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7 Elements for Choosing a Wedding Venue You'll Love

Couture Events in our Historic Landmark Venue in Long Beach's Arts District

7 Elements for Choosing a Wedding Venue You'll Love

Couture Events in our Historic Landmark Venue in Long Beach's Arts District

Looking for a wedding venue but not sure where to start? We’ve spoken with hundreds of couples in their search for the perfect wedding venue. Based on our experience, here are 7 things that you’ll want to consider to end up with a venue that you’ll love to remember after your wedding:

1. Goosebumps

How did you know your partner was the one? The venue that is the “one“ is similar…you kind of know it based on how you react to it. It should feel special and right (as well as check off enough of the practical boxes).

What’s at stake? Only an event where you and your family are front and center in front of almost everyone who is important to you. Make it one that they’ll remember as a unique and memorable experience.

2. Location

Location is the primary driver of who will attend your wedding and what their experience will look like. A location with a central location and great freeway and airport access will make it much more likely that your guests will be able to come. A location with a mix of great hotels or accommodations will make it more likely that people will gather and get to know each other for a weekend. A location with a lot of nearby activities and restaurants will make for a stronger social connection across the wedding events.

Our Long Beach location checks all those boxes with all roads leading to Long Beach, 3 significant airports within 30 minutes, and many built in hotels and amenities due to the entertainment hub that is the Long Beach Convention Center vicinity.

3. Culture/ Values

A venue should share your values on what makes for a great wedding. Are they hospitable people who will treat your guests like their own? Are they on it and interested in making sure your event is going to be a great experience? Do they act in a transparent and trustworthy way?

As you go through the venue selection process, remember that you’re not just picking a building, but you’re also selecting the people that will make your experience a great one. Make sure they are professionals who you trust to help you to put together the best wedding possible!

4. Size

A venue’s capacity shapes your guest list as well as things like rain options and other backup plans (like needing outdoor spaces). Choose a venue that will be comfortable for guests and if possible one that is large enough that you can avoid the scramble that is the room “flip“ where ceremony space must be quickly transformed into dining space.

5. Access/ Privacy

Larger weddings or those with more design elements or prominent attendees often have more significant concerns around privacy, exclusivity, and access. One of the choices in looking at a private special events facility vs a hotel is the amount of access time and exclusive use of different spaces that may have different groups that need to share it or go through the wedding area.

At 440 Elm, the entire gated event area is only in use for a single event at a time, which allows for more specific concerns around access, security, exclusivity, extended load-in or load-out times, and other such matters to be addressed in a way that best suits the event and its guests.

6. Personalization

Weddings often need to choose between the all-inclusive that puts weddings on an assembly line or a “blank slate“ type space where you don’t get much at the start (potentially an empty warehouse or lawn) and have to bring everything in and out with an overwhelming number of options to work through.

At 440 Elm, we have a strong belief (not shared by all couples) that a wedding should reflect you, your family, and your guests and tell a unique story. For those that share this belief, we offer a “creative canvas“ that has starting points that take care of a number of less important details while providing a flexible structure (and best-in-class wedding pros) that allows for the most important creative elements to be customized and pop.

7. High Quality Food and Drink (without Lines)

When you select a venue, you are often also selecting the caterers that are on the preferred or exclusive list. Take note of their reputation and menus, as those will likely be the choices that will drive a great experience and the feeling of hospitality for the evening.

As long-time caterers who renovated 440 Elm, we believe that a great wedding experience is one that naturally has a beverage and a bite to eat quickly in each guest's hand so that guests are free to have fun and connect with each other. We believe experiences that cause long lines/waits (food trucks that serve each guest retail style one at a time in the parking lot, inadequate staffing ratios, cash bars, and poorly designed stations and buffets) destroy wedding timelines, photos, and guest experiences.

So make sure you have a menu designed for your timeline and crowd, make sure you don’t fire the fish if you know the speeches are going to go long, and have service and staffing ratios that keep the party flowing!

Our Location (Open by Appt Only)
440 Elm
440 Elm Ave
Long Beach, CA 90802

Phone: (562)267-3386

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