The location of both your wedding and the reception are critical to you (the marrying couple), the guests, and to the memories you will build on that special day. Of course, the best place to have your wedding is at that special place that will bring a big smile to your face when you think back on your wedding day years from now. If a beach or a waterfront scene is your idea of a great location, look there first. Or, if you like the mountains, a farm, a winery or other outdoor setting, check out what they have to offer. Remember, the location you pick will become a huge part of the memory you make.
You can probably guess some of the favorite places (unfortunately for the bride and groom, not always the most often picked): a beautiful church, an art or history museum, a beach or mountain setting, etc. And, if you’re into a bit more of an outdoor adventure, you might choose sailboats or cruise boats, a scenic or historic attraction, or more.
The bottom line, as we said, is that you should design your wedding day to be the best memory of tomorrow that you can dream of today.
When is it cheapest to have your wedding?
There are quite a few answers to this question. It really depends upon what you are really asking.
If you’re talking about months of the year, May, June and September are not the best times to plan a wedding at a low cost. For that matter, in the mid-Atlantic area, prices are higher at most venues from May through September – that’s when tourist and wedding seasons collide. And, that makes sense because more people want to get married during these months than during the cooler months. So, if you’re looking for a cheaper venue price, check out the period from late September through late April.
But, if you’re asking about day of the week…Saturday is not the best day day. Many venues will offer discounts for Sunday through Thursday weddings and receptions. Again, it makes sense. If you get married and have your reception on those days, you are booking an event during a time when the venue often isn’t normally booked. So, even though you will pay less cash, the managers of the venue will be getting revenue on a day they seldom have an event scheduled.
Now, what about morning or evening events — we realize that most brides and guests would rather have quite a bit of time to get ready for the wedding ceremony. And, for that reason, most weddings and receptions have historically been planned for the afternoon and evening hours. But, is that a good reason all the time? A morning wedding is usually cheaper in many ways, including lower catering costs for a brunch-like daytime meal. and, costs are lower because you may be freeing the event space for a later booking that same day (maximizing the ability of the venue manager to produce revenue). Besides both of those advantages, what new couple doesn’t want to start their honeymoon earlier in the day?
We recommend you have the two major wedding day events held as geographically close together as possible, ideally on the same property. Why is closeness of the two locations important? Can you imagine how joyful the happy couple will be after being delayed for an hour or more on the way to the reception because of a traffic jam, bridge opening, or other issue? Do you want your guests to spend an extra 30 minutes going from one location to another? Do, you want the memory of your wedding day to be tainted by an unfortunate delay. Or, would you rather have the day flow seamlessly from the wedding ceremony right into the reception?
What can we offer?
For many couples, Watermen’s Museum can offer you the best wedding venue for the best cost. We have couples get married on our beach, on the balcony deck overlooking the York River, in front of our beautiful Windmill, and many other places on our grounds. People also get married at one of the local churches and then come to our place for the reception. We’ve even had people get married on the local schooner Alliance and then walk a few hundred yards down the Riverwalk to have their reception on our grounds.
We have had people get married dressed in formal attire, such as beautiful gowns and tuxedoes. Some have married in casual clothes. And, more have been married dressed as pirates or 1700s colonists. We’ve even fired cannons at some of the historical weddings.
Receptions are usually catered by the only caterer we have listed as our preferred caterer — Carrot Tree Kitchens. But, we’ve had couples chose a different professional caterer or have friends and family supply food for the event. In fact, some events are ‘catered’ by more than one professional team or by a combination of professionals and family members.
As far as cost goes…We are definitely not the cheapest. But, we are far cheaper than any other comparable venue. And, our rates are discounted based upon day of the week, day of the month, or whether either one of the marring couple are active duty military or members of the museum. For smaller weddings, we can often offer you a discount based upon your use of portions of our property rather than the full package of building, tent and grounds, and parking lot. So, if all you want is to use the beach or the Windmill site, costs can be much lower.
We know that there are a lot of venues out there to choose from. Some are very classy or beautiful, others are exceptionally rustic or casual. We consider ourselves as touching upon each of these categories, giving you memory that is far more complete. In fact, we are pleased to say that others share in our opinion. We have been voted a one of Virginia’s Top Wedding Venues for both 2015 and for 2016.