If you’re dreaming of a colonial country club wedding, you have such a treat in store for you! These are some of the most elegant and beautiful venues to celebrate your marriage in. I’ve used all my experience as a wedding photographer to create this list of the 9 things you must know before you embark on a country club wedding!
One of the perks of holding a colonial country club wedding is that the venue packages will often be pretty close to all-inclusive, which can give you so much peace of mind. Minimizing the number of moving pieces in the wedding planning process is always a good thing. But before you commit to a country club wedding, make sure that you know what the club’s policy on inviting outside vendors into the venue is. Some clubs have pretty strict guidelines that outside vendors must follow, so if you have your heart set on something that the club itself can’t provide, make sure you know that your vision is compatible with the guidelines!
Country club weddings most often function like a smooth, well-oiled machine. There are the ceremony sites and reception spaces that are part of their packages, and usually, those are the only spaces that you’ll initially be offered.
But before you nail down your plans, make sure you’ve toured the whole space. You might fall in love with a certain room or viewpoint that’s not on the main brochure, and a good country club will work with you to make your dream a reality.
If you have guests coming from afar to attend your country club wedding, it is so amazing to be able to offer them discounted accommodation. Many country clubs have relationships with local hotels and venues, and they may be able to connect you and your guests to good deals and special experiences – be sure to ask about it!
Unlike many other weddings where you are likely to have people working your wedding from lots of different vendors, a colonial country club wedding is likely to be served by the country club staff, so they should know how many people will be serving at your wedding. This is such helpful information if you want to bless the people working your wedding with a gift, a snack, or even an order of pizza. (This is a quick way to become all-time favorite guests!)
This should be set out clearly in your country club wedding package, but just make sure that you are crystal clear.
Normally the club will provide tables, tablecloths, chairs, and flatware – make sure that you know exactly what they offer and exactly what you need to bring yourself.
Some country clubs are big enough to host multiple events at the same time. Or you might find that there’s an event being held in the morning just before your afternoon ceremony, or a smaller party happening in a different room during your reception. The only way to find out is to ask – if having other people in the venue during your day is a dealbreaker for you, it’s best to know in advance.
If the idea of multiple events taking place alongside your country club wedding doesn’t worry you (and, after all, the club is going to do its utmost to make sure everything is running smoothly), then just keep in mind that the needs of other guests might mean you have less wiggle room when it comes to timings for your day.
One of the brilliant things about country club weddings is that there’s no need to travel outside of the venue to get gorgeous wedding photos. The country club weddings that I have captured have had so many beautiful photo locations right on site! It’s a great idea to have a list of these ready before your day.
There are a few ways to create this list. The club will likely have their own list, which you can just go off of – after all, they know their venue best. You can bring your photographer with you on a walk-through of the country club to get a feel for the places you both love, or you can simply put your photographer in touch with the venue manager and trust that they’ll scout out the best places for photos in the days running up to the wedding. Whatever you decide, a country club wedding is going to give you the most stunning shots!
The fact that country clubs usually exist in the center of vast properties can mean that you have fewer sound restrictions than you’d have in other venues, but it’s worth checking about curfews and sound guidelines anyway. You don’t want to have your party cut off before you’re ready to leave the dance floor!
One of the wonderful things about country club weddings is that they are steeped in tradition. This can make them feel so special and so reverent, especially if you’re holding a country club wedding at a club where your family has roots and history.
The flip side of this is that sometimes you can feel like your wedding is on prescribed tracks – like there’s only one ‘right way’ to do things. My final piece of advice for a colonial country club wedding is to know your mind and believe in your vision! If you know what you want and you’re clear about it, the club (and your family!) is going to love helping you make that dream a reality.
There you have it! Nine things to consider as you start to dream and plan for your wedding.