental fee, it’s often very inexpensive. As a bonus tables, chairs, basic linens and china are often included, leaving you more money to spend on specialty décor items.
Plenty of free parking is available. No worries about your guest having to find parking or pay for parking. Country clubs have a large amount of people on property year round so there is plenty of available parking. There may even be a special parking lot just for your guests!
While there are many benefits to hosting your wedding at a country club, there are a few limitations you also have to consider.
Exclusivity venue use for weddings may be limited to members only. Hence country club. If you aren’t a member of the club, you may have to know someone who is already a member to sponsor your wedding.
Venue limitations, your guest may be restricted from entering certain areas of the venue due to members only access. Depending on the venue, there may be club members accessing the venue at the same time as your guest. Country clubs must honor a member's rights to access the property while servicing your wedding. Before booking, discuss how the country club will operate during your wedding, so you can be sure to inform your guests. You wouldn’t want to be penalized for guests wandering into restricted areas.
Outdoor ceremonies can be beautiful at a country club. Some may not allow it because they want to protect the greens which are only used for golfing. For those that do allow outdoor ceremonies, the club may shut down a specific area for the ceremony. Realize however that golfers and club members may have a front row seat to your ceremony if the golf course is not closed during the ceremony time frame.
Country clubs also protect their greens by not allowing tents or any décor/props that need to be anchored into the ground. Some may have a tented structure or a patio or outdoor functions, which may have an additional cost to use.
Country clubs can be located in residential communities with private homes surrounding the venue. To protect the privacy of their members and homeowners, country clubs can restrict the use of drones on the property. If you plan on hiring a videographer, this should be discussed with your vendor. Always seek permission from the owner or manager of the golf course, as it is private property. Another thing to think about is whether the golf course in question is located in a no-fly zone. These are designated areas set out by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), so you will need to check the register if you think a golf course is a designated no-fly area. No-fly zones cover golf courses that are near airports and close to government facilities, for instance.
Like many venues, country clubs often have an event manager on staff that may be sold as a day-of-coordinator. That person, however, really is a venue manager for the country club. Their responsibilities are to the country club. While they may help out with directing your guests and keeping your dinner service schedule on the day-of. You still will need to hire a planner that will work for you. A planner goes beyond the responsibilities of the 6-hour venue contract, performing necessary tasks. Such as meeting and communicating with your external vendors i.e. hair, makeup, florist, officiant and more. Your planner works for YOU while the venue event manager works for the country club. Big difference.
All in all choosing the right venue for your wedding will come with pros and cons. If a country club is your desire, be sure to do your research. Think about all the benefits and limitations, and even consider looking into more than one country club to give you and your guests the best experience. Do you feel you’re in need of some assistance and guidance from an expert with the process? Visit my website, complete the inquiry form and download my free guide & checklist, to select the perfect venue for your wedding. Also, take a look at the wedding planning services MSE offers to see how we can fit your needs.