One of the most common mistakes that engaged couples often make comes when attempting to choose the right wedding location. This decision, along with picking a quality wedding officiant, will possibly be the most important factor in determining the success of your wedding day. To begin with, it is imperative in choosing a venue that you ask for REFERENCES. Don't be embarrassed to request several names and contact phone numbers for couples who have used the facility and would be open to sharing their thoughts. Various venues can be found in the Yahoo Yellow Pages for Atlanta and local wedding guides by county (I.e. Gwinnett, Dekalb, Fulton, Barrow, Hall, Cherokee, Rockdale, and Cobb).
Don't go strictly on price. The most expensive location is not always the best. Ask to tour the facility and pay special attention to the cleanliness and upkeep throughout the establishment. Check the restroom facilities and make sure everything seems to be neat and in working order. Take notice as to how the representative treats you after you have called back a few times to ask additional questions. This will give you an idea of how you might be treated AFTER you sign the contract. You may also want to talk to ministers or clergy who have performed ceremonies at that venue in the past and obtain their personal feedback. It's also vital to note that wedding planners, directors, and co-ordinators usually have the inside scoop on which facilities pay the most attention to detail and seem to have the most satisfying results. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution publishes a local weekly wedding announcement page for the Lawrenceville/Snellville/Marietta areas. See who you recognize on these pages and make a point to check with them on their wedding-day experiences.
Possibly the most important tip that can either make or break a wedding day is one which seems to be the most often overlooked. If you plan for an outdoor wedding you had better have a back-up plan. Ask the representative what the facility normally does in case of rain or adverse weather conditions. Is there an inside room or hall into which the ceremony can quickly and easily be moved? This is an absolute must and many couples overlook this contingency question which usually ends up ruining the most important day of their lives! If you choose such public facilities as Stone Mountain or Lake Lanier ask about pavilions and covered shelters! Remember, the only Saturdays in which Atlanta doesn't get rain are those in September and October. Why? Because the Georgia Bulldawgs play on Saturdays on those days!
The final step is really very simple but one which cannot be overlooked. When you find the location that you really feel strongly about go ahead and choose a date/time and book it! So often brides shop for venues endlessly and then when they are ready to make the commitment it is already taken. When you find the location that fits for you - make sure that you get it reserved immediately. Especially if you are getting married on the most popular days of Saturday-Sunday or months of May-June or September-October. Get your marriage off on the right foot before you ever walk down the aisle. Plan, question, investigate, and then celebrate!