Questions to Ask When Wedding Venue Shopping

January 8, 2018

Congratulations on your engagement. I wanted to share a few bullet points from my 20+ years experience in the wedding venue business. 

  1. It gets easier. Selecting your venue is probably one of the most stressful components of this adventure you are embarking on. Until you have a venue (and a date) you can’t throw yourself into the “fun stuff”. There are just too many things you don’t know. This level of stress is quite normal.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask about the “add on” costs. Believe me, they are out there and you won’t always hear about them up front. They can add up very rapidly. It can be anything from using your own caterer to providing your own liquor.
  3. BYOB. Choosing a BYOB venue is a way of saving a lot of money. The “per person” liquor packages are astronomical. I won’t work with a caterer that doesn’t know I strongly recommend this. However, on the same topic, you definitely want to purchase their “bar package”. Ice, garnishes, mixers etc. There are things to save money on and things to not even think about skimping on. Pick a venue manager or vendor that will Shepard you through this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen clients think they are going to save money, only to spend more.
  4. Check out the restrooms. Odd as it may sound, you can tell a lot about how a venue is run by the condition of the restrooms.  If it looks like something out of a Texaco Station. RUN!
  5. Read reviews.  Albeit no matter what you do, you won’t  always please everyone, by and large, these brides were just like you in the beginning, and want to share their experience with you. A lot of consistent complaints should be a red flag. At the very least a topic of discussion when you do your initial site visit.
  6. Choose a venue  that requires you to provide a certificate of insurance listing them as “additionally insured”. It is to totally protect you. Your best friend might not, but if your best friends date should get injured for any reason we are all liable.  and are both terrific and affordable. Plus they make it unbelievably simple. Any venue that doesn’t require this from you is up there with the Texaco Restroom.
  7. Choose a venue that allows you to customize it  to your specific tastes and desires. As long as it is legal and doesn’t compromise the venue in any way, you should be allowed to do it. My philosophy is very simple. I have no idea of knowing whether either of you have ever done this before, but I know for certain you have no intention of ever doing it again. And my commitment to you is making sure I do everything humanly possible to get it right.
  8. Choose vendors that are familiar with your venue. This is a big one.  Choosing a caterer, most specifically that doesn’t know the “drill” is going down a very slippery slope. Things can snowball out of control very quickly when you have a caterer that doesn’t know your venues policies. Clean-up, garbage maintenance etc. Even more importantly, don’t even think about going the “friends and family” route. The “ my aunt is an amazing cook and all of our friends are going to help clean up at the end of the night” NEVER works. EVER. If you are wanting a church basement style wedding and reception, you should do it in the church basement.

Please feel free to reach out to me personally for an appointment to see our lovely venue in person and discuss your various options. 

Allen Nichols

Events Manager

Beautiful original music

April 24, 2014


After a Thai “Water Ceremony” in the “Glass Brick Room” and an amazing dinner in the “Main Gallery” provided by Fig Catering, everyone then returned to the “Glass Brick Room” where Chris sang an original song to his new bride, Tess. Not a dry eye in the house. The remainder of the evening was filled with dancing and grand celebrating .

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Not one, but two of the most beautiful brides you have ever seen

October 2, 2013


Last Saturday, Serina and Lauren had a beautiful ceremony and fabulous party at Floating World Gallery. The main gallery was “decked out to the nines” with their own decor’ and personal photographs. They litterally made the gallery appear as if it were their own. The personal touches will make this beautiful event memorable.
Once again, Kitty and her team from Hearty Boys Catereing, pulled off an unbelievable assortment of buffet station items. And Serina’s mother, “Nana” personally made 19 different deserts. What a beautiful celebration and party.

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Christine and Craigs Pintrest Wedding

September 10, 2013


Christine and Craig had a beautiful DIY wedding with the assistance of Art of Imagination. 140 of their guests assembled in the main portion of the “raw urban” gallery for a lovely and personal ceremony. Immediately following, everyone gathered in the “Glass Brick Room” for a cocktail reception while Catered by Design, flipped the main gallery for a stunningly beautiful buffet lay-out. Craig even served a beer that was his own creation.

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Tess and Chris have a Thai “Water Ceremony”.

August 1, 2013


Tess and Chris elected to do all of their own decorating for their wedding, reception and Thai water ceremony. The gallery and “Glass Brick Room” looked absolutely stunning. We promise there will be photos to follow.
Molly and her amazing crew from Fig Catering, once again didn’t fail to deliver. They continue to be on top of their game.

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Melissa and T.Sean’s Lincoln Park Wedding

July 17, 2013

img_20130719Melissa and T. Sean had a perfect and glorious day for their ceremony and reception at Floating World Gallery. Melissa planned and wrote out the entire ceremony. It was moving beyond measure. One specific touch, which I had never seen before, was the placement of a box on the altar, with a bottle of fine wine in it. The officiant then describes how it will be used. Both the bride and groom place a letter in the box with the fine wine in it. The letter is to contain their feelings for each-other at this time just prior to their wedding.
Then, the first time they have a major argument or misunderstanding, they are to break open the bottle of wine, share it and read each-others letters to each-other. What a wonderful idea !

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New Pipe and Drape !

July 3, 2013


Kelly and Victor had a beautiful ceremony in the main gallery. Kelly made her entrance directly from the back of her limo. After 4 of the cutest flower girls anyone can possibly imagine walked down the isle, Kelly made her way down the isle to greet her new husband. It was beautiful.
After the ceremony, everyone made their way to ‘The Glass Brick Room”, where Floating World Gallery was able to debut their brand new “pipe and drape”. It is a gorgeous ivory “velvet gliss” that will be beautifully accented by any light treatment you choose to accompany it. We promise photos to follow soon.

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WOW ! What a Bash !

June 18, 2013


Saturday, Ashley and Kaitlin exchanged vows at Cloud Gate at Millennium Park in front of close friends and family. Then the party started. Everyone met at Floating World Gallery for an “all out Mexican Fiesta” ! Replete with a full Mariachi band. Millennium Decorations & Catering took full advantage of the gallery’s “blank canvas” of the raw loft space to create a beautiful and authentic Fiesta.

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