things to consider when booking just a venue space and how to make it awesome.

When touring, venues do not be frightened by the few that give you complete freedom! This is a win. Don't run for the hills screaming. Laugh with joy! If the venue only offers the raw space, this means no limits. No vendor restrictions, boring meals, chair covers, weird décor and full control of your budget. You decide what is important to you. Not a package a stranger put together ten years ago.

Here are some great tips to help you plan your dream wedding on whatever budget you’ve determined and with the freedom to keep it personal!

 photo by:  our two hearts

photo by: our two hearts

Yes, hearing that you have total freedom to plug in your own vendors and décor is jumping up and down exciting but you need to consider costs first. Once you’ve received pricing on the space rental it is time to hit the pavement and do your research. Start thinking about other costs that will come into play and reach out to those vendors. Crunch your numbers! Figure out if everything works out before you sign the dotted line. The last thing you want is to blow your entire budget on just the space and have your family and friends sitting on the floor eating ramen in the dark. (could be cool?)

All venues are not created equal. Some will offer lots of goodies and include them in the rental fee. Others might just throw you the keys to a big empty barn and wish you good luck! Make sure you find out what is included in the cost. If the venue is offering tables and chairs that is a big win! You won’t have to worry about rental drop offs or setting up/breaking down. You can rest easy knowing that the venue is responsible for helping with your floor plan and having enough seating mapped out. Phew! These are things to find out ahead of time. They will help you to know what you’ll need to go offsite for and how much it will end up costing you in the long run.

You need to be careful when it comes to raw spaces. With unique wedding locations becoming more and more popular a lot of new places are popping up. Sometimes privately owned homes, barns, fields, farms, ski resorts! You name it. Just be sure that this isn’t just a clever money maker and that the staff or owners know a thing or two about weddings. You don’t want to be taking up your time teaching an innkeeper what needs to happen and when. It will be stressful and complicated. A lot goes into a wedding! Find a fun space that has an educated team or owners behind it. You want to feel safe and in good hands.

 photo by:  our two hearts

photo by: our two hearts

Woohoo! The sky is the limit! This can be a bit overwhelming so first ask yourself what kind of food vibe you are going for. Are you looking for something more traditional? Casual? Consider the overall feel of your big day. Maybe you want your food service to be a fun and interactive experience! If this is the case, you might want to look into a food truck. They come in all shapes and sizes and offer a spin on traditional wedding catering. Serving things like sliders, wood fired pizza, mac and cheese and BBQ! If you are looking for something more traditional but want to keep it casual, consider selecting a few different options that fit a theme. Your guests can visit stations around the venue serving unique types of food such as an Italian, Mexican or a meat carving station. Food stations are always fun to decorate as well. Something as simple as a plated meal is also a great option. Plated doesn’t have to be boring. Spice up the usual chicken, steak or fish option.  Let your guests decide what meal they’d like with a simple check box on your RSVP.  Guests love feeling like they are part of the process!

Most raw spaces do not carry a liquor license. Mostly because it is expensive and can be tough to stock a bar when the venue is always changing and being used for different reasons. This means you have three options. Your first option is to find a catering company that carries a liquor license. That way they are taking care of everything food and drink related. This also means that they are responsible for tidying up both food and drink during your wedding. Your second option is to hire a bar only service to plug into your wedding along with your catering company. This means that your catering company is responsible for food only. The bar service will be responsible for drinks only. Many local bars offer this service. Maybe even your favorite one in town. Ask around. Your third option is to bring in your own. This option solely depends on your venue and the regulations in your state.  In NY the only way you can do this is by applying for a special events permit. This allows you to serve beer, wine, and cider for a set amount of hours on your wedding day. The cost is $36.00 for the permit, and you must calculate how much alcohol you will need to satisfy your guests. This can be pretty tricky. On top of these costs, you will need to supply glassware assuming your venue does not supply. Disposables can be a cheap alternative to renting glass but remember these start to build up on tables and don't look that great. This option also requires liquor insurance for the day as well. When you are tending bar the liability of your guests falls on you. Play it safe! The one-day insurance riders usually take into account how many guests you have at your event. I have seen them range from $150.00-$500.00 depending on a few factors.

 photo by:  Lauren Brown

photo by: Lauren Brown

You can build a bar package depending on your budget. You can simply serve just beer and wine if you are trying to keep things affordable. Some couples have a signature drink along with a beer and wine package. This brings limited liquor into the mix but also makes things fun and personal. Maybe your budget allows for a full bar. Wonderful! Your guests will love being able to enjoy their favorite cocktails. Keep in mind if you are providing your own alcohol you are only allowed to serve beer, wine and cider (in NY at least). No liquor.

If you cannot afford to have a bar at your wedding refrain from a cash bar. I personally think that this is unfair to your guests and a bit tacky. Stick with a limited number of hours for the bar if you can’t afford to party all night. Don’t make your guests pay for drinks. Some of them have come to a long distance to celebrate with you. Don’t hit them with a bar tab.

If you have loosely chatted with your venue about them offering any services, setting up, providing rentals, greeting guest…etc. Please get it in writing. You will find that venues promise a lot of things and will yes you to death in hopes that you book. Make sure you get any promises in writing on your contract. That way you can guarantee it happens the way you planned, and everyone is on the same page (literally).

If the venue doesn’t already offer this as a service, you might want to consider adding this very important vendor to your A-team. When you have a DIY wedding, you need to think about who is going to do a lot of the setup and breakdown. It happens a lot where couples make a lot of décorations themselves and have a big setup plan but forget that they are going to be busy getting ready to GET MARRIED that day.  Even the most laid back of weddings have a TON of behind the scenes stuff going on and a day of coordinator can be sure that nothing gets forgotten. A DOC can make sure you stay on schedule, be an extra set of hands for setup, communicate with guests, help with your ceremony logistics and a million other superhero things. Do it. Please.

Smile and have fun in knowing that your wedding is 100% curated and decorated to fit your style and personality! Your guests are going to love it and bow down with envy and admiration. They are going to be talking about it for years to come as the party of the century! Say it with me… it was LEGENDARY!



Heidi Sicari, Owner & Coordinator
Takk House Weddings + Events

Real Wedding Wednesday

JULY 18, 2015


These two love birds just celebrated their anniversary a few weeks ago. So what better way to honor their love by showcasing the most beautiful wedding in all the land on this month's "RWW". Laura and Phil are both in the creative industry and it shows! This is one of our favorites. I think you'll see why...

First Dance Song?
"Baby" by Donnie and Joe Emerson

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Our first look was immensely special and will stay with me forever, but our second line parade is a close second. Having just said our vows and had our first kiss as husband and wife, the parade was perfect to match that level of happiness.

Any advice for future bride/grooms?
You'll hear this again and again but it's true: the day goes by so very quickly, take a moment to take in your day! During the reception, I intentionally looked around and made a mental note of everything and I am so happy I did, it's a memory that will stay with me and it makes me feel so grateful for the day we had.

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
 Not FUNNIEST, but FUNNEST, or MOST FUN? Both Dads joining in with the band! Phil's dad and my dad are both musicians in their own right so it was pretty awesome and surreal when both dads each performed a song with our wedding band.

If you could do it all over, would you change anything?
Not a thing, it was a perfect day.

Where did you find inspiration during planning?
 Wedding blogs, Pinterest, and my own experience working in the wedding industry.

Favorite part of the planning process?
Having a real good reason to buy ALL OF THE THINGS on Etsy. For months before my wedding, it was like Christmas every day with all the vintage decor I was purchasing. I really enjoyed a lot of the planning process and it was super rewarding to see our vision for the wedding unfold.

What was your favorite part about Takk House?
Every room is just so lovely and it was great that everything was right there under one roof, preparing for the day in those beautiful bright rooms, knowing my soon to be husband was close by, watching the reception room be set up from the balcony just added to all the excitement and anticipation for the day ahead.

What was the most difficult decision when planning your wedding?
Weddings are one of the most important days in your life and there are many huge decisions to make during the planning process. I wouldn't say the decisions were difficult, but we knew we had to go with our gut when selecting our vendors. There's a lot of people that have to come together to help make a wedding happen and I'm so happy we made the choices we did, it truly made our wedding day what is was.

Real Wedding Wednesday

APRIL 25, 2015

What better wedding to start with? Especially since Monday was their anniversary! Yay!! 

This wedding we (Frank + Heidi) hold very near and dear to our hearts. It was the first wedding we ever held at Takk House. When Jess first came to see us we were total strangers. Now we are dear friends. She even does me and my Mom's hair! This is Heidi by the way. ha.

Anywho, when we gave Jess the tour we literally had nothing in the place. NOTHING. Nothing. The rooms were completely empty and while we showed her around we had to paint a lot of pictures. Of course, we knew how everything was going to come together but she certainly had to have an imagination!

But guess what?! She had/has a lovely imagination and she trusted us! She even hired me to photograph all the magic. Everything was amazingly perfect. Jess and Rick are the sweetest people on the planet and it was a true honor to host their wedding at Takk House. 

Here is what Jess has to say! :)

Favorite part of the planning process? 
All the crafts!! I loved seeing my vision come to life. The food tasting was pretty awesome too. (Nicole’s Catering was their vendor)

First Dance Song?
Stand by me - Ben E King

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
The moment before I walked down the isle. My heart was racing and I took the deepest breath and started walking. I will always remember that feeling.

Any advice for future bride/grooms?
If you don't want to cry like a baby at the alter, don't look at your guests! Keep your eyes on the prize!

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
My vows were pretty hilarious... I ended them with "team death match"... 

If you could do it all over, would you change anything? 
We had decided not to do a cake cutting but I really wish we did. When they brought out the cake, everyone was having too much fun at the photo booth and nobody knew we were serving. So barely anybody actually ate cake... I took home 2.5 tiers of our 4 tier cake ughhhh.

Where did you find inspiration during planning?
Pinterest. The best and worst thing ever invented. My best suggestion is to delete the app 3 months before your wedding. 

What was your favorite part about Takk House?
I loved the building all by itself. It's so beautiful and full of character, you don't really have to decorate. There's always something  interesting to look at there. 

What was the most difficult decision when planning your wedding? 
Music! My husband picked our first dance but from there I was clueless! (but they hired DJ TRUMASTR and he killed it!)

Knotted! Wedding Showcase Recap

The entire vision of Takk House has always been to act as a resource for offbeat/unique couples looking for the perfect way to showcase their personalities and creativity. Not only do we hold the events of others but we are event planners by nature. 

Frank and I are an engaged couple now! Woohoo! :)

We know the frustrations of wanting something different and having no where to turn. Everything seems kind of cookie cutter and traditional. So we decided to make it our mission to find all of the crafters, catering companies, florists, stylist, designers, breweries and more who fit our a la carte lifestyle and place them all under the same roof. We did and we dubbed it Knotted. The first ever curated alternative wedding showcase for couples who needed some fresh air! It was held on March 7, 2015. On that date we housed 40 brilliant vendors and had over 200 in attendance to meet them!

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