We love unique wedding venues in the Hudson Valley. In fact, if you are looking for a ballroom, you are in the wrong place. We thrive on creating unique designs and building wedding venues from the ground up. However, unique wedding venues come with unique wedding planning challenges. Fortunately, this isn’t our first time. If you are new to Elite Wedding and Event Planning, you can learn more about us here. We also have a TON of helpful information when it comes to choosing a wedding venue and designing your wedding day on our blog here.

Today, we are going to talk about designing unique wedding venues from the ground up (and the five challenges that come with it!). Often times, we forget that more traditional venues come with everything you need. Although it can be more expensive to build something from the ground up, we have found it to be so rewarding. There is something so rewarding about knowing you have created something truly unique. Every chair, centerpiece, light fixture, is intentional. Below, we are going to help you get over the 5 main challenges couples face when choosing a venue that starts as a blank slate. When you are ready to start planning your own wedding you can contact us here. When we say full service, we mean it. We will help you design and plan the wedding of your dreams.

outdoor tent wedding decor

1. Visualizing How to Design The Space When Your Venue is a Blank Slate

Outdoor tented weddings are always beautiful when they are in magazines. When you start to plan your own outdoor tented wedding (or farmhouse wedding, or industrial loft wedding, etc), it can quickly become overwhelming. These styles of venues typically come with the space to host your event, but not much else. It’s easy to fall in love with an industrial style venue when it’s decorated to the nines on Pinterest, but when you look at the same space in person, it can feel a little underwhelming. To combat this, we typically sketch out the design for our couples so they can see all the elements come together. Then, you can really start to get excited.

2. Creating a layout that flows well

We love a unique floor plan! When you choose a unique wedding venue, you aren’t limited to round tables of eight. Instead, your options are endless. You can mix and match different table styles (and heights!) and have a lot of fun with your seating layout. That said, when designing your layout you need to make sure you are leaving enough space around each table for your guests to be comfortable. You also want to make sure there are clear walking paths and that you comply with any fire regulations. When there is a bad layout, guests notice. They might not be able to tell what’s wrong, but something will feel off.

3. Lighting

Don’t forget about lighting! Similar to the layout, lighting is one of those things that nobody will notice when done well, but everyone will notice when done poorly. There are different lighting options depending on the ambiance you want. You can also switch up the lighting elements throughout the evening, like having string lights during dinner brighter during dinner and then dimming the string lights and adding some fun dance lighting for the party. We always love bringing in feature lights like hanging chandeliers as well for a bit of a wow factor.

4. The amount of rentals you need to coordinate

If you are looking at what you have so far (the lighting, the furniture, the linens, the china), it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of rentals you need to coordinate. That’s one of the reasons our couples hire us! Without question, this is one of the most difficult parts of planning a wedding at a more unique wedding venue. You’ll need to have the furniture brought in first (the lounge seating, tables, chairs) and then a team to set up the linens, the table items, and the centerpieces). Even if you don’t hire a wedding planner and designer (which as you can tell, we highly recommend!), you are going to need a wedding coordinator to help you on the wedding day. We offer this service on a very limited basis so contact us here if this is something you might be interested in.

5. Budgeting for a Unique Wedding Venue Design

Last but not least, let’s talk about the budget. Oftentimes, couples don’t realize the cost of truly putting together every design element from scratch. Because of this, we typically recommend only allocating 5-10% of your total budget to your venue rental. You are going to need the extra room in your budget to bring in everything you need! We put out a poll on our Instagram stories the other day (make sure to follow us here if you don’t already!) to ask what you would expect to budget for your wedding decor and the answers were all over the map (from $5000-$70,000+). Realistically, when we look at a “blank slate” venue where we are bringing everything in, you can expect to spend anywhere from $800 to $1000 per person and it goes up from there. For more information on your wedding budget breakdown (and what should be included in your design budget), make sure to check out this post here.

An outdoor tented wedding design in Upstate New York

Planning your Unique Wedding in Hudson Valley, New York

Despite the challenges, we absolutely live for unique wedding venues. We work tirelessly building venues from the ground up for couples just like you. If you adore farm-to-table cuisine, great music, and fun experiences, you can learn more about our wedding planning services here. We are a strong team of women who have big hearts and a lot of passion for what we do (as I am sure you can tell!). Although there are a lot of Hudson Valley wedding planners out there, very few offer the kind of design work we do. We don’t work in ballrooms, so when we design we literally build from the ground up. If you are ready to start planning your own wedding, contact us here to get started.