Image from LosAngelesWeddings.bizLocation, Location, Location. Three words that ring true when it comes to virtually any business or event. Weddings are no different. Planning a wedding generally begins with its location. There are, however, more ways than one to find the right venue. The more or less standard approach is to run through the locally advertised wedding halls and settle on the one that most closely resembles what the couple had expected based on their (somewhat limited) experience with weddings. If the couple is looking for a strictly Kosher wedding hall, these choices are even more limited. (A comprehensive list of Kosher wedding halls can be found on ChossonKallah.com.)
Other coulples begin their search for the perfect setting through their caterer. A caterer will generally have a broader menu selection than a standard wedding hall, and will pay more attention to food display as well. (Although, it must be noted that an inquiring and informed consumer can have his or her requirements accommodated by most halls, should he or she directly, and in detail, express them to the hall administrator.) A caterer will usually have a few exclusive locations where it operates, but will also have a larger list of venues that it has worked at. Almost any non-kosher venue can be Kashered (made kosher) by a professional caterer. (A list of Kosher caterers can be found on koshercaterers.info.)
Some of the more edgy couples, who like to be totally and utterly original, will let their imagination run wild and will scout out a location that is, shall we say, completely 'raw'. Any place - given sufficient funds and creativity, can be transformed into a breathtaking and unique wedding venue. Here, a wedding planner's assistance will be of necessity. A wedding planner will have experience in 'dressing up' rooms and metamorphosing raw and untamed landscape into beautifully lit, tastefully decorated, and overall put-together event settings.
Whichever way you will go about creating the appropriate stage for your wedding, first identify your needs, wants, and priorities, like kashrus standards and financial constraints, then set your sights on the location that's right for you using a method that's right for you. But remember to keep your mind OPEN.