Planning Your Dream Wedding


Our family has hosted lots of memorable weddings over the past decade for friends and family.  As the years went by, more and more people began sharing a desire to have their wedding on our beautiful property along the Payette River. Big dreams became instilled in our hearts, and that dream came alive when Riverside Pines opened to the public in Spring 2019.  Whether you are looking for an indoor or outdoor ceremony or reception, we are here to help you make your wedding dreams come true!


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Love is in the air!  The date has been set and you have a wedding to plan!  At Riverside Pines, we strive to provide a seamless flow of service and resources to ensure that your event is well-planned and executed to perfection. To get you started, here are a few things to keep in mind.  


While you might want to go straight to the dress shop or pick out your cake, sitting down with your partner and establishing a budget must come first. You’ll want to ascertain who will be contributing and how much each person is willing to spend. Naturally, your guest list is an important part of your budgeting, and no matter where you get married or what kind of wedding you plan, the number of guests you invite will make an impact on your budget. Be prepared to prioritize.  The wedding of your dreams is possible on almost any budget if you determine what exactly is important to you and focus on those few things.  What are your non-negotiable or ‘must haves’—the things you absolutely would not get married without?


Selecting the perfect venue will set the tone for the entire day and will be the backdrop for many of your memories on the day you say, “I do.”  Will it be a formal affair steeped in tradition with a long guest list, or do you envision something small and intimate? Have you been dreaming of something cozy and rustic or stately and modern?  Do you see yourself doing the Electric Slide with a DJ spinning your favorite tunes, or will you be waltzing in a ballroom or square dancing in a country barn? Maybe your idea of the perfect nuptials are in the great outdoors in a serene, forest setting, overlooking a lake or stunning mountain vista?  There are endless possibilities, so it will be important for you to define your wedding vision which will serve as a road map that you can follow as you bring your vision to life. 


Make sure the venue can accommodate all the things that you value the most. Is it à la carte or all-inclusive? For those wanting their wedding planning to be as simple as possible, selecting a venue that offers an all-inclusive package may be best for you, while another couple may very much want to plan every detail from a blank slate. Understanding what is included in your venue fee is vital.  Sometimes venues will include everything you need, but nothing you actually want. Take special care in understanding what included items look like and, what, if anything, it would cost to swap them for something different. 


When visiting your venue, try to schedule it for the same time of day as your wedding so that you can get a good idea of how much natural lighting you will have. For example, if you plan to hold your event outdoors, you will want to consider whether the sun would be in your guests’ eyes during that time and at that location. You will also want to consider the temperature. Will the venue provide shelter or shade (perhaps a canopy) in the event of extreme temperatures or inclement weather? Can they easily move your event indoors even though you planned and prepared for an outdoor event?  For an indoor wedding, the right lighting can make everything look better! It can impact the mood or vibe you are hoping to create and, by determining in advance what built-in lighting the facility provides, your photographers or videographers will be better prepared to suggest alternative or additional lighting if and where it may be needed.   


It may sound obvious, but you will want to make sure the main seating area in your venue is a comfortable, roomy fit.  If you visit when it’s empty, it may look gigantic, so you’ll want to envision how all your wedding day essentials will fit – the tables, chairs, entertainment area (will it accommodate a band or a DJ, and, if it’s important to you, is there room for dancing?).  If you’re serving a buffet-style meal, you will need a logical place to set up your food with additional space for mingling without bumping elbows! Even if you choose an outdoor location for your wedding, you’ll still need ample space for all aspects of your celebration, so consider the natural landscape and how well it will accommodate your guests. Ideally, you should preview your venue when it’s already set up for another wedding.  If this is not possible, ask if they can provide you with photographs of past events so that you can determine if it will meet your needs for space and if the layout and existing, permanent décor aligns with your vision. 


Nothing is too small to consider when making sure your special day is as wonderful as you’ve dreamed.  If you’re planning to have music at your event, then you may not want to overlook the acoustics. The word “acoustics” refers to how sound travels.  Does the venue have tile or wood floors? Is it carpeted? Is the ceiling high or low? These are all things that will impact the acoustics inside your venue, so you should consider assessing the quality of the sound during an event.  If you’re wanting a small, intimate wedding, for example, you may gravitate towards a venue with a low ceiling to create a more cozy atmosphere, but keep in mind that noise in your venue will be amplified as the sound bounces off the low ceiling and down to your guests.  As more people begin talking, the background music will rise and it could become difficult for people to hear. On the other hand, a high ceiling and large, empty space may create echoes or hollow sounds. Find out if the venue will provide any additional furnishings, accent rugs, draperies, or temporary carpets which will help to absorb the sound, or will they allow you to bring in your own?  The addition of extra décor may not only help to provide the best acoustics for your event, but will also perfectly bring your overall theme together! 


While your own desires for your venue should come first, consider your guests and what it will take for them to have a good time from beginning to end.  Will it be accessible to anyone with special mobility needs? Is there ample parking that is easily accessible to the venue without barriers in-between? Are restrooms easy to navigate and are they centrally located?  If any activities will be held outdoors, does the venue offer access for all guests and wedding participants? Lastly, if you have friends or family traveling from out of town, they will be grateful you took the time to ensure that there are ample guest accommodations conveniently located to your venue.


There are so many things to consider when choosing a wedding venue. We hope that you find some of these tips useful.  Here at Riverside Pines, we can’t wait to help you make your wedding all you’ve dreamed of!