By my definition, a Raw Space Wedding Venue is any non-traditional venue that isn’t a hotel or banquet facility. It could be a museum, arts center/theatre, town-building, park or historical property.
Typically Raw Space rental fees are lower than traditional venues and come very bare bones. Everything from tables, chairs, flatware, glassware, china, and decor usually has to be brought in.
They can be a DIYer’s dream but if you aren’t careful the additional costs can add up. It’s important to know your numbers before signing on the dotted line.
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1. Are You A Budget Ninja?
There are more moving parts when you’re working with a Raw Space to make sure you aren’t overspending it helps to be very comfortable tracking expenses and collecting detailed estimates before you sign contracts. If you’re done a home renovation project or manage budgets at work you’ll be ahead of the game.
2. Do You Spend Your Weekends DIYing?
If DIYing is your thing and you have a vision for your day you can’t wait to bring to life a Raw Space could be exactly what you need. Typically you can get into the space very early so you have loads of time for setup. Just promise me you won’t be setting things up yourself!
3. Do You Mix and Match Your Wardrobe?
The secret to making a Raw Space work within a budget is knowing how to mix high and low elements. If you go lux for every decision you’ll end up spending a fortune. If you’re a high/low queen in your everyday life you could rock a Raw Space Wedding Venue.
4. Is Your Family Involved?
One of the pros of a Raw Space is that typically the space is yours for the day or weekend so you’ll have loads of setup time. The downside is that someone has to do all the labor of setting up. Please, please please be realistic about how much you can do on your own and still enjoy your day. If you have a very hands-on group of family and friends its something you can probably pull off without hiring a full team. As you hire your caterer be very clear on what level of setup and breakdown they offer and what their hourly rates are for any overtime you may need.
5. Can You Delegate?
If delegating isn’t one of your natural superpowers a Raw Space may become overwhelming. With the number of moving parts you will need to be able to delegate some tasks to your partner, family or wedding party. If this doesn’t seem realistic I would consider a more traditional hotel or barn wedding venue.
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The truth is I hated planning my own wedding. I felt like I was going it alone and was surprised by how hard it was to find partners who embraced my vision. Thankfully, the guy was worth it and that experience is what led me to become a wedding planner. After a decade of planning luxury weddings I am bringing my process to you.