I am so excited to share this post with you. Why -> Because I have chosen a lawn as my Wedding Venue 😛 As promised I remember I had not given away the name of the place I short-listed but as I have already put in my booking amount…let me tell you the place is called Megarugas. At a close walking distance from my home, this place is spread out over 20000 sq feet of lawn surrounded by ample nature. Moreover, the place comes with two huge banquet halls as well. But I have just opted for the lawn – as it is a December wedding. The weather I feel will be favourable for an outdoor event. *fingers crossed*
This is the second in the series of Wedding Venues. If you have missed the first part, you can read it here.
One of the most common alternative to Banquets is the lawn. You can opt for a lawn in a hotel, or opt for a standalone lawn (like me), or also choose to go for a lavish place outside of your home (if it can accommodate the crowd that is!). Either ways, a lawn is conventionally the most sought out of the options for wedding venues.
Lets check out some of the pros and cons of this wedding venue type.
Opt for any kind of decoration
You can go crazy with the decoration. My favourite part. Depending on the size of the lawn, you can have whatever it is that you fancy. From a grand reception stage, to decorating the trees with lights and using 100 different kinds of props, a lawn is the ideal option in this scenario.
A fully decorated lawn can look breathtakingly beautiful if done up properly. The guests are sure to have the most pleasant of the evenings at your wedding.
Room to breathe
Even a small sized lawn looks bigger than what it is because it is under the clear sky. That’s a huge advantage when you have a crowd coming in, and the place still wouldn’t look that packed as compared to a banquet which may feel a bit claustrophobic after some time.
Nature and Scenery come FREE OF COST
You have plenty of nature and scenery absolutely free of cost. You are not paying for the trees or the plants in the surroundings. Well, not true <- sometimes venues cost quite high if the venue people know their place is one of a kind with nothing coming close to similar anywhere in the neighboring places. In that case, they might charge you extra just for the monopoly situation. So always do a quick check and ask yourself whether the price is really worth it. In any case, I feel a lawn is going to look prettier than inside a concrete room, unless its a 5 star banquet. What do you feel?
More locations for Photography
Your photographs can have beautiful backdrops at every corner of the lawn. You will have a different background every time you click a picture 🙂 What I love about outdoors is you don’t have to make any effort. If you have a gorgeous location, you are sure to have stunning pictures…and not to forget different kind of pictures in every location.
Just make sure you tell your photographer beforehand that your wedding venue is a lawn, so he gets his lenses and lights accordingly. You don’t want him to be caught off guard without the necessary equipment’s.
The ambiance of a lawn is unmatched as compared to an indoor venue. As the sunset approaches, and the lamps and lanterns go on, it will turn out to be a gorgeous location for the wedding. Not to mention, amazingly romantic.
I remember even though my engagement (part 2) was in a banquet, within no time me and my guests (friends) were out in the lawns…clicking pictures and having a gala time giggling around. There is something about being close to nature…it just feels good different.
Less expensive, may be?
The only time a lawn will be less expensive than a banquet is when you have the liberty to choose your wedding vendors on your own, i.e. your decorator and caterer. In any venue type, these two vendors are the expensive ones of the lot – so having the option to get someone from your side on board…that gives you the leverage to bring down the costs to a large extent.
Given that, you must remember that may be this seems attractive now, but know that it is not easy to manage multiple vendors on your own. It takes quite an effort to get people to do what you want. Besides, the caterer and decorator should also get along with each other. Otherwise on the wedding day, you will be busy solving their petty issues and it will just ruin everything for you. If you go for vendors empanelled with the venue itself, it becomes the venue’s responsibility to make sure certain standards are always met. You are relatively free then.
Use nature to your advantage
We all know exotic flowers cost a bomb. Imagine decorating an entire venue with flowers – it can increase your budget significantly. Then why not use plants in some places and bring down the decor cost? Given that you are in a open outdoor venue, plants automatically go in sync with the background…so it won’t even look that bad or out of place.
Lawn games, anyone?
If you have a big enough lawn for your wedding, a good addition to having props is also to have some quirky lawn games. After all, your wedding guests are coming to have fun at your party…so why not make some arrangements for that, eh?
I think this is a really cute idea to even get the naughty kids off running around the premises…just have something that will keep them busy and you will see much less of a mess on your lawn 🙂
In most cases, guests come just for the food…they wish the bride and groom and they are off…and it just ends up being any other regular wedding for them. Adding some fun element, just brings out a certain wow factor to the wedding…Now your guests won’t be bored and will have multiple things to opt from.
More expensive than a Banquet
The cost of hiring a lawn is definitely a little higher than that of an indoor banquet. This is mainly because of the space and decor efforts that goes into making the place radiate for a wedding. However, if it is a marginal increase, I suggest you opt for this option for all the advantages mentioned above 🙂
Fear of unexpected weather
Unpleasant and unexpected weather can easily ruin a lawn wedding. So make sure you are not thinking of choosing a lawn during monsoons or even summers for that matter. If you are getting married in places like Mumbai, Delhi or for that matter any of the main cities in India, outdoor summer/monsoon wedding can get quite torturous for you as well as for your guests.
Keeping the unexpected weather in mind, you must also know that making arrangements like a shaamiana etc adds up to the cost of the lawn. The decorator has to get the bamboos ready, then have a full sized cloth (shaamiana) rented to cover the entire venue just in case. At first, it may feel not that significantly different or high in costs, but wait till it all piles up. You will get a big bill at the end of the day.
I hate this part the most about outdoor venues like Lawns. You are sure to have mosquitos, flies, bugs and the likes hovering around you all evening. Especially if you are having the party in a city like Mumbai – there is just no respite from this at all. Just come prepared that you will have to battle these insects on your own.
I personally feel that one must check out the location prior to booking. Because of the nature and scenery around, it automatically attracts pests to be present. But one must take the call based on how bad the situation really is. If at all it seems almost impossible to sit through an evening in the venue, talk to the manager of the place for possible ways of insect repellents, sprays or some kind of bug repellent lights etc. It is definitely something you must not miss out on especially if you have your wedding during the monsoons or winters which is like the favorable season for bugs.
Loud music all night not possible
While Banquet has a huge advantage in this category, in a lawn you probably will have to tone down the noise after a certain time. If at all you are having your wedding somewhere outdoor with no residences and neighbours living in close proximity, then probably you can try to party till late hours. But if you are in a city like Mumbai, where the rule is to shut all music down by 10, then you just have to deal with it and move on.
So, weigh your options accordingly. I for one am not much of a shor-sharaba person and neither is my family…so we were not at all bothered about this aspect 🙂
Amenities may cost extra
In any regular banquet, you will find that the venue guys themselves have certain number of chairs and tables available. In case of outdoor venue such as the lawns, this is mostly never the case. It is always chargeable. What is worse is that a venue can charge you separate prices as per the season you are getting married in.
While some might say that, its not the biggest of the costs…but by principle why would you want to pay for something which people normally get for free?! When I had enquired for my wedding, the costs that I was told was somewhere around Rs. 50-70 per chair!! Tables were extra and sofas cost way way more.
In the end I went for a package deal – per person cost. This included the food cost and the tables and chairs included per person. It just comes out to be more economical this way. So, try to find out about these kind of deals.
People tend to dirty the lawns more
I don’t know what is the logic behind this…but just think back… Even you will remember some wedding where you must have seen plastic cups strewn everywhere…water tap running near the food counters…spoons and forks on the lawn etc etc. Somehow we Indians for some reason decide to behave in a proper manner only in closed venues like Banquets. You will see less of all this happening at a Banquet for sure. We are just a tad bit more self conscious I guess, isn’t it?
By the end of the party, the place really looks in ruins – and it just makes for a terrible sight 🙁
A lot more stressful
From planning the whole decor theme to the placement of the stage, mandap…where the caterers should line the counters…how should the placement of the chairs and tables be and much more, you have to plan out everything. It helps if you have a wedding organizer doing the work for you – coming up with alternative designs to suit your taste…but if you are doing it on your own – then God alone help you.
And if you really are doing it all by yourself – don’t worry, I am in the same boat as you. Same pinch. We will get through this. I promise 🙂
Lighting can be tricky
If you are having a morning – afternoon wedding…make sure you check the venue beforehand to see the direction of the sun. After everything, you don’t want your eyes to be closed in all your pictures…It can really ruin the whole thing. Try to avoid taking a place where the sun is directly over your head or in front of your eyes. Its best when the sunlight is coming indirectly. This is one part.
Now, weddings carry on after sunset as well. Take care with respect to the decor and photographer to be sure that there is ample of light available post sunset as well.
Don’t make your guests do gardening with their shoes (stilettos) – inform them beforehand
I have suffered in countless weddings because of this. In the invite, many a times one cant tell whether the place is indoors or outdoors, you dress up and put on the best of the heels…and once you reach the venue, you immediately see stars in your eyes as you cannot walk 5 steps without having your heels go in the soft earth. Its very very frustrating.
So do your guests a favor and inform them prior so they know how to dress and importantly what shoes to wear for your event 🙂
What would you want your dream Wedding Venue to be like?